By Philip Timothy, Message Staff Writer
ALEXANDRIA – Like a pitcher in a major league bullpen, Louisiana Baptist Convention Disaster Relief teams statewide were all warmed up and just waiting for the call to get into the game.[img_assist|nid=7457|title=LBC Japan Team|desc=LBC DR Team: A six-man, mud-out team is preparing to leave to assist in clean up in Japan on August 17. The team was selected from across the state. This is really our first true international team we have ever deployed. We’ve sent teams to Haiti, but none this far, McMillan said. They will be doing a lot of mud-out work but they will also be training others how to do it as well.” Members of the team are (from left seated) Donna Rhymes, Sandy Bates and Jerry Dennis; (back row, from left) Eddie Rhymes, Gibbie McMillan, director of Disaster Relief and men’s ministries for the Louisiana Baptist Convention, Butch Bates and Clyde Dennis. Dennis will serve as the White Hat. McMillan asked that Louisiana Baptist would lift the team up in prayer as it prepares to depart, travels overseas and works and teaches in tsunami-ravaged Japan.|link=none|align=right|width=640|height=424]
The call came in early June.
“It’s been a rough spring – tornadoes, flooding, storms, wildfires – for so many,” said Gibbie McMillan, director of Disaster Relief and men’s ministries for the Louisiana Baptist Convention. “There were, and still are, a lot of Disaster Relief teams actively involved in helping tornado-ravaged Alabama and Missouri clean-up while also helping others along the flooded Mississippi River.
“Our guys saw the extent of the devastation and wanted to do something to help. I had teams call daily to let me know they were ready to go where ever they were needed,” McMillan said. “I couldn’t send them until the first of June when I received a DR call-out asking for our help in Springfield, Mass., Battle Creek, Mich., and Vermont.”