ST. JOSEPH, Mo. (BP) — Flash flooding rolled through the St. Joseph, Mo., area beginning July 20, displacing families and rendering many homes unsafe. But as the community was thrown into need, individuals and organizations within the community stepped in to help rebuild and provide immediate necessities.
Jacob McMillan, pastor of Journey Baptist Church in St. Joseph, found himself faced with a crash course in disaster relief when the floods affected 200 homes just a quarter-mile from the church.
McMillan, working alongside Missouri Baptist Disaster Relief, said his congregation made a goal of repairing 35-55 homes by cleaning out mud, repairing insulation and drywall and replacing subfloor plywood.
“While this may be a daunting task for a church of 175 to oversee and to oversee in the midst of a pandemic, God is good and God never changes, so when God calls us to go, we go. I know with 100-percent certainty that our church and our associational churches can afford to serve and show the love of Christ to these homes,” McMillan said. “Depending on funding and volunteers, this may take us weeks or months but in comparison to a soul’s time in eternity, this time is minimal.”
Missouri Baptist Disaster Relief, which has set up headquarters at Journey Baptist Church, also engaged the community through working to repair Valley Food Kitchen, an organization providing meals to those in need, according to News-Press Now.
McMillan emphasized the importance of believers working together.
“We already have seen the potential of the local body in Saint Joseph. Our neighborhood food kitchen had 4-6 inches of water throughout the building. Within 10 days, that building was cleaned, dry-walled, taped, mudded and painted,” McMillan said. “It took God’s people 10 days to get a
flooded food kitchen back up and running, many of those days were waiting on the building to dry out. Our director of missions [for the St. Joseph Baptist Association], Roger Brumley, oversaw this project and has personally worked every day that Disaster Relief has sent teams out in the area along with his wife Pam.”
While the area has been significantly affected, and reports of more flash floods to surrounding cities have been anticipated, McMillan said the community has responded positively to the relief efforts, and he is confident opportunities to share the Gospel in the midst of the trial will continue to surface.
“Pray for the hearts of the neighborhood to be illuminated and open to the Gospel,” he said. “Pray for God to provide the funds necessary for the work He calls us to. Pray for our volunteers to be bold in proclaiming the Gospel. Pray for our local churches to make disciples and pray that God redeems a bad situation for His glory and name.”