"A Church on a Mission"

One of the many things I love about TBC Cayce is the heart that our members have for serving our community. This past month, we had an open door to serve our community on a large scale as Hurricane Matthew came barreling through the Caribbean and then made its way up the east coast. Almost as soon as Governor Haley declared a state of emergency and ordered evacuations along the coast of South Carolina on Tuesday, October 4 th , we received a call from the Lexington Baptist Association asking if our church would coordinate the preparation and distribution of meals to the Lexington County Emergency Operations Center as the Hurricane passed by South Carolina that weekend. Because of the fluid nature of disaster relief planning, any details they could give us at the time were ambiguous as they worked through hypothetical situations and tried to have a plan for any scenario that arose in our county. They simply wanted the peace of mind of knowing that when the storm came through, the basic needs of those responsible for coordinating the response efforts could be met, allowing them to fully focus on keeping everyone in our county safe. We knew going into this that there was only so much we could do to prepare with such little details, and that more than likely it would require a fast response on behalf of our members to come together and help carry this out once we knew what exactly was needed. We have an incredible group of cooks at our church, with a heart for serving others through food preparation. These men and women are the ones who seldom get the honor and respect they deserve, and are usually behind the scenes cooking, preparing, and then cleaning up the kitchen while an event is happening on campus. This group did an incredible job of “getting ahead of the storm” by preparing a couple of meals in mass quantities before the storm hit, just so they wouldn’t have to be scrambling on a few hours notice of food being needed. When we finally received the call on Friday afternoon that the Lexington County Emergency Operations Center was in need of enough food to feed approximately 85 people throughout the weekend, we only had a few hours to put a plan together for preparing, packaging, and then delivering these meals. This was a huge task that could not have been carried out without help from our members. The moment we reached out for through email, phone calls, and social media, we had an enormous response of members willing to give up their weekend to help serve our community. We had over 40 people show up on such short notice to either help cook, package, or deliver meals. We were very fortunate that when Hurricane Matthew made its way up the Carolina coast, the impact on Lexington County wasn’t nearly as severe as in other areas. Because of this, the plans once again changed and we wound up not needing to prepare as many meals as originally expected. This entire weekend required a ton of flexibility from our volunteers, and even in the midst of changing circumstances our members had such joyful attitudes while serving. I’m incredibly thankful for the opportunity to serve in a church full of members who have such a heart for serving our community, and coming together to meet the needs of others.