The rest of the story: Disaster Relief block party saves a life


Editor’s note: Volunteers with Georgia Baptist Disaster Relief returned to Douglas over the weekend for a block party to celebrate the community’s recovery from a tornado that struck a year ago. Ronnie and Linda Register, who serve as Disaster Relief workers, shared a story from that celebration that speaks to the sovereignty of God. It’s one of those heart-touching tales that might have been used by the late broadcaster Paul Harvey in one of his “The rest of the story” segments. This is their story written in first-person form.

We had a good response from our Georgia Baptist Disaster Relief crew.  Joyce Varnadore and the family/childcare unit did a great job with fun and games despite the brisk winds.   Joe Reynolds and the 9F feeding team was right on task to feed everyone with some extra blessings even.   St Illa Baptist Church and Pastor Terry Reagan supported the event well with a crew and great music.

It got a whole lot better as “the rest of the story” unfolded.

We went to the store to pick up salt. We invited some folks we met at the story to come down to the church to join in on the party.  A nice lady and her niece took us up on the offer.

When they pulled into the parking area at the church, Pastor Terry went over to greet them, invited them to get some food and visit a while.  One of our ladies saw them sitting in the sun suggested to move to a shadier spot and helped to move them and their chairs. 

While our Georgia Baptist Disaster Relief chaplain was talking with the lady, she noticed a tear running down her face.  The lady began to tell of her duty to care for sick and elderly parents for the last 2 1/2 years with little to no help from other family members.  She related that she hasn’t attended church in a while because of this obligation and felt she had been backsliding.

Someone had been pressuring her to go “out partying,” but she had resisted because she did not want to ruin her own testimony. 

The lady said during Easter break her dad had his leg removed and is in a rehab facility, so she was able to attend church on Easter Sunday for first time in a while.  Our chaplain shared some scripture with her, and she shared scripture that she had been studying.  After prayers and many tears, the lady said she felt a heavy burden had been lifted from her and that she knew God was guiding her.

Her tears were replaced with a beautiful smile. 

When the party ended and the lady and her niece were driving off, she stopped and, reaching out her hand from the truck window to grasp the hand of the chaplain, she said: “Talking and praying with you saved my life today, I had been thinking of taking my life.”

God has us all in the right place at the right time.


Ronnie and Linda Register are longtime volunteers with Georgia Baptist Disaster Relief.

Disaster Relief