El Paso—Torrential storms dumped over 5 inches of rain on northeastern El Paso in just over four hours on Sept. 22, the National Weather Service reported. The downpour brought flash flooding to areas already saturated by September storms, claiming the life of one victim who drowned in her vehicle.
Southern Baptists of Texas Convention Disaster Relief volunteers responded to the emergency quickly. A team of four clean out and recovery specialists led by Monte Furrh of Bonham arrived in the El Paso area on Sept. 24, commencing work the next day.
“Many people got the water out of their homes pretty quickly,” Furrh said. “We helped take out sheetrock and treated affected areas for mold.”
“We were the only work crew there,” Furrh said, noting the Red Cross provided the SBTC team with referrals.
SBTC volunteers completed nine work orders on seven homes before leaving the area on Sept. 27. They had hoped to do more.
“One lady in particular really needed our help,” Furrh recalled. “She was 5 feet tall and said the water had risen to her waist. She had a 9-month-old baby, and her husband was away in the military.”
Unfortunately, the woman rented the home and the owners would not approve the work order.
“A company owned many of the rental homes, and representatives would not sign releases permitting us to work,” Furrh said.
Although efforts seemed hampered at times, this did not stop the team from engaging in spiritual conversations. At least 15 spiritual contacts occurred, DR off-site coordinator Daniel White posted on Facebook and Twitter.
“One man saw from my truck that I was from Bonham,” Furrh stated. The man’s parents had lived in Bonham, and the conversation resulted in Furrh’s sharing the gospel.
“I told him we were not out there just doing good deeds. I already had my salvation,” Furrh said, before explaining the plan of salvation.
In addition to Furrh, SBTC DR volunteers trekking over 700 miles to El Paso included Elmer Reedy, Mike Phillips and Ron Duzenack.
Cielo Vista Church in El Paso hosted the volunteers.