Ky. Disaster Relief efforts in delivering N95 masks make impact


WAYNESBURG, Ky. (KT) – Kentucky Baptist Disaster Relief’s impact in a time of need is well-chronicled.

They are the gold standard when it comes to not only helping meet needs, but also in sharing the gospel. It’s what they do.

When the need for N95 respirator masks became known early in the fight against the coronavirus, Kentucky Baptist Disaster Relief Director Coy Webb and some of his volunteers scrambled to find as many as possible from their own supply often used during disaster relief flood work when dealing with mold, dust, and dirt.

A health clinic in Lincoln County heard they were taking masks to hospitals in Kentucky and inquired about obtaining some. But, at the time of the call, they had already given away all that had found. Someone took down the number and when they found more, they returned the call and brought them several boxes of masks. The clinic had been reusing the limited supply they had.

“They gave us six to 10 boxes, quite a bit for four clinics,” said Brooke Shell, a nurse practitioner at one of the clinics and a member of Pilot Knob Missionary Baptist Church in Berea. “It was so good that they called back. It’s the church being the church. It was nice having someone other than the government help.”

Shell said that kind of giving can open gospel conversations.

“So many people hear so much negativity. That the church is greedy and always asking for money,” she said. “It’s so nice that they did this.”

And for Kentucky Disaster Relief to reach back to the clinics meant the most, Shell said. “That action alone showed so much about who they are and how they want to bless people.”

Greg Lakes, the pastor at Pilot Knob Missionary Baptist Church, said Shell is an evangelistic member who loves the Lord and giving her more opportunities to share can only be good. He was thankful for the diligence of the Kentucky Disaster Relief.

“For her to be able to say, ‘These are from Kentucky Baptists,’ that can open doors for more gospel conversations,” he said.

Webb said they wanted to do something to help with the fight against COVID-19 and knew they had some of the valuable facemasks that hospitals were needing. They collected more than 12,750 of the masks and distributed them to hospitals and clinics throughout the state. Like always, there was a need and they sought to meet it.

“We get asked all the time, ‘Why do you all do this?’ and it’s always a great opportunity to share about Christ and the gospel,” Webb said. “We’re aware of and know we plant thousands of seeds where we never see the final results. God knows. It always reminds us that God is so much greater than us.”

Webb said he remembered Disaster Relief volunteers taking the boxes of masks to the clinics in Lincoln County and how thankful the workers were to receive them.

“In our world today, the church serving the community helps tear down that stereotype that too many have,” Webb said. “It’s a perception the world seems to have of us.”


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