Alabama ERT BLOG
Lt. to rt.: Jim Haney, John White, regular ERT members were joined by Ken Rose and Chuck Hermann, Rochester, MN FD, Lance Snider, Rancho Cucamonga, CA FD and David Ledwitz, Prosper, TX FD at the Birmingham, Alabama airport on May 5th.
They have been given wonderful accommodations at the First Wesleyan Church in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. It has become a staging area for disaster relief and portable showers for victims of the April 27 tornado that devastated the city and killed or injured hundreds. Only one block away from the mile-wide path of the “history making tornado,” the church escaped damage to its facilities. The First Wesleyan parishioners immediately responded to the needs of their community. At this point there are hundreds of lives lost and countless numbers that are injured and homeless. Large blocks of homes and communities have been wiped off the map. Terry Jacobs, a line captain with the Tuscaloosa FD and volunteer chaplain is directing the team's activities today.
"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort." 2 Corinthians 1:3
Please pray that the team will be used to bring God's comfort to those who are suffering.
Yesterday FFC guys worked with two professional tree cutters ministering with Samaritan's Purse in Alberta, Tuscaloosa. On one location, they cut this four foot diameter tree which was hanging over a house and blocking the road.
In the evening, the Lord gave them great fellowship with the USRA Task Force 3 from Shreveport, Louisiana. Their chief and staff are strong Christians and members of FFC, who meet regularly for prayer. Time was also spent with firefighters from New Orleans, who are interested in starting a FFC Chapter. All this took place because of an invitation by the Chaplain of the Tuscaloosa FD. He wanted the guys to watch a University of Alabama and LSU baseball game and join other relief workers for a Cajun barbecue dinner. They met Chief Ken Horst of the Tuscaloosa Fire Department, whose men they are working with today. During a TV interview, John White was asked what was most important to him. He said a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. He shared how anyone, who puts their trust in Jesus Christ and lives their life for Him, can experience Jesus' joy and peace.
This morning Chuck Hermann brought their morning devotion from 1 John 3:11-20. "Dear children, let us stop just saying we love each other; let us really show it by our actions. It is by our actions that we know we are living in the truth, so we will be confident when we stand before the Lord, even if our hearts condemn us. For God is greater than our hearts, and He knows everything." Join us in thanking the Lord for bringing California, Nevada, Minnesota, Texas, North Carolina, and Louisiana FFC members to Alabama to demonstrate His great love!
"And we are sure that God, who began the good work within them, will continue His work until it is finally finished on that day when Christ Jesus comes back again." Philippians 1:6
On Saturday, FFC's ERT team was privilege to work with members of the Tuscaloosa Fire Department.
"Wish you were here," says Chuck Herman. "Our team had many prayer moments with firefighters as we rode out with them today. PTL."
This was a two story senior citizen retirement complex. John White said, "It looks like the buildings were put in a giant mix-master and spit out. I've never seen this much devastation. Landmarks are gone. One fire crew wasn't quite sure where they were yesterday because the woods that use to be in a particular place were no longer there. In its place stood a white building that came from somewhere."
Today (Sunday) Jim Haney led devotions from Colossians 1:7-14. "Epaphras, our much loved co-worker, was the one who brought you the Good News. He is Christ's faithful servant, and he is helping us in your place. He is the one who told us about the great love for others that the Holy Spirit has given you. So we have continued praying for you ever since we heard about you. We ask God to give you a complete understanding of what He wants to do in your lives, and we ask Him to make you wise with spiritual wisdom. Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and you will continually do good, kind things for others. All the while, you will learn to know God better and better. We also pray that you will be strengthened with His glorious power so that you will have all the patience and endurance you need. May you be filled with joy, always thanking the Father, who has enabled you to share the inheritance that belongs to God's holy people, who live in the light. For He has rescued us from the one who rules in the kingdom of darkness, and He has brought us into the Kingdom of His dear Son. God has purchased our freedom with His blood and has forgiven all our sins."
This morning, some of the team attended Sunday School. Others prayed with church members and all will join the worship service of the wonderful church, where they have been eating, showering and sleeping. This afternoon they hope to help a man from the church and this evening the Tuscaloosa FD has invited them to a special catfish fry. Upon their return, we are hoping that a few more team members will be able to write their stories of how they are seeing the Lord work in and through their lives. Thank you for praying!