Buchanan County Gets Help From SBCV Disaster Relief Volunteers
Roger Van Dyke recalled, “The rain kept comin’—it came so fast.” His wife, Rhonda, added, “We looked over, and the water was creeping under the baseboards.”
Their vivid memories were from the night of July 12, 2022 when up to six and a half inches of rain fell over regions of Buchanan County in a short, three-hour period.
Van Dyke continued to describe the horrifying aftermath: “There was houses in the middle of the road, cars in trees—it was devastating. People lost everything. After the flood, I guess I just laid in bed and cried. And then the good Lord started sending you all.”
An SBCV Disaster Relief assessment team arrived days after the flood to prepare the way for teams to begin working. It was then that the yellow shirts of Disaster Relief met the Van Dykes and offered help.
One of those lending aid was Paul Thomasson of LibertyLive.Church in Hampton. “It’s work to clean out a house or cut trees or to rebuild,” Thomasson shared.
Work indeed. Flood relief crews must remove all household items, mud, and debris before pulling up flooring and subflooring and removing drywall and insulation at least one foot above the flood line. All of these things must be done before pressure washing, mold remediation, and drying.
“But it’s worth the smile on their faces and the impact it has on the folks who are suffering,” Thomasson concluded.
When asked what motivates him to lead a team for such a task, Bob Johansen of Maysville Baptist Church in Buckingham County explained, “We are here because we love Jesus—not because we love to work. We are here because Jesus calls us to do this, and we need to be obedient to the call.”
In a society that is more and more cynical about church, the sacrificial work and dedication of Disaster Relief volunteers can be a strong argument for the reality of Jesus. The impact of this kind of selfless love is one of the reasons Jesus charged His followers in Matthew 5:16, “…let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven”(CSB).
“We are here to do a job,” said Joey Schnepf of Crewe Baptist Church in Nottoway County, “but our main job is winning souls for Jesus.”
The Van Dykes saw God’s love in action, and it made all the difference. From lying in bed, filled with despair, to being filled with hope and gratitude, the Van Dykes’ path was changed by the loving service of SBCV Disaster Relief volunteers.
“We put it all in God’s hands and here you are!” said Roger Van Dyke, choking back tears. ‘Thank you!’”
Do you ever look around at the people on the plane while this discussion is happening? Basically, no one is paying attention. They have their earbuds in, their phones in hand, and they’re reading magazines and books. It’s almost as if they are doing everything but listening to the flight attendant who is standing right in front of them.
I wonder if God ever feels like one of those flight attendants. God is a God who speaks. God saves. God redeems. He promises, through Jesus Christ, that His presence will guide us, lead us, and comfort us. How often do we get distracted, busy, or just not focused, and we miss out on the presence of God?
The psalmist declared in Psalm 8:1 (ESV), “O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens.” The personal name of God reminds us that He is the absolute existing One who depends on nothing and that everything else depends on Him. David’s reminder of the majesty and the greatness of God points us to our need of Him.
If you believe in the majesty and greatness of God, then you certainly would never pass up the opportunity, or should I say privilege, to connect with Him. That is why Paul tells us in Colossians 4:2 (ESV) to “Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.” We have the privilege to know Almighty God and His power through prayer.
This is so meaningful to me. When I focus on the majesty and greatness of God, it puts all of my problems into the proper perspective. It also reminds me that all of God’s promises are true. So, in my disappointment, the Lord is with me. In my anxiety, the Lord is with me. In my broken dreams, the Lord is with me. In my loneliness, the Lord is with me. As I am sharing the Gospel, the Lord is with me.
One of the best parts of a flight for me is when the plane is just about to land. You get a great view of where you are traveling, and you have the anticipation of what you will enjoy or do while you are there. The best landings are when you arrive home. There will be a day that all of God’s people arrive home and anticipate the great adventure of being with the Lord for eternity. But we are not home yet! Until then, we need the Lord’s presence and power. Are you paying attention? God is speaking.
He has promised us that as we give our lives to the Great Commission, He will be with us. Don’t lose heart. Don’t grow weary. Seek the Lord. One day, you will arrive safely home.