OIAM volunteers return order and bring smiles
Steve DeVane, Special to the Recorder
May 04, 2010

OIAM volunteers return order and bring smiles

OIAM volunteers return order and bring smiles
Steve DeVane, Special to the Recorder
May 04, 2010

Montie Hoover loves her

flower garden.

“I walk through the

garden thinking about how good God is,” she said.

But 32 operations,

including open-heart surgery when she nearly died, have made it difficult for

Hoover to work in her garden. On April 24, she sat in a chair in her garden and

thought about God again as members of Mt. Carmel Baptist Church in Troy worked

in her yard and power-washed her carport.

“I’ve been praying that

the Lord would send somebody to help me,” Hoover said. “If I could, I’d be out

here pulling the grass myself.”

The work was part of

the church’s efforts during the one-day community mission blitz Operation

Inasmuch conducted April 24 and May 1 by Baptist churches throughout North


Hoover, who lives in

Mt. Gilead, said she appreciated what the volunteers were doing.

“I consider this a

mission project,” she said. “You don’t always have to go to another country to

do missions.”

Operation Inasmuch lets

churches do missions in their own community. Mt. Carmel pastor Tom Vannoy told

the 17 church members participating that they would make a difference in the

lives of people they helped.

“That’s really what

it’s all about, being Christ where we live,” he said during a devotion before

the workers went to their assigned projects.

Vannoy read a passage

in Matthew 25 where Operation Inasmuch gets its name.

In it, Jesus says that

“inasmuch” as people help the “least of these” they help Him.

“When we’re out there

touching people’s lives, we’re really touching Jesus,” Vannoy said.

This was Mt. Carmel’s second

Operation Inasmuch, but church members have done other mission projects in the

community, gone on mission trips and helped with disaster relief efforts,

Vannoy said. Most recently volunteers from the church went to High Point on

April 2 to help tornado victims.

Special to the Biblical Recorder/Steve DeVane

Montie Hoover, right, sits in her flower garden and talks with Hope Davis. Hope and others from Mt. Carmel Baptist Church in Troy were helping Hoover clean up her garden and other areas around her home in Mt. Gilead. See photo gallery for more OIAM photos.

“It’s a

mission-oriented church,” he said.

One of those on the

High Point trip was Jim Coltrane. On April 24, he was on a ladder cleaning

Hoover’s carport with a power-washer.

“You’re helping the

Lord and you’re helping people,” he said.

Coltrane, who helps

build NASCAR racecars for a living, got a new perspective on such help after he

went on a mission trip recently. The day after he returned, a tree fell on his

house, causing $50,000 in damage.

“I can understand how

people feel helpless,” he said.

Louise McRae is not

helpless, but she still appreciated the work the church members were doing in

her yard. At age 85, McRae has been keeping up her house in Mt. Gilead by

herself for 28 years, while also caring for a mentally challenged daughter.

She watched as men from

Mt. Carmel cut limbs from an oak she planted decades ago. She’s thankful the

limbs no longer threaten her home.

“It’s a blessing,” she


Others from Mt. Carmel

trimmed limbs and cleaned the yard of fellow church members, Earl and Linda

Barker. Earl Barker, who was a welder and pipe fitter in nuclear power plants,

has cancer.

Other church members

worked in the home of Johnny Husley who has limited mobility and often uses an

electric wheelchair to get around.

Volunteers repaired a

floor in Husley’s mobile home that was so deteriorated he couldn’t get to the

bathroom in his chair. They also installed a dryer vent to keep lint and

moisture out of the house.

Church members also

worked at the Troy home of Mary Poole, a former librarian at N.C. State

University, Virginia Tech and Duke University.

Vannoy’s wife, Susan,

remembers thinking the house looked like something out of a fairy tale when she

was a little girl.

Now it is in disrepair,

overgrown with trees and ivy.

Poole said she appreciated

the volunteers cleaning her yard, cutting down a tree and repairing her porch.

“I don’t have words to

express how wonderful it is,” she said. “I just can’t do it anymore.”

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