By Brian Blackwell, Baptist Message staff writer
ALEXANDRIA, La. (LBM) – While refueling at an Alexandria gasoline station, Aug. 26, Disaster Relief volunteer James Irvine struck up a conversation with a young man who inquired about a job with the organization.
Instead of securing employment, Justin left with something far better than a job opportunity … he left with a relationship with Christ.
Irvine, who along with LBDR Strategist Stan Statham, prayed with Justin onsite as he gave his life over to the Lord. It served as a reminder that all Christ followers should look for opportunities to share the ‘good news’ found in the Lord.
“Anytime you can lead someone to the Lord it’s an awesome experience, Irvine told the Baptist Message. “On that day the timing was right, and he was ready to change his life for the Lord. A lot of people miss those opportunities but when it is there you must step up and allow the person to either accept or reject Christ. I’m so excited Justin was willing to turn to Jesus right then and there.”
Statham, who has maintained contact with Justin for discipleship and to help him get connected with a local church, said the incident served as a reminder of the ultimate purpose of disaster relief.
“This is a perfect example of how Southern Baptists work together for God’s glory,” Statham said. “We were taking a mud out trailer from the Carey Association to a crew in Shreveport, that had volunteers from across the state responding to help with the Kentucky flood clean-up effort.”
Since early August, more than 30 LBDR team members from around the state have responded to areas impacted by recent severe flooding in Kentucky and Missouri. At least 37 have died from the flooding in Kentucky and two more deaths were reported in St. Louis.
And, LBDR has sent $10,000 to help Mississippi Baptists purchase bottled water for distribution to residents of Jackson, who have been without clean water since the entire municipal water system experienced a major pressure loss in late August.
Statham encouraged Louisiana Baptist to consider giving to these ongoing DR efforts.
“When we have funds, we can respond immediately to needs,” Statham said. “Those needs shift, sometimes daily. Financial gifts really do go a long way to helping others who need the love of Christ.”
For more information on giving to DR efforts, call 318.448.3402 or visit https://louisianabaptists.org/about/teams/missions-ministry/disaster-relief/.