Posted on : Monday October 15, 2012

By Shannon Baker, BCM/D National Correspondent

LAUREL, Md.—Earlier this summer before Hurricane Isaac, a powerful storm and overwhelming heat wave passed through Maryland, leaving in their wake downed trees, loss of electricity, and in one mobile home community, the opportunity for Maryland City Baptist Church to connect with its neighbors.

The Laurel church ministered to Parkway Village by providing a cooling site, overnight shelter, meals, and after-storm cleanup with the assistance of volunteers from the Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware Disaster Relief chainsaw crew and South Columbia Baptist Church’s youth group, said Donna Hollingsworth, MCBC member.

All 300 homes in the community, where she lives, lost their power. That was especially problematic in the 100-plus temperatures, she said.

Over the course of a week, church volunteers, whom the church calls “Helping Hands,” fed or otherwise accommodated over 100 residents, many who came to get away from the heat until power was restored. The volunteers also assisted with cleaning up the debris left after the storm.

“For two weeks straight, we were extremely busy with Helping Hands,” Hollingsworth said.

As a result, “a lot of new people have come to the church and have been baptized,” she added, praising Pastor Mitch Young, who worked tirelessly in the effort.

“He’s such a great person. He really is. He just opens his heart and his hands.”