By Brian Blackwell, Message Staff Writer
SOUTHBURY, Conn. (LBM) – A Louisiana Baptist Disaster Relief team’s week in an area of Connecticut devastated by a tornado in May started off on a high note when they saw a married couple accept Christ.
Chaplain Fred Hart had just finished handing off a Bible signed by members of the Eastern Louisiana Baptist Association chainsaw team, May 28, when he asked the male homeowner an eternally significant question – “If you were to die this evening, would you know for sure you would go to Heaven?”
“He said, ‘I think so’ and I said, ‘We can make sure of that right now,” Hart recalled. “He was very open to the Gospel and after I walked him through the plan of salvation, he prayed right there to accept Jesus as his Savior. His wife was right there beside him and did the same. I cried because this is what we are all about. It’s not about just cutting up fallen trees or mudding out a home, but presenting the Gospel.”
Hart was among nine members of the disaster relief team from Louisiana who were in Southbury May 27-June 2. The team comprised members from Live Oak Baptist Church and Amite Baptist Church in Denham Springs, First Baptist Church in Livingston, Judson Baptist Church in Walker and First Baptist Church in Albany. Christ the Redeemer Church in Southbury provided sleeping accommodations.
The team shared Christ’s love at each of the 11 homes where they cleared trees knocked down by an EF-1 tornado which touched down in the town, May 15. The National Weather Service reported the tornado with maximum sustained winds of 100 mph left behind a path of numerous uprooted pine and hardwood trees.
Blue Hat Howard Turner said the largest number of trees the team removed was 50 from one of the homes. They also cleared 34 trees from another home in the community.
Turner said the team was grateful they were able to leave Bibles with every homeowner and share with them the reason why they traveled 27 hours over a two-day period to spend a week in Southbury.
“I can cut trees down anywhere the Lord opens, but we are excited when the door opens so we can share the Gospel,” he said. “It’s about knowing Christ, growing in Christ and going for Christ. This was a chance to go for Christ.”