NAPLES, Fla. – Jo Campbell climbed onto her bed as Hurricane Ian pushed saltwater into her home. The water rose higher and higher. One foot. Two feet. Three feet, just below the top of her bed.
Fortunately for Jo, that’s where the water stopped. It took two days for it to recede. Everything in her home below the three feet mark was ruined.
Shortly after, TBM Disaster Relief volunteers arrived to help Campbell. The flood recovery team removed wet sheetrock, flooring and furniture. Then they disinfected the home, preparing it to be rebuilt.
“You talk about a godsend, and they are such sweethearts,” Jo said of the TBM volunteers at her house. “It was such a mess. I had things up on tables, but the water came in so fast that it knocked the tables over so everything I was trying to protect was floating.”
Jo, who has relatives in Texas, expressed astonishment at the willingness of “these people to come in and volunteer their time. You know, it’s somebody else’s junk they are having to go through. It was such a blessing, and the prayers are very nice; they help a lot.”
Time and again TBM volunteers delivered help, hope and healing to people in their most difficult days in 2022. In the first six months of the year, the ministry responded to more disasters than it did in all of 2021. This year, TBM volunteers served after:
- Tornadoes in six Texas cities
- Wildfires in two Texas counties as well as one each in New Mexico and Colorado
- Five months of ministry in Poland and Ukraine in the midst of a refugee crisis created by the Russian invasion of Ukraine
- An elementary school shooting in Uvalde
- Flooding in Eastern Kentucky as well as the Dallas-Fort Worth area
- Hurricane Ian in Florida
TBM’s holistic approach to ministry follow’s Christ’s model of meeting needs and sharing the gospel. Whether serving in Poland or Taylor, Texas, TBM volunteers travel to locations where disasters have occurred and serve long hours for free. They provide thousands of meals a day. They clean out flooded homes. They remove fallen trees and limbs.
As they do, the volunteers connect with the people they’re serving. They encourage survivors and often get to pray with people. Inevitably, a homeowner will ask why a volunteer left the comfort of their home to volunteer. The answer is simple.
“Our mission comes straight from the Bible,” said TBM Executive Director/CEO Mickey Lenamon. “We help people take the gospel into communities across Texas and around the world. We love others because God loved us. He changed our lives, and we see Him changing lives after disasters year after year.”
TBM volunteers have responded to every natural and manmade disaster in Texas, most across the United States and many around the world since 1967. The ministry has more than 100 pieces of equipment strategically positioned across the state to respond at a moment’s notice, including mobile kitchens, chainsaw units, fire/flood recovery units, mobile shower/laundry units and more.
“Tragically, disasters happen,” Lenamon said. “We know this. God is calling His people to respond each time with His compassion and love for the hurting. Through TBM, your church and church members are doing just that.”