BOWIE—Two days after a tornado stormed through Bowie, the town of 5,000 was quiet on a Sunday afternoon. Residents worked diligently to remove fallen limbs and sort through debris, knowing they have a long process ahead of them.
But they are not facing the challenge alone. Residents see the men and women in yellow shirts serving across the city as godsends—literally.
Responding to God’s call to minister to people after disasters such as this tornado, Texas Baptist Men chainsaw, feeding and shower units continue responding to needs after a storm damaged 200 homes and affected 50 businesses.
TBM chainsaw teams from Collin and Denton Counties are going house to house clearing and removing fallen trees, many of them over 25 feet tall and three feet in diameter. The teams prioritize the most vulnerable residents such as senior citizens and people with health issues.
The TBM Rapid Response Feeding Unit also is in Bowie providing free meals. On Sunday, volunteers offered hamburgers, chicken sandwiches and sides.
In days to come, they will continue serving the community. A TBM shower unit also is in use in Bowie. TBM teams are headquartered at First Baptist Church in Bowie.
“In some of the toughest days of people’s lives, we’re offering help, hope and healing,” said TBM Chief Executive Officer Mickey Lenamon. “Our teams provide an extra hand in removing a tree, a warm meal and prayer. We try to remind people that God loves them.”
Working through increasingly hot, humid afternoons, volunteers are unphased by the weather. No matter how hard the task in front of them, they continue to smile through arduous projects. They encourage one another and homeowners.
As some team members work on trees, other volunteers use the time to get to know residents better, offering prayer and giving survivors an opportunity to decompress from what they’ve experienced.
“Going through a disaster affects a person on multiple levels,” Lenamon said. “It impacts a person physically, emotionally and spiritually. We seek to meet people’s needs on each of those levels, as Jesus modeled for us in the New Testament.”
To support TBM disaster relief financially, click here to make an online donation, or mail checks designated “disaster relief” to Texas Baptist Men, 5351 Catron Drive, Dallas, Texas 75227. All donations made to TBM disaster relief support disaster relief ministries.