HANNIBAL – Sandy and Earl Cox’s property was among many where trees were down in the yard. A large part of a maple tree hit the corner of their house.
But it wasn’t until after Sandy Cox had paid $700 to a professional tree service company, did she learn about some that would have taken the tree down without charge – Missouri Baptist Disaster Relief (DR).
She dutifully took pictures for insurance and personal scrapbooking, and then got on the computer.
Cox, a member of Calvary Baptist Church in Hannibal, saw a social network post of fellow member Charlotte Parrish saying DR was setting up operations at the her church.
“I didn’t call, I went there. I felt God leading me to help any way I could,” she said. “The (incident command) office assigned me to a chainsaw unit.”
With no official DR training, which is not uncommon for in the immediate aftermath of a disaster, she jumped right in on pulling cut limbs and brush from the downed trees. Alongside the Mt. Salem/Wyaconda chainsaw unit, she worked four days the first week.
“I could see the Lord working with the chainsaw group. They prayed, they gave Bibles. By helping, I did not do it for selfish feel good. I felt led to serve.”
Cox credits an Experiencing God bible study for volunteer mission work – go where God is working.
“I was slightly worried. I have some physical issues – chronic pain, trauma issue, heart and kidney problems, allergies,” she said. “But I know my limits.”
None of that stopped her from volunteering and in some ways may have been therapeutic.
“God’s pretty much taken care of it all. I’ve not had bad issues that I couldn’t handle and I’ve been able to sleep without pain or headaches. I know God was working,” she said.”
After the first day, she researched Southern Baptist Disaster Relief online. She got hooked.
“I want to be part of it. I want to be trained,” she said.