New York resident Jeanne Metz never stopped praying.
“We never, ever felt that God would forsake us,” Metz told ABC News.
She and her husband, Burt Metz, lost their home in Breezy Point, part of New York City’s Queens borough, after it was completely ravaged by Hurricane Sandy in October.
When they returned to the property Wednesday, their prayers had been answered, and they found their home completely rebuilt.
“I’m just completely shocked,” Metz said. “We are so blessed and can’t thank those that did this for us enough. Thank you.”
The 80-year-olds have had the Breezy Point property for more than 30 years. They sold their primary residence in Brooklyn last year to help an ailing family member, and invested their life savings to upgrade the home for year-round living. When the contractor died in August, the work was never completed.
Hurricane Sandy brought four feet of water into the home, making it unlivable.
“When you’re old, it’s tough,” Burt Metz said. “We didn’t know what we were going to do.”
That’s when Operation Blessing stepped in.
The Virginia-based humanitarian organization gathered 300 volunteers from around the country to rebuild the Metz’s home. The group has worked on more than 400 homes in Queens since the storm struck, but this was the first they completely rebuilt.
“We’ve never built a house like this,” U.S. Disaster Relief Director Jody Gettys said. “The Metz’s are so appreciative and truly and inspiring couple.”
Jeanne Metz, who’s a two-time cancer survivor, said she and Burt were staying with friends for the time being. They thought members of Operation Blessing were gutting the house and revealing a frame today.
“When we came down here today, we really thought we were going to discover an open shell, and we were going to figure out how to move forward,” Metz said. “We never ever dreamt anything of this magnitude could be completed in this timeframe.”
The project started in early December and cost tens of thousands of dollars.
As the couple toured their new home with their children and grandchildren, with tears in their eyes, they said the home is a fresh start.
“It’s beautiful. It’s unbelievable. It’s something you live for and pray for,” Burt Metz said. “The good Lord was with us.”