Eagle Pass flood relief teams see 21 professions of faith
October 23rd, 2015 / By: Jane Rodgers | TEXAN Correspondent / comments
EAGLE PASS, Texas—When flash floods submerged Eagle Pass, one resident told relief volunteers, “God is against me!” The disaster marked the fourth time his home had been flooded, and the distraught man also told volunteers about his father’s recent death and his wife’s health problems.
“We took him to a back room, prayed with and over him, and asked God’s blessing,” said Mike Benton, the SBTC Disaster Relief (DR) logistics officer during the recovery efforts. Benton noted that the man calmed down after the prayer.
“The next day, when they finished up his house, he was happy. He apologized. He explained he was just overwhelmed,” Benton said.
DR teams deployed to Eagle Pass, last week in response to flooding caused by 10 inches of rain that fell upon the area Oct. 9. Volunteers began arriving Eagle Pass on Sunday following the storm and stayed through the week to provide mud-out and clean-up units, office and kitchen units, chaplains, and assessors.
Work was concentrated in flooded homes situated along the three arroyos cutting through the city of Eagle Pass. SBTC DR efforts focused on the Seco Mines, Becos Street and Elm Creek areas, said Julian Moreno of Uvalde, SBTC DR incident leader during the deployment.
By the week’s end, mud-out and clean-up teams had worked on 36 homes. As a result of evangelism efforts, they saw 21 people make professions of faith and distributed 74 Bibles.
Sometimes Bibles wound up with the unlikeliest of recipients. Driving through a checkpoint while leaving Eagle Pass, Benton was stopped by a border patrolman requesting proof of citizenship. The officer accepted the Bible offered by Benton, who recalled, “I could see in my rearview mirror that he was looking at it.”
When DR workers knocked on the door of one home in the Seco Mines area, a young man who was obviously ill invited them inside.
“He looked yellowish and had a bloated stomach,” Moreno said. “He was weak and had been trying to pull off baseboards with a small pry bar.” Volunteers learned the man was undergoing chemotherapy.
“Physically, I do not have the strength to do what I need to do in my home,” the man said.
“He had serious medical problems,” Moreno said. “We had gotten there in time. We shared God’s word. He responded to the opportunity to accept the Lord.”
After the man had prayed to accept Christ, he asked if he could pray again.
“He bowed his head and started praying, thanking God for having sent us there to help him out at a critical and difficult time of his life,” Moreno said, noting that the man explained that his mother was a Christian who took the family to church but that he had strayed from God.
“I am coming back to the Lord,” the man said.
SBTC DR volunteers averaged 20-25 per day, some from as far away as Texarkana. Teams were housed at Quemado First Baptist Church, said Scottie Stice, SBTC director of disaster relief, who praised the church and pastor Brouning Lentz for opening their mission center to volunteers.
Stice also lauded First Baptist Church of Eagle Pass for hosting the SBTC DR operations center. “Pastor Jeff Oliver and his church were a big help to us logistically.”