Disaster relief work yields more than dry houses

WAPELLO, Iowa?During a June deployment to Iowa, disaster relief volunteer and unit leader Herman Johnson of Onalaska had a chance to help clean more than a flooded home.

Having received an assignment from Pastor Dan Doolin of the Solid Rock Baptist Church in Wapello, Johnson and fellow team members Jack Wilkins from the Pine Forest Baptist Church in Onalaska and Bill James of the Harmony Hills Baptist Church in Lufkin were eager to serve and help with the mud-out efforts in the region ravaged by June floods.

Johnson met with the homeowner, Dale Thompson, about the cleaning needs of the house but soon discovered Thompson had a greater need than his house being cleaned. As Johnson questioned Thompson about his relationship with Christ he discovered Thompson was unsaved.

Johnson told Thompson that everybody in his family was saved and were members of a Baptist church, to which Thompson readily declared, “I just don’t want to be a Baptist.”

Undaunted, Johnson took several occasions to share the “Hope In Crisis” tract with Thompson.
The tract, published by the North American Mission Board specifically for disaster victims, eventually turned Thompson’s bearded face into a stream of heart-born tears.

Johnson later told his pastor, “I used the Roman Road verses you just showed us how to use. I had them marked and knew how to explain each verse. When I asked Dale if he was ready to let Jesus clean his life and save his soul, his answer was immediate. I used the DR tract and we prayed the sinner’s prayer.”

Reflecting with his pastor, Johnson continued, “I guess Jesus sent us to a flooded Iowa to help Dale for the rest of eternity.”

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