We moved from the Dallas area to Heflin about 10 years ago. One of the first things that caught our attention was the community spirit that Minden and the surrounding areas have.
The yearly St. Jude auction is always over the top, with so many wonderful people joining together to raise money for a worthy cause. Even knowing this, when we decided to collect items to take to the tornado victims at Joplin, Missouri, we were still completely overwhelmed.
We first collected some items between services at First Baptist Church Parking Lot one Sunday morning and then headed to Walmart and passed out flyers with the needs listed.
We had two motor homes parked in front and people began filling our boxes. Within 3 1/2 hours both motor homes were filled to the max. I expected to receive an occasional item from a few people, but what I didn't expect was the people who took a flyer and came out with baskets or large containers full of items. Some people had spent hundreds of dollars. If that wasn't enough, we didn't even ask for money, but yet people gave over $2,000.00. Why? Because Minden (and surrounding areas) are filled with copassionate folks, just looking for a way to help someone. Just like the man who was moved to have his boys on his baseball team to do a fundraiser, and then delivered the money they raised to First Baptist to add to what was already collected.
We delivered the items and money to one of the largest churches in Joplin, Forrest Park Baptist Church. We were thrilled to find a very organized Samaritan's Purse working in the parking lot there, unloading trucks full of stuff.
The idea to go to Joplin originated with the fact that we (Jack & Alice Daniels, Minden's Eric, Jayne, & Emily Dominie and Emily's friend Caitlyn Atkins along with The Lisemby Family, a Gospel singing group from Kingsland, Arkansas) were going on a ten state tour through the Midwest. We did a one night service with singing and preaching at either a church or an RV park in each state. Most were RV parks. Well with the rush to get the boxes unloaded in Joplin, two boxes were accidentally left under Emily's bed. One was full of baby food and the other cleaning supplies. We didn't know what to do. We couldn't go back to Joplin. Wouldn't you know God had a plan?
The next service that we did was at a pavilion in an RV park in Nebraska City, NE where there was lots of flooding in the area. Many people that camped there were homeless because of the floods. The owner of the park told us about a woman who had many children including a baby and was staying there. She had lost her home and was left with nothing. The camper wasn't even hers. We left the boxes there and felt like that was God's plan all along. Thank you Minden and may God bless you mightily.