The month of June brought many changes to the folks of West Virginia, including my own. We had just lost my wife’s mother and things were changing in our personal life. A mission team from Chattooga Tennessee which included around 25 people was staying at the church and was excited to do God’s work. None of us had any idea how all of our lives were about to be changed forever. June 23, 2016 a call came in around 4:00 A.M. from then chief deputy Mike Fridley asking if our mission could gather up all toiletries and dry blankets, socks and clothes we had. We loaded up and answered God’s call to help. As I got to the Church in Ansted (Ansted Baptist) I was in shock. I drove in to a make shift shelter full of people, as they were coming off buses wet from head to toe, I stood in awe from the amount of people who came to help. I walked into the sanctuary where some were sleeping and trying to rest. I started to cry. My heart hurt and I realized it was time for me to get these folks what I could for a little bit of comfort. The rest of that day we handed out soap, shampoo, towels, socks and deodorant.
The next week we decided to take those kids from Chattooga to Rainelle to minister to God’s people thru his word and by delivering any supplies we could get to them. That day I watched teenage kids pray with adults who had lost everything. That day I watched God guide us thru streets that looked like war zones so we could share His promise. I witnessed women in our group pray with young mothers and kids. We gave out cleaning supplies, water and Bibles. This day we praised God in an area that was destroyed beyond repair in some cases. Not for the buildings but the people, God’s grace was there in the middle of the storm.
I meet so many people in the next weeks who changed me. We travelled to Clay and other parts of Greenbrier County to help where we could, but Rainelle brought me many friends from shelter workers to survivors.
In those days I realized taking time to be with God is the best place to find strength to press on. Someone once wrote those who walk with God love to help with the needs of others.
We are able to do these things because of God’s grace, nothing added nothing taken away, His grace is perfect.
2 Corinthians 12:9
And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.