By Brian Blackwell, Message Staff Writer
VINTON – The news her Vinton home flooded for the second time in 18 months was disheartening for Sarah Going.
But just when her will to continue was about to break, God sent Going not just one, but two church teams Sept. 9 to gut out her home which was took in water in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.
By the time teams from New Hope Baptist Church in Dequincy and Twin Bridges Baptist Church in Alexandria had finished the job later that day, Going and her husband, Charles, were left encouraged for the difficult path that lies ahead.
“When my husband and I pulled up to our home, there were vehicles parked all around the street,” a teary-eyed Going, the pianist for New Hope Baptist Church, told the Baptist Message.
“A lady from Twin Bridges told me her name, held my hand and encouraged me by reminding me what I still had, even though things could have been so much worse,” Going continued. “She said my family is still alive and I still have a lot of what I owned since my church showed up before the floods to help move everything out. She was reminding me of my blessings I still had and that she was available to talk anytime I needed.”
STRENGTH IN NUMBERS
The effort to gut out the Going house began four days prior, when the wives of New Hope Baptist Pastor Roland Hebert and Twin Bridges Pastor Brent Dix began conversing through Facebook messenger about the family’s need.
Soon, both pastors were in touch about involving their respective congregations. In the end, 20 people from New Hope Baptist and another 10 from Twin Bridges Baptist turned out at the home site.
“The Golden rule says do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” Hebert said. “When somebody has a need, that’s what the church is supposed to do. We were thrilled to step up and work alongside my friend and his church in helping this family start their road to recovery.”
Likewise, the trip was a chance for his members to bond outside the walls of their building in Alexandria. Dix said when the team returned to Twin Bridges Baptist to share about their experience the day following their trip, he said they were passionate about the benefits taken away from serving on the trip and why others in the congregation should come alongside them for the next disaster relief trip they soon will take with New Hope Baptist to Orange, Texas.
“The trip shows the body of Christ is one,” Dix said. “For Roland to pick up the phone and ask me to join them that day in Vinton, it creates a sense of unity.
“It’s the Gospel life lived out,” he continued. “The beauty of it is it doesn’t matter what church you are a member of. The body of Christ can be the Gospel and share the Gospel. We are the hands and feet of God.”
STRENGTH IN BLESSINGS
While Going and her husband wait for their home to be finished by volunteers and professionals, they will stay with friends a few miles away. As they anticipate the end, they will continue counting all of God’s blessings on their lives.
“When this flood happened, I began to feel all alone and helpless,” she said. “Then, I had many people, some I didn’t even know, come to us and get nasty and dirty to help us out. That’s amazing. This church is being the church, being God’s hands and feet. Though we certainly would rather the flood not have happened, we will cherish the memories made from those who came in our hour of need.”