Believe it or not, this is the 15th anniversary of one our most vibrant ministries—Disaster Relief (DR). This ministry continues to be a tremendous blessing to both those we help and those who have the privilege and opportunity to serve.
Even as I write this article, we continue to see millions of our fellow citizens struggle to survive and regroup after multiple hurricanes (Harvey, Irma, Maria, etc.). SBC of Virginia DR teams heed the call to go, serve, and share the Gospel. We—together—have sent multiple teams to Houston, Florida, and now Puerto Rico. The stories of how God has used them and continues to use them are still flowing back from the field. One such story is from Rachel Adams, one of our SBCV graphic artists, who lives in Houston. Her husband, Dylan, serves as the high school pastor at Second Baptist Church of Houston’s South Campus in Pearland. She wrote an article about her experience after Hurricane Harvey, but I wanted to pull just an excerpt so you can read in her own words how the truth of Not Alone is so powerful.
When I saw those familiar yellow shirts pouring out of trucks and trailers sporting “SBC of Virginia Disaster Relief,” it felt as if the cavalry had arrived just in time.
Over the next two weeks, SBCV Disaster Relief teams brought their training and experience to our relief efforts. They worked alongside our church to clean out homes, share the love of Jesus with homeowners who had lost so much, and serve thousands of hot meals to volunteers and the community. In addition, they encouraged and revived our church family and painted a beautiful picture of the body of Christ coming together.
Many of you have probably heard the phrase Not Alone used throughout the SBC of Virginia. It was the theme of our Annual Homecoming last year and will be again at Annual Homecoming this November. I have to admit, it wasn’t until the volunteers from Virginia came to our aid that Not Alone resonated for me on a personal level.
I love to see examples of service through partnership in Scripture. 2 Corinthians 8:3–5 is one such passage, where Paul shows through the example of the Macedonian believers how needed and powerful partnership can be.
For they gave according to their means, as I can testify, and beyond their means, of their own accord, begging us earnestly for the favor of taking part in the relief of the saints—and this, not as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then by the will of God to us. (ESV)
May we also continue to have that spiritual attitude—to first give ourselves to the Lord and then, by His will, to those around us who need to hear the Good News of salvation. Then they will know firsthand that because of Jesus and His free gift, they too are Not Alone!