A first-time responder’s adventure in Disaster Relief

Oct 26, 2017

By Irene A. Harkleroad

Jane Faught is a wife and mother of two young daughters, but for 10 days she was best known as the hard-working woman on the Arizona Southern Baptist Disaster Relief team 2’s flood recovery unit in Houston, slogging through a mess of putrid carpets, moldy drywall and waterlogged furniture.

“It was hot, hard work but the Lord gave us strength,” said Faught, a member of Royal Palms Baptist Church in Phoenix.

Being a female on the mud-out team allowed her to connect to the women the team served in a way that the men couldn’t.

“I met a woman who didn’t have a home church and was able to share about the difference our church made in the life of my family,” she said.

The next morning, two blocks away, the team worked on the home of the pastor of a local church and his wife. Faught was able to pass their information to the woman.

She told about another encounter at the pastor’s home: “As we were emptying the kitchen cabinets, I found a couple of pieces of jewelry and some china and took them to his wife. ‘We can’t leave that to the boys, they’d probably break them,’ I said, trying to put a smile on her face.
“Later a reporter from the Baptist Standard found me and told me how much it meant to her that a stranger took the time to hand-deliver with such care the few personal items she had left. That still gets to me. It wasn’t anything special, just something I hope someone would do for me.”

The recovery team worked about seven hours a day – 40 minutes on and 15 minutes off, with sack lunches somewhere in the middle of the day.

“I wasn’t sore or exhausted, even with the heat, humidity and physical limitations,” Faught said. “I really felt the Lord was taking care of me.”

Faught shared more about her experience: “When tragedies happen I feel this overwhelming need to do something. This time I actually got to be there and do that. The Lord paved the way and everything just fell into place.

“My church was unbelievably supportive. Members provided dinners for the nights I was gone, got my girls to and from school and to church on Wednesday evenings. Someone dropped off notes of encouragement for me to take and read each day.

“We’ve been going to Royal Palms for just two years. I can’t begin to tell you, from the bottom of my heart, after having a family that was never there for me, what a blessing my church family is.”

Faught shared a slide presentation at church and encouraged others to volunteer.

“I don’t think many people know what the Disaster Relief ministry is all about,” she said. “I would really love to be part of sharing what it means.

“In one case, we were literally going through the home of a 99-year-old couple and carrying all their memories and treasures to the curb as garbage. It’s heartbreaking, yet it was an amazing blessing to be there for them and let them know somebody cared.”

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