The “Unexplainable” Ministry of Disaster Relief

The “Unexplainable” Ministry of Disaster Relief

We arrived one week after the flood to a very fluid and chaotic scene. At the start, there were no reliable means of identifying jobs, so we relied solely on word-of-mouth.

We were a small group of CSBDR volunteers deployed to help homeowners, providing recovery efforts after the floods of January 22, where hundreds and hundreds of homes were flooded due to clogged and swollen culverts southwest of downtown San Diego.

We were referred to our first homeowner for a “muck-out” job by a citizens group called The Collective, which was doing what it could to support the victims of the flood. We were a small team of only a few DR volunteers, but I had mentioned to The Collective that we could use some additional labor. The next day, 6 additional workers joined us as volunteers. When we finished the first job, Brian, the homeowner, was recorded on a video saying:

“I have really been blessed by them (Volunteers). I call them my earth angel crew…. It’s easy these days to become jaded, and to pass judgements on people, but I can’t anymore. You know, I am guilty of it myself, but these guys are incredible!”

We shed some tears as we prayed with Brian and presented him with a Bible. We encouraged him to draw near to God and join a local fellowship to help renew the faith he once had as a teenager.

Something was stirring in Brian’s heart, and he wanted to help others.

Brian expressed concern about his neighbors and pointed us to the Johnsons, an elderly couple down the street, and his direct neighbor, Ms. Mitchell, an older woman who lived by herself. He told us that he hadn’t seen her for days, and although he knocked on her door, she didn’t respond. He suspected she was still living in her flooded house. So, we prayed for her before we left.

The Johnsons were very wary of us when we approached them, but Mr. Johnson did allow us to walk through his home. I explained what we could do and reassured him our services were free. It was clear they were believers, so I offered to pray with them, and they welcomed it. I gave Mr. Johnson my contact information, and after a few days, he mentioned that Brian had encouraged him to call us for help.

As we were finishing some cleanup before tackling mold treatment the following morning at the Johnson’s house, I began thinking through several options for our next job. I took a walk down to the end of the street when an older woman approached me.

She introduced herself to me as Ms. Mitchell. She was Brian’s neighbor.

It was exciting to share that we had been praying for her and hoping we would be able to help. As she showed me her home, I noticed different scriptures taped to the walls in each of her rooms. Ms. Mitchell was a woman of faith. This was obviously a divine appointment. It’s clear that this was our next job.

It took a few days to complete the work at her house, and God provided us with many walk-on volunteers, including her neighbor Brian. My wife helped her collect valuables and clothes from her bedroom and walked her through the process of obtaining a hotel voucher. Along the way, Ms. Mitchell encountered many within the Collective, along with many on her street who had been praying for her.

God has a plan, and He is actively orchestrating “unexplainable” events that enable us, as Disaster Relief volunteers, to be vehicles of His love for these suffering homeowners.

This is just one of many stories from this deployment where “unexplainable” things happened that supported our efforts.

About the Author

Allen Lowry
Blue Cap, California Disaster Relief

Allen Lowry faithfully serves as a Blue Cap under the leadership of Director, Kendrick Neal and alongside the California Southern Baptist Disaster Relief Team.

More About Allen Lowry
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