Ministering Through the Devastation

At the end of October, the manager of Walmart in Destin, Stephen Williams, contacted Stan Lollar at Ministry Village. Like so many of us, Mr. Williams and his friends and coworkers at Walmart, felt heartbroken as they witnessed the stories of devastation coming out of Mexico City Beach, Panama City, and all of the areas ravaged by Hurricane Michael. Determined to do something to help, Mr. Williams spearheaded an effort for the Walmart in Destin to donate more than $20,000 worth of clothing, paper products, tarps, chainsaws and other desperately needed items. The problem – Walmart needed a way to get the items into the right hands. That’s when Mr. Williams called Ministry Village.

Ministry Village and employees from Olive Baptist Church worked together on a plan to deliver and distribute the Walmart donations. With a Ministry Village Bargain Center delivery truck along with an enclosed trailer and a flatbed trailer from Olive Baptist Church, plus 6 staff members from both Ministry Village and Olive, the team was able to take the items to partner churches in the area who were working as distribution centers. Six pallets of clothing were taken to a distribution center at St. Andrews Baptist Church in Panama City, while 12 pallets of paper products, tarps and chainsaws were delivered to Highland Park Baptist Church in Lynn Haven.

On the ground in Panama City, Stan Lollar, Executive Director of Ministry Village at Olive, said the devastation he saw was unimaginable. “Acres upon acres, for miles and miles, are just full of trees snapped in half. Entire neighborhoods have been leveled. You can see the despair in their eyes, and hear it in their voices. They don’t know if things will ever get better. It’s truly one of the worst things I’ve ever seen from a storm.”

Ministry Village is grateful to have been involved in this mission to provide necessities to the Panama City area alongside Stephen Williams and his fantastic team from Walmart in Destin and the team from Olive Baptist Church. Please join us as we continue to pray for the people of Panama City and look for opportunities to serve these families now and into the future.

The storm may have ended weeks ago, but its effects will be felt for many years to come – let’s make sure our ministry to the area continues as well.

If you are interested in volunteering in the Panama City area as they recover from Hurricane Michael, contact Josh Dickens in the Olive Baptist Missions Office, for more details. (850) 476-1932 ext. 166 or by email at Jdickens@olivebaptist.org.

Photo credit: Steven Zumwalt, FEMA
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