Recently, I was a Chaplaincy Volunteer at the tornado damage in Eden, NC. We were able to minister to many folks who had been survivors of this storm in their lives. There were six words that we were hearing over and over. What were those six words? “I didn’t know what to do.”
They came from an elderly woman who was homebound where a tree needed to be removed from her yard, as the other Chaplaincy volunteer and I talked with her, she concluded our visit with those six words. She couldn’t express her thanks enough for the chainsaw team sho came and removed the tree.
We spoke with a retired school Principal in a wheelchair who shared his story with us. He actually slept through the storm and when he opened his blinds in the morning and saw the trees down, he said those same words. With some tears in his eyes, he expressed his gratitude for the men who with chainsaws and skid-steers removed the numerous trees.
We spoke another time with a Viet-Nam vet who started his conversation with those six words. He told us that the crew who worked tirelessly to clean up the debris and downed trees in his yard were fantastic. He said that he went in after they left and, “even though it might not be a lot, it was all I could do. I left a donation on the NCBM website.”
A church south of Eden, Gethsemane Baptist, had a massive tree down. The Pastor said that he had received a bid for almost $10,000 to cut up the tree. Then he said these same six words. He was so appreciative that the crew came and cut up the tree, removed it off his van, and stacked the brush back in the woods behind the church – all for free.
Each of these, as well as several others, all felt the strain following the storm of how to relieve the situation. The trained volunteers of the NCBM Disaster Relief teams came in and made the situation a little better for many folks. God allowed us to move them from “I didn’t know what to do” to expressions of relief and joy. They were given a ray of hope in a very troublesome situation.
Prayer: Father, as You have given to each of us, may we be willing to reach out to those around us hurting and having needs. We praise You for Your watchcare over us. May we be used by You over and over to minister to those we come in contact with. Amen.