Fear / Anger / Worry / Anxiety / Vulnerability / Lost
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These are just some of the feelings that people feel when a disaster happens. Along with this comes many versions of Why, What, Where, Who When, and How?
Now I am not going to pretend I know what you are feeling when you hear of or see a disaster. I know for the longest period, I would be shocked, and worry but that would slowly fade away as quickly as the news reports would fade away.
But then nine -11 happened! It wasn’t long after this that I was very motivated to find ways to help these victims of unfortunate happenings.
I was introduced to disaster relief. This was where I was trained to help those in crisis when the need arises. I was deployed to a couple local disasters but mainly was involved with public awareness campaigns.
It was not long after moving to Missouri that I found a church that had a disaster relief team. It was not long after walking into that church that we were heading to a training event and my DR in Missouri began.
It was a while after training in Missouri, that I finally understood the meaning of Matthew 10:42
There are two things I take from this verse:
- There should be no roadblocks in your way when it comes to serving our Lord and His ministry. When the call comes to go serve, you need to be ready to go. Your rewards will be received when you meet our Awesome Father.
- We will receive our reward from God, so therefore we need to go serve those in need without expecting anything. Trust me when I say that you will understand when you have put the time in on a disaster relief call-out
Recently, I had the opportunity to deploy to work with disaster relief in Wallace, NC. We were into week three by the time I arrived.
First hand on the ground, I had the opportunity to see the devastation. I caught the visual of what carnage a fluke of nature can leave behind. I saw the damage and the debris that was left behind. I saw the need for help and assistance but felt bad that we weren’t able to accomplish more.
I listened to a single mother with a ten-year-old daughter tell us that she applied for our assistance shortly after we set up but still hadn’t heard from us and her daughter was allergic to mold. We hear the horrid stories from the recovery teams as they come in for the day. We listen to story after story as they apply for assistance or came to get a supply of shock wave.
This is a time where you see folks asking “Why” but it is also the time when you see a community pull together and help each other out.
God instructs us on helping our neighbors: Luke 10:25–37 better known as the Parable of the Good Samaritan
I like all the other yellow hats have been receiving the emails requesting volunteers but just had not felt the call from God but that may have been because I wasn’t asking the right questions. I was concentrating on a completely different matter with God at the time and not understanding His response.
Two phone calls later asking for my assistance and I knew that God was answering me in a different way. Now my wife knows that I do not believe in coincidences, so this was an answer from God that I needed to go.
The condensed version of this deployment would be four days of travelling with 10 straight days of 14-hours work days.
Things that I learned from this deployment:
- A reminder that God answers prayers in many ways and formats
- Motivation – I watched an 80-year-old man who had a triple by-pass less than a year before was out there doing flood recovery work
- A gentle reminder that there are people worse off than you are
- I got to listen to the stories that impact your heart, pray with these people, and these same stories have some impact on how we may be able to assist them
- I was able to meet and fellowship with other Baptists and hopefully friendship for years to come
- We worked beside other Disaster Relief conventions
- Determination- that this would not be my last deployment. I was bitten by realizing there is much work to be done
- Flexible – you will need this no matter what. But in our case, my ride had agreed to pull back a trailer to Missouri but the State Director who failed geography in school had us pull the trailer to Bristol, FL (another disaster site) where we observed down power lines, a part of a mobile home in the middle of the highway and this was just a small portion of the damage there
- I realized that systems employed by DR could help me in everyday life
- I learned that God takes cares of you when you are not at home to take care of matters. I left the business and our ministry in the hands of my wife and in addition to her full-time employment she carried the load and did a great job
Now I understand that this may not be for everyone. But if you at the Disaster Relief web page, you will see three ways you can help. Pray, Give or Serve.
In closing, I challenge you to find a Southern Baptist Church, accept Jesus as your savior and plan on training for the next time God comes calling.
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Crossing Barriers Ministry serves the Homeless Community with both outreach as well as transitional services. We also publish an online blog with a weekly biblical message and a mid-week bible study. We also do these in an audio / video format on YouTube. Finally, we produce a podcast every week updating news and events that affect the homeless community.