Monday, March 17, 2008


I am returning early (two funerals) from FBC Deweyville, TX, where First Baptist Church of Farmersville wraps up its second mission trip of the year (of six planned this year) on Wednesday. Deweyville lies just across the Sabine River from Louisiana, out in the country. The nearest urban center is Orange, TX.

Upon arriving in Deweyville, I was a little dismayed to discover that my cell phone didn't work there. Also, there was no wi-fi in the church gymnasium where we were staying, and the office only had a dial-up Internet connection. Our entire team was a little bummed out to learn that we would be several days without cell phone service.

Then, late this morning, I spent a while visiting with the Associate Pastor of FBC Deweyville. After Hurricane Rita passed through the area, Deweyville was without ELECTRICITY for TWO MONTHS.

That little revelation put things into perspective for me.

Speaking of perspective, I hope that the victims of Hurricane Rita haven't dropped out of yours. FBC Farmersville's first mission trip of the year was to Waveland, MS, where we continue to fulfill our ongoing commitment to serving the victims of Hurricane Katrina. Members of FBC Farmersville were on the ground at Houston's Reliant Astrodome to serve Katrina victims just days after the storm, and these fine people whom I love continue to serve the victims of Katrina.

But don't forget about the victims of Hurricane Rita in Deep East Texas. Our crew is repairing a home near Kirbyville that was bisected by a fallen tree. Meanwhile, this afternoon, our children gathered fallen limbs into a burn pile near an elderly woman's mobile home in Deweyville. More than two years after the storms these residences remain uninhabitable, their residents stuck in limbo until someone will help them overcome the storm's havoc.

Don't stop a thing that you are doing to help Katrina victims, but do you think that your church might be able to add some volunteers or resources to assist the victims of Hurricane Rita as well? If so, I commend to you the fine folks at Nehemiah's Vision. Our church was able to be present at FBC Vidor last Sunday night as Nehemiah's Vision celebrated their 500th residence repaired since Rita. FBCF has helped with six of those houses. Your church can help, too.


Tim Guthrie said...

Great to hear the report. One cool thing I have learned recently is the fact that many in Louisiana (the one place I have heard of) are going on disaster relief to other parts of the country in ways just like you guys are doing down there.

That too me is just incredible!

Just finished two funerals today myself - praying for you during the two!

Jack Maddox said...


If I had to go that long without my Macbook
and My ITouch I would need therapy!

Now if it was simply a PC...that would be a blessing!

Good word on the work!


Geoff Baggett said...


Just a reminder as to how time flies ... Rita was in '05, almost 2 1/2 years ago. Not last year. :)

I remember because I was staying at Dauphin Island Baptist Church in Alabama and doing mud-out in Pascagoula from Katrina. The storm surge from Rita overran the causeway to the island and we were stranded there for a while.

But a good word, indeed. Our little 6-year-old church has deployed eight teams to Mississippi and Louisiana in relief of Katrina. I also served in Port Arthur in the summer of '06, so I saw the work of Rita first-hand.

Bart Barber said...


I looked back to correct wherever I said that the hurricanes were last year, but couldn't find it. It is still early and I've been going since 4 am, so I may have missed it. Can you direct me to my error? Or do I misread your emoticon?

Geoff Baggett said...


I was just referring to this statement, "Last year, after Hurricane Rita passed through the area, Deweyville was without ELECTRICITY for TWO MONTHS."

I had a similar conversation with one of my daughters not too long ago. She kept talking about the hurricanes and going "last year." As we sorted out the time line, it was hard to believe that over two years have actually passed. The memories of our service there remain so vivid.

That's all I was talking about ... how time gets away from old folk like you and me. ;)

Bart Barber said...

Thanks for the help, Geoff. Found it.

Bart Barber said...

Now that the grammar and facts are straight:

I'm thankful for the teams from your church that are hard at work to help people affected by these storms. I'm sure thankful for the calmer hurricane seasons since then!

Tim Rogers said...

Brother's Bart and Geoff,

You do realize that Rita on the heels of Katrina is a sign of global warming, don't you?


Great reports from both of you. Bart, thanks for the link to the Nehemiah Project.


Dave Miller said...

We are going this year to the gulf coast for the third straight year. We have served in Mississippi and are going to New Orleans this year. Katrina hit the day after I became pastor here in Sioux City (I do not think the two events were related).

When we toured New Orleans last year, I was shocked at the disrepair. Who would have believed that this long after a hurricane, things would still be as messed up as they are? I would have thought our government and social agencies would have things pretty much back to normal by now.

The government has been exposed as impotent against such tragedies. Other social agencies have come and gone and accomplished little. Insurance companies and financial institutes have accomplished little. The worst of human depravity has been clearly in evidence.

But up and down the gulf coast, it is the church of Jesus Christ that shines the brightest. The faithful service of God's people has done what government and politicians have been unable to do. Thousands of people are living in their homes because of volunteer groups from churches all over the country have pitched in.

And among the volunteer groups, Southern Baptists have been, perhaps, the most effective.

So, say what you want about the SBC, and I do believe we have some problems. But in the nation's crisis, we have been there.

I hope we will continue to be there until the job is done.

stuart said...

Thank you all for your commitments to the Gulf Coast. We've come a long way, but there is still so much more to be done.