Helping Hands


Proverbs 11:25-“Whoever brings a blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered.”

      Last year on March 31st, a tornado came through Wynne, Arkansas and tore a path through the town and left devastation that has caused hundreds of families to be without a home. We have been down to this city a number of times and have been constructing small homes at low cost to put people back into a place of shelter. There are still around 100 families that do not have a home any longer and are patiently waiting for volunteers to come and do what they can to bring about a solution to their crisis.

       Many of these folks are elderly or have no skills to help themselves. Most had little or no insurance coverage for the storm that hit them. When we go down with a group of people we try to get some volunteers that have never done this before to join us. Without exception it has a transforming impact on their lives. Their intention is to come and be a blessing to those that are hurting, but just as the text for this message says, they return home feeling blessed beyond measure and enriched in their walk with Christ.

      On one occasion I invited a co-worker to join our church group to go to Pearlington, Mississippi and help after Hurricane Katrina hit. He said to me, “Let me get this straight. We are going to drive across the entire United States, from north to south, and work on homes for nothing?” I responded to him, “Oh, it gets better than that. We are going to pay for the materials as well.” He looked at me in disbelief. As we invested into the lives of the people in Pearlington, God broke his heart for those folks. He came home a different person. He got a group of men together and made a trip down to Pearlington with them. Those men were so transformed that they came home and started a non-profit organization called ‘Helping Hands’ and did disaster relief in various places that had catastrophes hit them.

      Early in my walk with Christ I had the opportunity to go to South Florida and help the victims of Hurricane Andrew with my oldest son. I developed a camaraderie with some men in Homestead. As I was visiting with them early one morning I noticed a fellow standing in the distance. I asked the men who that fellow was? They said, “Oh, that’s old ‘Chickenfoot’.” I walked over to the man and introduced myself. After some small talk I said to him, “Chickenfoot, if this hurricane had taken you with it, do you know where you would spend eternity?” He looked at me and responded, ”Oh, how I wish I could know that.” I told him that scripture says that we can know. I said, ”I wish I could show you in a Bible but I have given them all away. Even my own Bible I have given to a man.” He reached into his shirt pocket and pulled out a Gideon’s New Testament and said, ”My momma gave this to me years ago but I have never been able to read it.” I asked Chickenfoot if he could read and he said, “Very well, it just never made sense to me.” I opened it up to I John 5:11-13 and had him read it to me. Slowly and succinctly he read,” And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.“ I said to Chickenfoot,” You can know beyond a shadow of a doubt that you have eternal life. Do you want that assurance?” He looked at me with earnest desire and said,”Absolutely.” We got on our knees and he cried out to God in repentance and faith, asking Christ to change him and fill him with His Spirit. Chickenfoot walked away from that spot clinging tightly to the testament that his momma had given him years before. He had a new appreciation for God’s Word and I had a renewed trust in my Lord and Savior who is in the life changing business.

      We need to realize that God does not need us to transform a life. But, He has chosen to use us. Acts 17:24-25 tells us, ”“The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands. And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else.“ Romans 10:13-15 Explains our role in the sharing of the Gospel. It says, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”“ What a marvelous opportunity we have to be used by God to bring the good news of salvation to a world that is hurting and in despair.

      No matter what the circumstance is we must remember that as believers in Christ we have the hope that people going through these difficult times need. In 2023 we made a number of trips to Hazard, Kentucky to help flood victims. The pastor at the church we stayed at in that city told us that after the last time we were down, 6 people came to faith in Christ and were baptized because of the love and care that was shown to them by the people that had taken time to come and invest in their lives or the lives of loved ones. Hazard was flooded on July 27th, 2022 when 16 inches of rain fell in 4 hours.

      If you have never been on a short term mission trip, it would be worth your while to consider going on one. Pray about it and God will lead you to an opportunity that you can use the gifts and talents that He has given to you to encourage and bring hope to folks that find themselves locked in desperate situations. The joy that God brings to the ones that sacrifice a week or two of their busy lives to give of their time and resources is truly enriching and fulfilling. If you feel you have no gifts or talents to offer or your strength is diminished, consider it anyway. There are always those that need someone to talk to or are in need of prayer or even an arm around their shoulder. As we start work on a home in the morning, we try to pray with the family and we ask them how we can pray specifically for them. Time and again it brings tears to their eyes to hear that we want to pray for them in strategic ways because we have a God that answers prayer specifically. If your heart is open to serving in this way but circumstances just will not allow you to take part in an endeavor like this, please pray for those that can go. Pray that God will provide the resources to make it happen and that their efforts would be rewarded, not only with the gratification it brings, but also with the treasures in heaven that can be stored up by the souls that can be won as God touches their lives through your prayers, as well as the efforts of the workers. As God opens up opportunities for you to help people, we must do them as a natural outflow of gratitude and appreciation for what Christ has done for us. God has orchestrated these occasions and will continue to do so as we yield to His calling. Ephesians 2:10 tells us, ”For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.“ I want to leave you with a verse from Hebrews 6:10. Your labor will not go unnoticed. It says, ”God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them.“ If God is tugging at your heart right now and you might consider investing into the lives of those that are in dire need, please contact us. We have many organizations that we have worked with in the past and we could line you up to go with us or organize a group yourself. May we always be ready to share the hope that we have in Christ with a world that is hurting.