This chaplain’s perspective on how God works.
The prayers went up. The OHIO Team and Cincinnati Area Baptist Association (CABA) Mud-out Unit responded to Eureka Missouri. Lives were changed, workers were encouraged, and houses were cleaned and sanitized for mold.
Upon arrival we met Wesley and George who were heading up the operation, both Godly men with a heart for the people. We were working out of Central Baptist Church, whose members served us and the community as though we were royalty. Once George found out we had an extra chaplain on the team who was also an assessor, he asked our team Blue Hat's (team leader) permission to use him to help access flooded homes.
On our first assessment the owner, 39 year old Matt surrendered his life to Christ. Matt had cut his arm and was on antibiotics for the infection and had been told not to use it. Our team, after completing a job earlier in the day, was able to remove molded drywall and sanitize Matt's home that afternoon.
Our team continued ministering to various homeowners as they mudded out, removed moldy drywall and sanitized homes. Mike, our team chaplain, encouraged the homeowners and served the team needs working alongside them while George and I continued to assess. Things were a little slow from a spiritual point of view, with those we came in contact professing to already being believers. God and I had a chat as to why He wasn't putting more folks in our path to tell about Jesus. He put on my heart to do a devotion on prayer which I hadn't done in a while. God kind of hammered me. So I told Mike the next morning I would do the devotion that evening.
George had a late night run to do an assessment and we didn't get back until after 9PM, so my prayer devotion had to wait until the next evening.
The next morning I was to be back with the team which started with much excitement. When we opened up the unit trailer to load water and lunches etc., a chicken jumped out, ran across the parking lot into the Church. An energetic young man from another team was able to corral it and we got it returned to the other team. Of course the teams from Missouri and Mississippi had a field day with that calling us chicken thieves etc.
Once we got to the job site things got more exciting. While we tore out drywall, removed soiled carpet and threw a washing machine and other debris over the deck rail from the second floor, Mike, our team chaplain introduced Dave, the homeowner, to Jesus. Now we're back on track and rolling.
Just before lunch Wesley and George, in an effort to maximize every resource ask our Blue Hat for permission for me to go with Warren from the church and sanitize two houses in the afternoon. I had met both homeowners and both professed to be believers, so initial thoughts, there may not be need for a chaplain.
NLT Isaiah 55:8 "My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts", says the Lord. "And My ways are far beyond anything you could imagine."
When Warren and I arrived at the first job there was no one home. In our efforts to find the homeowner and house being located on the corner, we walked around the corner to the front door. A young man Warren had met a couple of week prior saw us and jubilantly came to greet us. I explained that I'm from Ohio and the One I work for sends me all over, doing flood recovery. Then I told my story using the Hot Line to Heaven (Evange- Cube), and the young man gave his life to Jesus.
Warren and I made our way back toward his jeep as our eyes leaked with joy. However, on the way back, just around the corner a family was removing items from a house across the street. After moving past the house we turned around and asked about their flooding and how they were doing. Again using the Hot Line to Heaven I told my story. Both older adults said they were believers, the girl, probably under twenty, said she didn't believe the Bible, but the young man wanted to invite Jesus into his heart.
Warren and I headed to the next job and again, no one home. Sitting on the curb across the street was a young man. I walked over and struck up a conversation. He told me he was saved in a halfway house a couple of years ago, but had strayed. The more he talked the more broken he became. He rededicated his life. All this happened before we got an opportunity to do any physical work. Warren, a very compassionate man, got a list of items the young man needed and delivered them to him the next day. We ended up calling the homeowner and sanitized the house.