Samaritan's Purse

Jacksonville College Students Minister Following Hurricane

October 18th, 2017 / By: Texan Staff / comments

From removing sheetrock to demolishing cabinets to handing out food, four teams of Jacksonville College students, faculty and staff volunteered to serve residents of southeast Texas who were overwhelmed by Hurricane Harvey’s wind and rain. A week after the storm made landfall, over 100 students and employees trained to serve with the Disaster Relief ministry of the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention.

Randy Decker, director of the JC music program, took members of the choir to Conroe where they removed sheetrock and appliances, cleared walls of wet insulation, managed cabinet demolition and applied mildewcide.

“Things get real in a hurry,” Decker said. “There are no barriers when you are meeting people in desperate need. These homeowners look you in the eye. They want to thank you, they want to hug you, they want to cry with you and they want to pray with you. It is intense and it is tremendously satisfying,” he said, calling it a life-changing ministry experience.

A second team of choir students headed for Spring Baptist Church to serve two locations in Houston where they removed wet carpet, pads and furniture amidst hot and humid conditions. Other students helped sort food being distributed from the church. The students sang in the streets in the residential areas where they were working, as well as before each meal at the church and for church services.

A group of men’s basketball students led by assistant coach Louis Truscott and JC president Mike Smith were the next to volunteer in Houston. Originally from Houston, Truscott said, “Seeing the damage as we were driving into the disaster area was unbelievable. It was like seeing a war zone.”

A fourth team headed to Port Arthur led by Academic Dean Marolyn Welch and her husband, Lee who serves as executive director of missions for Dogwood Trails Baptist Association.

“God has transformed the lives of those receiving aid,” said Smith, “and he has most certainly transformed every life that has taken part in the recovery effort. Sometimes it is during the most difficult times that we can see God’s goodness and grace most clearly. This is one of those times.”

Jacksonville College is owned and operated by the Baptist Missionary Association of Texas and is affiliated with the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention.