Disaster Relief helps Golden Valley seniors in need
By Irene A. Harkelroad | Sep 6, 2022
A Disaster Relief volunteer on their knees could be praying, or they could be the answer to prayer.
From Aug. 12-15, Arizona Southern Baptist Disaster Relief volunteers served in Golden Valley helping Julie*, an 80-year-old widow whose home was ravaged by monsoon flooding.
There was no standing water in her home, but a river of mud ripped through the house, destroying floors, furniture and walls. All the carpet, flooring, baseboards and lots of sheetrock needed to be removed.
Alan and Brenda Anderson, Arizona Southern Baptist Disaster Relief volunteers from Challenge Church in Flagstaff, assessed the job and Dave and Sue Cook, Disaster Relief volunteers from Calvary Baptist Church in Lake Havasu City, led the team.
“Julie was still grieving her late husband,” said Sue, who serves as a Disaster Relief chaplain. “This was tough for her. We loved on her and prayed with her often.”
Dave added, “Every day, we made sure she knew what the team was doing, and why we were doing it. We saw God working in her heart.”
Julie’s belongings could not be moved outside due to intermittent rain.
To remove the carpet, the room had to be split in half, everything moved to one side, the carpet cut down the middle and rolled up. The process was repeated for the other half of the room.
“The tile floor in the dining room didn’t need to come up,” Sue said, “but cleaning that muddy tile took most of the day. We made sure it was shining when we left.”
The first two days, Charlene Crouch (First Southern Baptist Church of Kingman) helped with the cleanup. On the third day, Pastor John Ramos (FSBC Kingman), Carl and Diana Jenno (Calvary, Lake Havasu City) and Roy Granlund (Golden Valley Baptist Church) joined the crew.
Dean Stanley, senior pastor of Golden Valley Baptist Church provided lodging in the church’s new parsonage and invited team members to speak about Arizona Southern Baptist Disaster Relief on Sunday morning. After the service, Roy volunteered to help.
Julie’s neighbor cared for her dog throughout the process and continues to check on her.
On Aug. 18, the team deployed to Golden Valley again and met with Stanley to assess the damage at the home of Jim* and Judy*, an elderly couple with mobility issues and no family.
The first day, Sue spent about an hour just visiting and chatting with them. They were excited when the team offered to pray for them.
The couple started calling the team “the God People.”
Water damage in their home was due to a significant roof leak over one room. The team secured the roof with a tarp to keep the couple dry until the insurance company could take care of that issue, then spent the next three days moving furnishings to a covered porch, ripping down the ceiling, tearing up the carpet and cleaning the area.
“The second day, we talked a little more about God,” Sue said. “The third day, I had the heart-to- heart, [asking] ‘Do you know God? This is what heaven is like … would you like to go there?’”
Judy said she was a Christian, but Jim said he wasn’t ready to accept Christ. “He said, ‘Maybe there is a place for me there yet. I’m just not ready,’” Sue said.
“You never know,” Dave said. “He was chewing on our words. God will work in his heart.”
Together, Dave and Jim checked out some other issues in the home to put Jim’s mind at ease. They discovered a plumbing leak under the kitchen that was damaging the floor. They agreed a plumber was necessary and determined what was required to fix the leak.
“We were blessed to be able to help these people,” Dave said, “and they were grateful we were there.”
As a member of Voluntary Organizations Assisting in Disasters (VOAD), Arizona Southern Baptist Disaster Relief coordinated with Mohave County Emergency Management to provide crucial services and compassionate care to people who had no way of helping themselves.
Irene A. Harkleroad, a freelance writer living in Carefree, is a member of Black Mountain Baptist Church, Cave Creek.