A dozen members of Blackburn Chapel have just returned from a trip to help Texans struggling to piece their lives back together after Hurricane Harvey.

A dozen members of Blackburn Chapel have just returned from a trip to help Texans struggling to piece their lives back together after Hurricane Harvey.

The Rev. Larry Sparks, Blackburn's pastor, said the church responded in obedience to a divine call to serve.

“It began with a vision that the Lord gave church member Lee Mullendore,” Sparks said, “about how to help the flood victims in Houston area with relief.”

He said soon a semi trailer was borrowed from Gilbert and Son Trucking and parked on the church parking lot.

A semi truck to pull the trailer was then secured from Rainmaker Sales, and donations began pouring in, he said. Water, cash, food, pet supplies, cleaning materials and lots of diapers were collected.

A team of a dozen men from the church was formed — comprised of Mullendore, Sparks, Jesse Hernandez, Matt Kilby, Curtis Ellison, Jim Beeson, Kevin Boatman, Keith and Derrick Carpenter, Robin Henson, Jerry Burkhart and Craig Haley.

“These men sweated in the Houston sticky heat and praised God while scraping floors and pulling out moldy Sheetrock,” Sparks said.

An interesting incident happened along the way, in Gainesville, Texas, he said, when the team stopped to eat lunch at a fried pie and burger place.

“The manager saw our Hope for Houston shirts from Bethel Acres and stopped the whole restaurant during their meal to pause and pray for our team and the Houston area,” he said.

Spring Baptist Church, of Houston, Texas, served as host to the team and the Disaster Relief Unit from Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma.

Sparks said Mark Estep is the pastor there, and a former Oklahoma pastor from this area.

“We ate eight gallon-containers full of homemade cookies while there and slept on cots for a week in their youth building,” he said.

Blackburn Chapel presented Spring Baptist with a check for $2,200 to help in relief efforts, he said.

The water stacked on pallets — 12 to 15 in all — was gone in four days, Sparks said.

“The men also sorted more than 800 pair of shoes for families and gave out socks and T-shirts,” he said. “A devotion and prayer started the day and a devotion and prayer closed the day. Each man did what they did for God's glory.”

A couple of monks also came to Spring Baptist and helped, Sparks said, and someone down there donated a case of whiskey.

Sparks said the stories were varied and heartbreaking. “One couple was devastated by the flood and lost it all — and the man had Parkinson’s disease — but the team cleaned and cleared their home and prayed with them,” he said.

A deacon from another church was heart-crushed because his old Bible was lost, so the men bought him another one and all signed it as they presented it to him, he said.

The streets were lined with debris six- to eight-feet tall of furniture, cabinets, carpet and precious antiques ruined, he said.

He shared, “As one woman said, 'It's only stuff. It once was thought so highly of, but its just junk by the road now.'”

Both church services on Sept. 24 received reports from the team, he said.

Sparks said the experience brought laughter, tears and a reality that God is with us in our suffering and will always send help.

“Blackburn Chapel baptized 46 this year and raised funds, sent a semi load of supplies, a tractor and lots of love in 12 good men,” Sparks said.