“The trees fell away from our house in the Marlow area. Every other home in our neighborhood was damaged. We knew it was a sign from God to help our neighbors. We started with ice bagged from a friend’s ice maker and our last three cases of water. Each day our distribution grew as we gave out bug spray, baby wipes and snacks. Now we are delivering hot meals and getting donations from across the country. We have our begging boots on. This isn’t us. We are just doing what God tells us to do to care for his people.
Most people don’t know about this Fish River and Marlow area and it seems no agencies will be here to help any time soon. People had it rough before this. Some families lost an income because of the Coronavirus. We are helping pregnant girls living in a trailer and the people across the street living in a mobile home that is covered in tarps. Some families with no power are also without water because their well runs on electricity.
This has become our ministry and the people we are helping are our new friends. Last night, we went to a little girl’s house, and she yelled ‘the big blue truck is here.’ That truck is my husband’s pride and joy, but he is working on a power job in Miami for a couple of years. He may not get his truck back. We have been together since eighth grade. I couldn’t do this without my daughters. We all have the tattoo “Be Still.” It’s a reference to Exodus 14:14, ‘The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.’
Loving kids is the best part. We bring them their favorite treats and goody bags. We want to do Saturday school in a couple of the neighborhoods with a Bible lesson, crafts and lunch. It will also help us keep in touch with what their parents need.
We moved here from Ohio after members of my family moved here. Four years ago we were atheists. That changed when my friend’s son died in a drowning accident. He was 14 and all about Jesus. Our whole family has been baptized. We don’t have debt and live small so we can serve others big. Our dream is to own enough property to create a neighborhood of tiny homes for people who have lower incomes.
We are just neighbors helping out and showing the love of Jesus. This has been the most amazing and eye-opening week of my life. I am grateful for the new friends we have made.”
The story of Melissa and her daughters delivering supplies and love is in Lagniappe this week and will be on Alabama Public Radio next week.