Hurricane Dorian made landfall as a Category 5 hurricane on September 1, 2019, in the Northwestern Bahamas. The damage was extensive as the storm slowly dwindled in speed and finally came to a stationary rest overtop Grand Bahama Island. One-minute sustained winds of Hurricane Dorian were recorded at 185 miles per hour (mph). Gusts of wind were at times recorded at 220 mph.
Among those to provide disaster relief after the hurricane was Missionary Flights International (MFI) where John Lain, 2013 Alumnus of The Baptist College of Florida (BCF), serves as Content Strategist. "Like most people along the Treasure Coast of Florida, I prepared for the storm," recalled Lain. "Those of us who stayed behind waited and watched as the Northern Bahamas were destroyed. Once the news reported a possible turn to the north, I knew that it would be time to act."
As manager of the social media accounts for Missionary Flights, Lain shared that the announcement for the disaster relief effort was made as soon as the images from the destruction began to surface. A simple post made to Facebook gained over 140,000 views and 1600 shares within 3 days. Church groups, community leaders, and other individuals from around the State began to contact the MFI Facebook account.
"It was all pretty overwhelming," said Lain. "While I was waiting in my home for the storm to pass, I remained on my computer answering questions concerning disaster relief efforts."
In the two weeks that followed, Lain explained that he and the staff at Missionary Flights worked long hours in order to meet the demand from the public and effectively respond to the need in the Bahamas. "The team at Missionary Flights is unique because so many that work here are either volunteers or home-based missionaries that raise their own support. Our pilots and mechanics will often work overtime when it is required of them, but they do not receive overtime pay because they are missionaries. Therefore, what is done is done because of a heart to serve the Lord. It is a very refreshing environment to be in."
That service is echoed by those who have been responding with a heavenly perspective. Missionary Flights began delivering supplies to the Salvation Army in Freeport, Grand Bahama, Bahamas, on Saturday, September 7. Because they had worked with the Salvation Army after Hurricane Matthew in 2016, Lain told us that Missionary Flights had developed a trusting relationship with the organization as it related to disaster relief for that area.
"I was able to see first-hand why we were able to trust the Salvation Army," said Lain after touring the Island with them on September 21. "They desire to give a sense of dignity to the goods being distributed and have a strong desire to keep the Gospel central to what they are doing. Even after the storm left much work to do, the Salvation Army in Freeport still took time to set up their facility to provide a worship service on Sunday morning and provided that day as a day of rest for their volunteers."
"It's interesting to think back over the years that God has been preparing me to serve here," stated BCF Graduate John Lain. "I felt called to preach and knew that the Lord had called me to The Baptist College of Florida (BCF) to receive that training. During my time there, I worked in the Marketing Department and was trained to deliver and defend the Word. Then, the Lord brought us to be church planters in the Treasure Coast and I began working part-time as a freelance graphic designer. Now, I am still doing what I've been trained to do. Whether it is teaching students at a bible study, leading worship on stage, giving a tour of Missionary Flights, or posting an update on social media, I'm thankful to be a part of "Changing the World through the Unchanging Word®."
For more information on how God is using graduates of The Baptist College of Florida, please call 800.328.2660 ext. 410 or visit the website at www.baptistcollege.edu.