MYRTLE BEACH – From time to time we need to be reminded that putting our faith into action is just as important at home as it is in distant lands. I saw the love of God in action in the wake of the Hurricane Florence disaster after it left families in parts of the coastal Carolinas devastated.
Calvary Chapel Disaster Relief teams descended upon the Carolinas to assist the staffs and members of local Calvary Chapel Disaster Relief teams in cities including Wilmington, Jacksonville, and Lumberton, North Carolina where Florence had toppled trees and destroyed homes.
Those teams had been prepared to come to the aid of those in need in Myrtle Beach, but Calvary Chapel Myrtle Beach (CCMB) pastor Ron Dozler asked them to wait (as the Lord asks us to do from time to time). The wait allowed teams to reach the hardest-hit victims first. You see, although the hurricane had caused some limited damage in the Myrtle Beach area, Pastor Ron knew the worst was yet to come. He wanted the teams to arrive when they were most needed, which would not be for another week.
Myrtle Beach’s vulnerability comes from the rivers and waterways in North Carolina that carry the rainwater south through the lower Carolina to the Atlantic. It typically takes a week for those rivers to rise above flood stage following storms in North Carolina. Because Florence lingered so long over North Carolina, the flooding in Myrtle Beach and the surrounding areas was forecasted to be record-setting. It was.
It was a sunny day an entire week after the storm had passed when the floods arrived, driving people from their homes along the rivers and the Intracoastal Waterway. Ironically, by that time, all of the national news media had moved on to other stories, seemingly unaware of the hundreds of people severely affected by the floods.
During that week, CCMB was able to obtain access to a warehouse for the staging of supplies as they came in by the trailer-loads from other Calvary Chapels around the U.S. They also secured a distribution site very close to one of the most devastated areas.
Teams from as far away as Houston and Kansas City came to work alongside local CCMB members as the hands and feet of Jesus. A team from Mercy Chefs worked alongside church members to feed nutritious meals to flood victims. Church members engaged victims with preprinted checklists that enabled rapid delivery of essential food and supplies where they were needed. While demonstrating the love of God and His kindness, many opportunities were afforded to pray for and encourage distraught victims.
Pastor Jim Stewart of CC Kansas City said,
“Even if I had inexhaustible resources, I couldn’t fix people’s sense of loss. But injecting God into the situation makes all the difference.”
Following the leading of the Lord, CCMB had only recently begun disaster-relief planning. In June, the Lord provided a U-Haul type truck and enough warehouse space to hold enough food to supply 100 people for five days.
Pastor Dozler explained the otherwise inexplicable timing of the local disaster relief team development.
“God is always steps ahead of us. He provided what we needed before we asked Him. It is strengthening to see how our Father has our back. When disaster hits, it is time to act like a family.”
To read more news on Disaster Relief on Missions Box, go here.