Amid fallen trees and debris, chainsaw ministry carves out hope and faith with each cut

Updated: Oct. 9, 2018 at 4:56 PM EDT
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ROCKY POINT, NC (WECT) - Their mission is twofold: to share faith, and clear limbs.

A disaster relief team from Oklahoma is helping residents whose homes are threatened by trees or those that are looking a bit precarious. Before a single cut is made though, it’s hats off and hand-in-hand for prayer.

(Donovan, Chelsea)

“Father, keep this home safe, and give us wisdom in our job, and not cause them more damage,” said Oklahoma Disaster Relief team leader Greg Dalton.

After a lot of careful planning, the buzz begins.

“I would imagine, just this week, we have probably had close to 40 different homes we have been in,” Dalton said.

You could call them the chain gang. This crew formed in 2008 and their first major disaster was helping residents recover after Hurricane Harvey in Texas.

This Baptist disaster relief team’s mission is not just about making the cut.

(Donovan, Chelsea)

“People think we just come out to cut wood, but it’s not what we are about," Dalton said. "It’s about sharing the gospel and helping people through our actions.”

Each carve, chip, and chop doesn’t go unnoticed. Homeowners gawk in disbelief as the selfless men carry out each tedious task before the final “Timber!”

“First, they are like, ‘How much does this cost?’ and when we say, ‘There is no cost,’ they don’t believe us.” said Dalton.

“It means a great deal to me," Rocky Point resident Bobby Smith said. "My heart condition won’t let me do it myself, and we were sitting here wondering how we could get it done.”

It’s a race against the clock for the crews this week, clearing the way before the remnants of Hurricane Michael blow through.

(Donovan, Chelsea)

“Trees on top of trees make it more dangerous," Dalton said. "The more of these we can get off the ground and out of the way, the easier it is.”

Each job then ends up back where it started, in prayer.

“We have a Bible we have signed that we want to give you,” said Dalton as he gave the bible to Rocky Point homeowner Danny Brown.

“Thank you so much, Oklahoma crews. Wonderful job," Smith added.

Now it’s off to the next job for the chainsaw ministry, sharing faith while carving a new path for residents in recovery.

If you have a tree threatening your home and need help, the chainsaw ministry can be reached at their website or call the N.C. Baptist Relief Mission in Pender County at 910-231-3397 or 910-231-3727.

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