Doing God's work - Volunteers come together to feed those in need after storm

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

In the wake of the EF-2 tornado that struck Dexter Saturday evening, many are stepping up to help those impacted. On Tuesday evening the SEMO Food Bank teamed up with the Lighthouse Church and Hope International to provide food for not only the families impacted by the storm but anyone who needed it.

“We're helping especially those people who lost power through the disaster through the tornado and everybody else,” said Lighthouse Church Pastor Tim Russell. “Whoever shows up we are helping. A lot of people lost electric to their homes and a lot of their meat spoiled. So thanks to SEMO Food Bank (they) were able to get meat, a pretty healthy amount of meat and vegetables and produce.”

Russell explained that a food distribution takes place each week at the church, as part of the church's partnership with Hope International. Following the weather events of the past weekend in Dexter, Russell received a call from the SEMO Food Bank asking if an additional distribution could take place Tuesday evening. The Lighthouse Christian Center along with volunteers from the Jeremiah House, Risen Church and the community came together. Russell explained that there is a woman who was first in line at every distribution. But she is not just there to pick up a box of food. She helps park cars and then after receiving her food she returns to volunteer at the event. Russell said, “It takes everybody to make it happen.” The food was provided by the SEMO Food Bank and transported to the site by Hope International.

Russell explained that Hope International is a sister organization to the Lighthouse Church. Russell said Hope International was created in 2009.

“It is a place where churches can serve together and help humanity. (We) try to serve all over the United States and parts of the world,” said Russell. “But our main focus is right here. It just so happens we've had a disaster or at least trouble here.”

Russell said the food boxes included produce, fruit, two different kinds of meat (ground beef and pork steaks), milk, cereal, crackers, ketchup, a case of water and whatever else they can put in the box.

“Sometime all we can do is just serve,” said Russell. “And I think that's what the people need right now in the middle of what they have been through.”

Russell explained why he feels people are here and why seeing people volunteer at these events inspires him.

“I believe with all my heart. I believe we are here for two reason, to love God with all our heart, all our soul and all our strength and to love people,” he said. “And if we miss that, we've missed everything. All his commandments hinge on one thing, love God and love people.”

“This reminds me of the second book of Acts, the second chapter,” said Russell, “where people have everything common. It's people coming to serve people, making sure they are fed, making sure their needs are taken care of. Whether it is financial, monetary or just goods they need in their home.”

Russell said this is a time where people can put food in their hands and give it to other people and make a difference.

“I believe this is where the body of Christ shines,” said Russell, “when they just simply be the hands and feet of God.”

“You can feel the electricity, you can feel the spirit of God when you just walk around these girls and these guys out here giving away (food),” said Russell. “You can feel the spirit of God moving through them because now they are hooked to purpose, actually they are letting God use their hands to make a difference.”

Russell thanked God for everyone that helps make these events happen: SEMO Food Bank, Lighthouse Church, Hope International and the other churches in the community.

“I believe every church has stepped up and is helping people in the community,” stated Russell. “That is what it is all about.”

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