River Region disaster team gears up to help hurricane victims

Published: Aug. 30, 2017 at 4:45 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 30, 2017 at 5:05 PM CDT
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(Source: WSFA 12 News)
(Source: WSFA 12 News)
(Source: WSFA 12 News)
(Source: WSFA 12 News)
(Source: WSFA 12 News)
(Source: WSFA 12 News)

PINE LEVEL, AL (WSFA) - Inside a warehouse in Pine Level, the Alabama Baptist Convention Disaster Relief team is getting ready to head to Texas and Louisiana.

A food service trailer, two shower trailers and a small trailer for victims with young children will make their way to parts of Texas and Louisiana. More than 100 volunteers are giving up their time to help those who have been left stranded by Hurricane Harvey, now Tropical Storm Harvey.

Heading into a weather-related event is nothing new for this team. Rob Mayes, a member of the Alabama Baptist State Convention Disaster Relief Team, knows what's in store once he gets to Texas: human suffering, people at their wit's end and at their lowest.

"Physically, emotionally and spiritually. You need to have all three. You're going to be faced with things you've never faced before," said Mayes.

Mayes was making some last minute checks Wednesday before he and the volunteers depart late next week, but the real challenges await at their destination. There is no word yet on what city in Texas they're going to.

"Main challenge is the sheer distance, making sure the equipment gets used," said Mark Wakefield, the Disaster Relief and Chaplaincy Strategist for the Alabama Baptist State Convention..

Packed and ready to go, Mayes has been down this road before as a volunteer. It never gets easier, but he says it's always worth it.

"A lot of prayer time. Wherever you want me, I'm ready to go," Mayes said.

Mayes isn't sure at this point how long he will be gone, but he is certain of this: he's more than ready to hit the road and serve up a dose of encouragement and faith to the very people who need it the most.

Wakefield says he found out late Wednesday that part of his team might be headed to Austin, Texas, but won't know for certain for a couple more days.

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