Pillar Members Cary and Amy Taylor recently participated in the disaster relief effort for flooding in WV. They serve as chaplains in support of Samaritan’s Purse and I asked them to write up a few notes to share their experience with others. Below is an excerpt they share:
“Amy & I deployed to Charleston, WV as chaplains for the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team for the week of July 31 – August 7, partnering with Samaritan’s Purse to help flood victims. Our mission as chaplains was to bring emotional and spiritual care to the community while sharing the love of Jesus. We felt a burden for the pastors and wanted to pray with them but had been unable to contact them until Friday. After 2 homeowner visits where Samaritan’s Purse was cleaning up their home, we stopped to pick up a lunch at the Church of the Nazarene and parked in the deserted Methodist Church parking lot. We spied a car in the pastor’s driveway, so we went to see if we could find him. Pastor Scott Ferguson had just finished a call with his insurance agent since his other car had been rear-ended and he was waiting for someone to come to discuss repairs to the church. He gave us a tour of the basement of his church and then we gathered to pray for him. His request was that his congregation did not lose faith. In addition, our prayer was that he and his church would bring revival to the community and be part of a revival of West Virginia. Before leaving, I took a picture of Amy, Pastor Ferguson, and Cosmo, the outdoor kitty who escaped the floods by climbing a tree and has since been renamed Miracle.
Later, we went to visit Pastor Joe Seese of First Baptist in Clendenin. At the same time, Pastor Jesse Waggoner of Mount Calvary Baptist of Charleston (the host church for Samaritan’s Purse and Billy Graham during the disaster) came to visit as well. So, we had the opportunity to pray for both pastors before continuing with our homeowner visits.
Our visits with homeowners frequently went well over an hour and frequently covered several significant crises in their lives. The hardest part of the deployment for me was when a homeowner’s brother and I both wept over his relationship with his sister. By the end of the week, Amy was physically exhausted and I was developing compassion fatigue, it was getting hard listening to homeowners’ heartbreaking stories.”
I am thankful for how the Taylor’s consistently bear the burdens of others both in our congregation and in communities where they go to serve.
Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.
(Galatians 6:2 ESV)