Have Wheels, Will Serve!
In February of 2013 members of First Presbyterian received a powerful demonstration of God’s faithfulness to provide when his people answer his call. Literally on the eve of the 2013 Bible and Missionary Conference, themed “Calling: Every Member on Mission,” Mission to North America delivered a 20-foot trailer to use in church disaster response efforts.
When Mission to North America announced last summer that it would be providing a trailer to a church that demonstrated a commitment to disaster response projects, ruling elder and disaster relief team member Gerald Killian took the initiative to complete an extensive application process. Once the time for awarding the trailer had passed, however, everyone assumed First Pres was out of the running.
Billy English, ruling elder and head of the FPC disaster response team, said “The Lord began to lay on my heart to do this type of ministry at last year’s missions conference.” In September the team started making contact with MNA about doing disaster response projects in the states. Then in December the team was mobilized to serve in New York following Hurricane Sandy. “I cannot describe that week we had in New York—not only serving people who lost almost everything they owned, but sharing the gospel with many we came in contact with,” English said.
Following the work in New York, Pastor George Robertson received a heartfelt letter from one of the families the team helped that week in Breezy Point. Tom Niebling and Kevin Ryan wrote, “When we were unsure what to do we approached the volunteer contact person to borrow some tools. He then told us to wait a brief while and he assured us that he would send some volunteers to help. He did not only send volunteers, but what Kevin and I considered to be God’s Angels. These wonderful gentlemen not only worked on our mother-in-law’s home as if it were their own, but did so with such cheerfulness and occasional laughter that it was an absolute joy to work with them.”
The trailer provided by MNA will enable the team to deploy much faster and with more tools and provisions the next time help is needed. English said, “I am very excited about this gift.” Glenn Pressley, Southeast Coordinator with MNA, had contacted English two weeks earlier saying he would like to set up a meeting to discuss future mission trips in the spring. “When we arrived for the meeting on Friday (March 1), he surprised us with the work trailer for our disaster response ministry,” English said.
“This was better than one of those sweepstakes awards when they show up at someone’s house with a new car,” Dr. Robertson said, “because this gift is going to bless hundreds of families for the Kingdom, not just one. You can’t out give God! I thank my brothers and sisters at MNA for being agents of God’s blessing to us, and through us, the world.”
English said, “This gift indicates to me the Lord’s desire for us to serve him in developing a disaster response ministry. When he calls us into serving him he provides the means and resources to do the work.”