The Lord’s Hay

The Lord’s Hay

By John Heading, director. Ohio Disaster Relief

In Ohio Disaster Relief (OHDR), as in life, sometimes God meets our needs before we even know we have a need. 

When Florida Disaster Relief donated a heavy duty pickup truck to Ohio Disaster Relief in February 2024, we didn’t know what God had in mind. 

However, in March, after the massive wildfires in the Texas panhandle, a call went out  to DR groups across the SBC from the Southern Baptist of Texas Convention for hay. Texas farmers had suffered great loss in the fires. The Smokehouse Creek Fire burned approximately 1.75 million acres of land and farmers lost nearly 75,000 head of cattle. 

The first issue was finding hay. OHDR volunteer Randy Sparks, First Baptist Heath, connected OHDR to Danny Anderson, a farmer in eastern Ohio, who was eager to help. He agreed to donate hay; he loaned OHDR his gooseneck trailer and recruited an additional farmer to donate more hay. These bales of hay aren’t the ones most people know about--they can weigh over 1,000 pounds each.

Pulling an 8,000 pound gooseneck trailer that’s carrying 15,000 pounds of hay takes a truck especially equipped for the task. The donated truck from Florida met every requirement! God met our needs before we knew we had a need. We would not have been able to take the first load of hay to Texas without that truck. 

On the first trip to deliver the hay to Canadian, Texas, OHDR veteran volunteers Dale Patterson and Randy Sparks had a safe and problem-free trip.

However, as they prepared to drive home, they discovered a flat tire.

After trading out the spare tire for the flat tire Patterson and Sparks headed out. Hours later, the truck blew  both tires on the rear left. They used the spare tire from the trailer and traveled to a tire shop in Joplin, Missouri, where the shop had the exact two tires they needed. God provided for another need.

The expenses for the first hay deployment totaled nearly $2000. Ohio Disaster Relief received $2000 in donations during the first 14 days of March. God supplied our need.

When God provides, He finishes the job. The need for hay in Texas is immense so farmers in eastern Ohio wanted to donate another 34 bales. OHDR leadership decided to hire a commercial carrier to take the extra-large load. 

Ohio DR volunteer Mike Monroe, Urbancrest Baptist Church, connected OHDR with Justin Tall, a member of Urbancrest Baptist Church, Lebanon, and works for Total Quality Logistics (TQL), a large transport company in Cincinnati. TQL quoted $3500 to ship the load to Texas and OHDR hired them for the job. 

Later that same day, Tall called and shared that his company wanted to invest in the work of Disaster Relief and would deliver the hay for free. The need was $3500, and once again, God provided.

This deployment is another example of God at work. He provided for the needs before they arrived. God doesn’t call us to do things unprepared. He gifts us to serve and provides for the needs through his people in the local church. Praise the Lord, and Thank you, Ohio Baptists!

Wildfires in the Texas panhandle scorched over one million acres of farmland. 

Veteran Ohio DR volunteer Dale Patterson