Arizona Disaster Relief serves in Florida

Jan 3, 2019

By Kay Harms

AZSBC Disaster Relief volunteer Mark Skelton removes debris in Panama City, Florida in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael.

A team of 10 Arizona Southern Baptist Disaster Relief volunteers served in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael, Nov 11-21.

The team worked with multiple feeding units in the Panama City, Fla., area.

“First, we worked for three days with a feeding unit at Hiland Park Baptist Church, where we provided meals in partnership with the Red Cross,” said team member Mark Skelton, a member of First Southern Baptist Church Sahuaro Ranch, Glendale. “On the fourth day, we packed up, and then we worked at Immanuel Baptist Church, alongside a team from Alabama, to prepare meals for the Salvation Army’s efforts.”

Although the team was involved in preparing over 50,000 meals, Skelton noted that you don’t always get to see the people who are benefiting from those efforts.

“But some of our team had the opportunity to go out on ride-alongs with the Red Cross food trucks this time,” said Skelton. “And they had the opportunity to see and interact with the people we were serving. That’s pretty humbling.”

Eight weeks past the Oct. 10 landfall of Hurricane Michael, the Arizona Southern Baptist Disaster Relief team witnessed much devastation. People were still pitching tents in yards. Debris still lined the highways awaiting pickup. And some people they encountered still had not even been permitted to return to see their homes yet.

Even though several of the Arizona team members had used vacation time from work in order to serve meals in Florida, Skelton insisted their sacrifice paled in comparison to the losses experienced by the people they were serving.

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