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DISASTER - - a life changing event causing great distress of sudden ruin of life or property. In the Bible, there were many disasters. The first one that comes to mind is Noah and the flood. Not only were lives lost, but the land was destroyed. However, we know that God was with Noah and his family all the time and He helped them to start a new normal way of life.

The Southern Baptist Disaster Relief Teams are the hands and feet of Jesus. We are there to help those who are affected by a disaster to start a new normal way of life. We respond to the call when there is a disaster, whether a flood, tornado, hurricane or fire. We hold training sessions each year. The training sessions include Kitchen crew, Mass Feeding, Chainsaw, Flood damage cleanup (mud out), fire clean up, shower, laundry, communications, damage assessment, chaplaincy and unit leaders. We take care of the need and then plant the seed. Not only do we do the physical work, but we also share the Good News of Jesus.

God’s Word says we are to help those in need. Volunteering is a wonderful way to help so many in need after a disaster. Not only will you bless those in need, but you will be blessed in return knowing that you have helped someone during a devastating time of their life.

I have trained in Kitchen, Mass feeding, Shower, Laundry, Chain saw, Flood damage cleanup (mud out), Chaplaincy and Communications.

In June, I went to Southbury, CT with the Twin Rivers Association after a tornado with the chain saw team. No, I did not use a chain saw, but I did pull brush, roll logs (downed trees), and helped out as chaplain. On our last day of work, we were approached by a neighbor who was next door to where we were working. She asked if we could just move a pile of brush she had gathered up herself and push it into the woods to make the yard look nice because her husband had just died and she was going to have family coming in and didn’t want them to worry about cleaning it up. Of course we stopped what we were doing and went and helped her. We shared, prayed, cried and encouraged her. God is so good.

In July, I went to Marshalltown, IA with the chainsaw team after a tornado. This time we had a lift to help cut down a lot of branches hanging up in the trees (commonly called widow makers). We pulled brush to the streets so that it could be hauled off. I also helped out as chaplain. At one house where we were working, a man who had just moved there from another country came to us and asked if we could help him with branches in his tree. We checked with our command office and were given the go ahead. When we told him we could help, he smiled and then asked how much would be the cost. I looked at him and said “There is no cost because Jesus has already paid it all.” He knew all about Jesus and was so thankful. God is so good.

During the first week of October, I was able to go to Wallace, NC after Hurricane Florence. There was so much damage. Twin Rivers Association took a chainsaw crew and mud out crew. I worked on the mud out crew. We spent 3 days on one house removing the home owner’s personal belongings, molded dry wall, flooring, kitchen cabinets, bathroom cabinets, sinks and showers. We were able to get this house ready for rebuilding. This was something that would have been impossible for the elderly home owners to do themselves or afford to have someone to come and do it for them. The son-in-law was miffed at first when we showed up, but by the end of the week he was in tears and continually thanked us for helping. He had walked away from God and church when his first wife passed away but we saw a change by the end of the week. God is so good.

And more recently, at the end of October I went with a team from Macon, Missouri to Bristol, FL after Hurricane Michael. This time I went to work in the shower unit. I worked with another lady and we would make sure that the individual showers were clean and had plenty of clean towels for our teams when they came in after working all day. It was such a blessing to know that they could end their day on a refreshing note. It was also nice to be told that “you are the best part of their day.”

 

There are so many ways to serve the Lord by helping those in need through Disaster Relief. If you are 18 years or older, Disaster Relief can use your help. Pray and see if God is calling you to this ministry. If yes then go to www.mobaptist.org/dr and click on disaster relief training. Training is offered around the state quarterly, and comes to our area every 15 months or so. If you go to training, you will need to go to the location on a Friday afternoon to register and start training, then finish training on Saturday. If it is not nearby, you can spend the night at the church, so you will need a cot or air mattress, bedding, and anything else you would need if you were to spend the night away from home.

If you are unable to go, please remember prayers are always needed. Also if you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at or Glen Locklear at

Wishing you a Blessed Christmas Season,

Leadon (Lee) Hobbs

Posted by Leadon Hobbs with
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Lock-In Blog

Last weekend our student ministry hosted a Lock-in. This is an event that we do about every other year. So, what is it? And…why do we do it?

For our lock-in, we rent out a local sports complex—this year it was the Rec-Plex. Students are then free to play the whole night and sleep is highly discouraged. We schedule a night of events, activities, and tournaments. We provide prizes. We find a bunch of crazy adults that want to hang out with a couple hundred teenagers. Oh, this also happens from 9PM-7AM.

All night long, students are running around from activity to activity. Throughout, there are opportunities for 3 on 3 basketball, dodgeball tournaments, and broomball. Note: broomball is like field hockey…but on ice. Or ice hockey…without skates. Just google it. I also saw an incredibly impressive belly flop at 4 in the morning. A large group of leaders ate Dip ‘n’ Dots at 4:30 AM which I now understand is the best time to eat them. All of that to say, a lot of exciting stuff happens in an overnight lock-in with a bunch of students. The night ended with a huge dodgeball game between the two churches. It is important for me to mention that the winning church was FBC Wentzville. The groups make their way back to their churches to sleepily eat a donut until they got picked up to go home and sleep the rest of the day.

So, then the question is…why? Why would someone volunteer to help with this? The answer—the gospel.

When the students got to the church to check-in, before we bussed them out to the Rec-Plex, we all gathered in the Worship Center. FBC Wentzville students and FBC O’Fallon students, over 230 in number, worshipped together, and heard the gospel—shared by Jeremy Shirley who used an illustration of handcuffing a student to himself for several minutes. Thought that was worth mentioning. As a result, seven students indicated that they started a relationship with Jesus for the first time that night.

This whole event exists as a tool for students to have something to invite their friends to, where their friends can hear the gospel. Yes, it’s a ton of fun. Yes, it’s incredibly memorable. Yes, it’s cool to work alongside another student ministry. But, all of that is minimal compared to providing an opportunity for students, whose friends may not be willing to show up on a Sunday morning, to bring others to an event where the gospel is preached and there is an opportunity for lives to be changed.

As a church, continue to pray for the students that have just made this huge decision. Pray for the students that are asking questions and searching. Pray for the students that are still opposed to the gospel.

Also, pray for all of the adult volunteers to catch back up on their sleep…eventually.

Posted by Alec Erhart with

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