A team of 20 volunteers led by Sylvia Randolph, Ohio Disaster Relief Child Care Coordinator, departed Huber Heights First Baptist Church on Sunday, September 3 at approximately 8:45 a.m. Destination for the night was First Baptist Church of West Memphis, Arkansas. The team is made up of 8 Disaster Relief credentialed Chaplains, 1 Pastor, 3 nurses, and at least 3 teachers. Four lady volunteers from Michigan joined the Ohio team as they go to serve.
Before they departed, Sylvia commented on the team makeup and reminded them, while they are going with caring for children in mind, the way God has put together this team, HE may have other plans for them, so she encouraged each of the team members to be ready to do whatever God has prepared for them. With that said, Chaplain Coordinator Nick Freeman led the team in prayer and off they went.
Ohio teams normally travel in two twelve passenger vans owned by the ministry. This time, however, David Winchester, Ohio Disaster Relief Food Service Coordinator and employee of All-Ways Trans Plus Charter Bus Company, secured a 55 passenger bus for the team to travel in. Winchester, who is a member of Lincoln Heights Baptist Church in Mansfield, is known for his generosity and for thinking how best to care for the volunteers he works with.
Tom Puskar of The Ashland Times Gazette newspaper wrote an article about this team on September 1 in which he quoted owner of the bus company, Don Way as saying, “We had an agreement” and that agreement was simple: if Disaster Relief called, Winchester should go and provide assistance. “I’m just tickled to death that I have someone to work on this,” Way said.
A telephone update on the traveling team noted an encouraging word from Nick Freeman, prompted them to make a stop for supplies. Freeman suggested if they were not prepared, they may consider purchasing an eye cover for sleeping because the lights may stay on all night. Also, bug repellant may be a good item to have handy, as well as extra batteries, flashlights, etc. The team visited a local Walmart store while Winchester fueled up the bus.
Also of importance, Sylvia’s husband Larry, who is driving the van with the child care trailer and equipment, is celebrating his birthday on Monday, September 4. Clarification on his age was not apparent, although some joked he is a little older than dirt. I’m not sure that is so true, however, I am sure his age doesn’t get in the way of his work for the Lord. Larry is well known for his use of the Evange-cube when sharing his love for Jesus. He has recorded over 100 salvations through his work with the Holy Spirit each of the last four years.
The team will reach Texas on Monday and get their assignment to care for children or whatever God has planned for them.