When someone asks me "How was your Disaster Relief Trip" I have to pause. It is like describing your feelings of seeing the ocean for the first time to a blind man.
For the first time in the 13 years I have served on Disaster Relief, I truly understood the importance of all the work that needs done before a deployment. As a team member we sometimes don't understand why they don't call us out immediately after a disaster. I am ready to go just send me you might say.
The first and MOST important step is Prayer. (that is where the prayer team comes in)
As I drove through Panama City Florida, I realized all the work that needed to be done to remove trees and downed power lines so we could maneuver around the city. ( that is where the utility workers come in)
A place needs to be made for workers to sleep, eat, shower, get clean clothes and have spirits lifted. (that is where IC comes in). Our team of 11 people did mud out, food service, assessment, showers, and chaplains.
Upon arriving at Panama City we talked to Sonny (the person in charge of IC). It was evident that he was under tremendous stress. We stopped to pray with him. We then went across the street to find our first job which began with prayer with the homeowner and her handicapped daughter. Because of this job Larry was able to lead a young woman to the Lord through a teddy bear discarded in the trash.
The next morning Larry talked to a utility worker, shared to gospel and led him to the Lord.
We went to the house of a 93 year old woman stuck in her house with no phone or outside contact. When we knocked on the door she hugged us and said "Thank GOD, I was just praying for someone to come and help me."
As the week went by I heard the repeated phrase " I am so Blessed."
I am so Blessed to be a part of a disaster relief team (which includes are prayer partners.)