Prayer, gospel make for successful Ky. Baptist Disaster Relief missions


ALEXANDRIA, La. (KT) - A day in the life of a Kentucky Baptist Disaster Relief team member includes a lot of prayer.

The group prays before they go out on a job, prays with members of the family who they helped when the job is finished and prays all together before going to bed.

“We all understand the importance of prayer and why we’re here,” he said. “It’s not just to clear trees off roofs and driveways. We’re here to share the gospel.”

Having everything bathed in prayer makes a difference, said Hampton, who is the Blue Hat, or team leader, for the chainsaw team that is assisting in Alexandria, Louisiana, which is still shellshocked by a visit from Hurricane Laura a few weeks ago.

Hurricane Delta, thankfully, skirted south and missed Alexandria, dropping only a little rain and some wind, Hampton said.

But there was enough work to be done as a result of Laura. Hampton said they still had 260 jobs to finish. Some are minor and many are major with chainsaws humming about eight hours a day. It’s a long day of hard work but nobody complains. They do the job and wait for the opportunity to share the gospel with someone who needs it more than they needed that tree branch off the top of their house.

“Everybody is so thankful that we’re helping,” Hampton said. “We let them know why we’re doing it.”

The day begins with a 6 a.m. wake-up call and breakfast at 7, followed by a short devotion. They are on the job site working by 8 a.m. Hampton said they typically shut down for the day around 4:30 or 5 p.m. From there, they are back to the home base – this time it’s Philadelphia Baptist Church – for dinner at 6 p.m. After a time of sharing and unwinding, it’s lights out around 9.

Then they do it all over again the next day. And they do it with smiles on their faces and chainsaws oiled up and ready to buzz.

Hampton hasn’t been on a mission since February when he helped get some churches restarted in the Bahamas following storm damage last September. He’s missed the friendships, the work and sharing the gospel with those he’s helped.

“Some of us were getting anxious,” he said. “It’s good to be back.”

Kentucky’s team is working with a chainsaw group from Texas, he said, and the Arkansas Disaster Relief team is doing the feeding. Hampton has no complaints, saying the food has been great and is “making us fat.”

That’s doubtful considering the work schedule they put in while on a site.

Once they had finished a job on Wednesday afternoon, they took a mud-out crew to clean out a country church that had been flood-damaged.

They don’t look for praise or thanks, just opportunities to share the gospel. The number of jobs finished is important but it doesn’t matter unless it includes how many came to know Jesus through what was done. “Bottom line, that’s why we do what we do,” Hampton said.


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