HAZARD–Imagine this scene: Your house has been flooded. The walls and anything two feet off the floor is caked in mud and all manner of debris—including you, because for the last 18 hours you have been trying to salvage what’s left.
How far would you walk for a hot shower?
According to Kentucky Disaster Relief volunteer Jamie Reynolds, he has known disaster victims who trekked great distances to feel some semblance of normal.
“Most of us just walk from the bedroom to the bathroom, but if you’ve been involved in a disaster situation and your house is destroyed and the water is cut off, you’d probably walk a mile or more to get a shower and put on some clean clothes,” he said.
Reynolds, interim Director of Missions with Three Forks Baptist Association, is leading an effort to raise awareness of Kentucky Baptist Disaster Relief by walking 67 miles across four counties—and he plans on completing the task in only three days.
“I think responding to disasters one of the best things we do as Southern Baptists in terms of meeting real needs in a way that gives the opportunity to present the gospel,” Reynolds said.
Kentucky Baptist Disaster Relief is a ministry of the Kentucky Baptist Convention that trains and sends teams of volunteers to disasters around the world in the name of Jesus Christ. Three Forks association has more than 70 trained disaster relief volunteers and recently sent two teams to help homeowners in New York deal with the muddy mess after Hurricane Sandy.
Reynolds said a secondary purpose of the “I’d Walk a Mile … For a Shower” event is to raise $10,000 to build a portable shower unit that can be set up by volunteers at a disaster response.
“This shower trailer will also assist our Three Forks Baptist Association churches in being able to host mission teams at their church,” Reynolds said. “All of our churches have floor space and kitchens, but hardly any of them have showers. This will enable our local churches to host mission teams in our area, which we get a lot of.”
The average cost to build the portable unit with four separate shower rooms and a small laundry is $25,000 and, so far, Three Forks association has received about half that amount from local Baptist churches and private donations. Reynolds said participants have been busy collecting sponsors to make a pledge amount for each mile they walk.
Coy Webb, KBC Disaster Relief director, said the event “captures the heart of the disaster ministry and not only raises awareness, but also will provide them with an evangelism tool that can be used to fulfill the Great Commission through servant ministry.”
The first walk-a-thon was Tuesday, June 17. The rest will be held Thursday, June 19, and Saturday, June 21. Reynolds said participants will walk an average of 22 miles a day as they make their way from the town of Jenkins to Hyden.
Want to make a pledge? Three Forks Baptist Association welcomes donations in any amount. Checks may be mailed to: TFBA-Shower Unit, 304 Roy Campbell Dr., Hazard, KY 41701.