ARNOLD – The initial disaster response is wrapping up, but the recovery for flood victims in the St. Louis area – and the follow up for more than 600 ministry contacts is just getting started.
“There are still teams out working, and I think we have about another week, maybe a week and a half worth of work to do,” said Dwain Carter director of Missouri Baptist Disaster Relief. “We’ve closed the Arnold site and we’re still working in West Alton and Eureka.”
The volunteer days are above 2,000 and the number of jobs completed is impressive, but perhaps what stands out the most from the three weeks of work thus far is 18 professions of faith, along with eight other decisions for Christ. Every DR team that goes out into the field is ready and willing to share their faith, so out of the 867 assessments came 667 ministry contacts, and 110 gospel presentations.
Another takeaway is the lessons that were learned through this disaster. Most cold-weather disasters involve ice storms, which means a lot of chainsaw work. This disaster called for feeding, showers, and flood recovery units, which aren’t designed to work in the extreme cold.
“It’s been a unique experience to do mud-out with snow on the ground,” Carter said. “We even had units bring two trailers: one with all their equipment in it, and one with chairs and heaters so they could warm up from time to time.”
A final takeaway for Carter: the cooperation among Missouri Baptist church in the area.
“Unity with the churches we’ve worked has been amazing,” he said. “We talk about cooperative giving a lot, but this was a cooperative effort to overcome a disaster.”