Report from the Road to Mississippi
Brenda Spurlock with Flip Benham
I spoke with Flip by mobile phone this morning. We're grateful for the opportunity to communicate because he's expecting to hit some dead zones later on where communication isn't possible. He and Dave Lackey were just outside of Meridian, MS at 11:30 am.
As we've been driving I85 down thru Greenville, SC, into Birmingham and then I20 towards Mississippi, I've been amazed at the long convoys of electric trucks from many different states heading toward the disaster area. Just a second ago a police convoy passed me. There were several police cars and suburbans. We're seeing police departments from all over the country coming. Right now I'm seeing a convoy of huge red trucks with cherry pickers and tree cutters and all kinds of equipment Those are from Raymond, NH And there's a convoy of yellow trucks from Pike, NC and green ones from Kent, OH. Hey there's a truck from Charlotte! Oh, I'll tell you the truth, it makes me want to cry to see how everybody is coming together. You'd be so proud to see folks coming to help.
When we came out of Tuscaloosa we began to see trees blown over everywhere. We're way out side of where the storm hit hardest, yet we're seeing the effects of the storm.
[At this point Flip and Dave had to stop for gas.] I'm seeing station after station closed. Okay, here's one open, but you should see the long line of people waiting! When we went through Atlanta the price was up to $6.00 a gallon. The Governor of Alabama had to declare a state of emergency so he could stop this price gouging. I'm glad he did and I'm so glad that President Bush said "Zero tolerance for looters."
There's such a great need. I just want to say to the Church, "Open up your arms wide. Let us take care of them not the government, and bring them to dependence on God, which makes them independent of anything else but God".
We need Shepherding Homes where we can just buy people a bus ticket and send them to a Christian home to stay. This is something the people of the Lord can do that would change lives forever.
Before he signed off, Flip asked me to tell those coming with supplies not to plan to stay because, he said, "We don't want to use up valuable resources needed by the storm refugees."
He called back to tell me about talking with a woman in a van filled "with about dozen little kids." The mother/grandmother of these kids admired Flip's red OSA T-shirt. "It's beautiful, I love it!" she said, "Do you have any more?" He admitted, "I did have two more, Miss Brenda, but I really wanted to hold on to them." You know how God is though. He told Flip to give that lady a T-shirt, and before it was all over, BOTH shirts! (I noticed he didn't mention giving her the red T-shirt off his back though, so I guess God's not finished with him yet.)