God uses volunteer’s skills to help
By Adam Miller
For now the small brick ranch on Dreux Avenue is
quiet, except for the scraping of the puddy knife Andy King is using on some
recently hung dry wall. That and the intermittent explanation of what it takes
to do a good drywall job.
“It’s tough work and very few people want to do it,” says Andy, a
66-year-old retired pastor, farmer, and drywall specialist with the Baptist
Bricklayers of Tennessee. He works his puddy knife along a rough ceiling seam.
“You want the mud to flower out like this so you don’t have any rough
Andy has hung drywall since he was 24, but farming has been his day
job for most of his life. Andy still farms but now his day job is hanging
drywall and making sure it’s well mudded.
He’s worked this job for two and half years through Operation NOAH
Rebuild. This house in New Orleans is King’s 24th renovation project and
reflects how far Operation NOAH Rebuild has brought hundreds of residents and
churches in three years.
Since Operation NOAH Rebuild started in the spring of 2006 in
response to the devastation left by Hurricane Katrina, more than 23,000
Southern Baptist volunteers have rebuilt 148 homes, made 1,200 more homes
livable, and helped 13 churches become operational again.
King started on his first rebuild project in
Pascagoula, Mississippi, in March 2006 after Hurricane Katrina destroyed much
of the Gulf Coast in Mississippi and Louisiana. He’s also worked in Slidell,
Louisiana. He and wife, Charlene, have lived out of their RV for most of those
two and a half years, traveling back to Tennessee occasionally to help with
their son’s harvest on the family farm.
“I’ll go home to help with the soybeans, and then we’ll be back here
again,” says Andy.
Charlene does administrative work at the NOAH headquarters on the
Mississippi River’s west bank, while Andy is currently the only drywall
specialist on the NOAH team.
“God wants us to go wherever and whenever He wants,” says
“Skilled volunteers are an essential part of our work down here,”
says David Maxwell, Operation NOAH Rebuild’s project coordinator. “Having
someone who can do plumbing work or skillfully set drywall, those people are
hard to come by. What we need are crew chiefs who can do sheetrock, plumbing or
electrical work and teach others.”
Andy King, with his attention to detail and a seemingly untiring
work ethic, is the perfect example of how God can use any skill to glorify
Himself and to bring others closer to Him. Andy’s and Charlene’s life tells the
story of a couple who looked around them—in their Jerusalem, Judea and
Samaria—to see where in the world God was at work. And they joined Him in New
Adam Miller is associate editor of On Mission.
First on the scene
In an event like Katrina or the more recent Hurricane Ike, more than 85,000
trained disaster relief volunteers are ready at a moment’s notice to be
deployed. They provide physical, emotional, and spiritual help to victims by
providing meals, helping with clean up and child care, and offering counseling.
Volunteer teams respond to disasters within their own state and work
cooperatively with other states in larger emergencies.
A Southern Baptist Convention entity supported by the Cooperative Program and theAnnie Armstrong Easter Offering® ©Copyright 2013 North American Mission Board, SBC