By Robert Ables
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.”
Through the years of volunteering and now working full time with WFR Relief Ministries (now part of One Kingdom), I have been blessed to work with some of the best people in our Lord’s church. One of those is Mark Robbins.
I first met this good man a couple of years after Hurricane Katrina. He was in Bayou La Batre, Alabama helping in long term recovery. Mark has a past that included addiction, but God rescued him from that. His work is his gift of thanksgiving back to the Savior. So, he gives it his all.
Mark works a regular job between disaster events, so that he has money and time available when each disaster strikes. Every time we have contacted him with a need, he is ready and willing to go. He has helped internationally in Mexico, Haiti, Dominican Republic, and the Philippines.
He was in Union Beach, New Jersey after Super Storm Sandy intending to stay a couple of weeks, but it turned into six months. From there, Mark went directly to help after the terrible tornado in Moore, Oklahoma. He has worked most recently on long-term recovery projects in Monroe, Louisiana and West Virginia after widespread flooding. He once asked me if another coat of paint was needed. I told him it was good enough. He said “I’m not doing this for you. I’m doing this for God.” So he painted it with another coat. Like the verse in Colossians says, he works for the Lord.
Mark, like so many that volunteer throughout this world, realizes that the thing people need most when disaster strikes is hope. As 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 says, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”
When God’s people show up after a disaster with chain saws, water, food, or whatever is needed, what they really are doing is offering hope. Once, I was watching the news a few hours after a tornado had destroyed and claimed several lives. The news anchors reported that the local churches had responded already. It has been my experience that they always do, without having to wait for bureaucracy.
Mark Robbins is a unique man with a clear sense of purpose. He is just one of many, though. God has blessed us as a people with an abundance and it is our mandate to give back.
One Kingdom, as an umbrella organization for World Radio and WFR Relief, has been blessed to facilitate the giving from so many through the years. By doing this, we can share in the hope and love of God in the most desperate of times throughout the world.
Many times our staff is not able to quickly get to a location in urgent need. But, because of our past connections with speakers with World Radio, we are able to connect with men and women who can go and help. Just recently, we have been able to help with the recent drought in Kenya through Charles Cheruiyot (one of our ambassadors). We were also able to help after an earthquake in Nepal, with the help of Asee and Sanjay Darla from India. These are just a couple of examples of how the these ministries have worked together throughout the years.
Mark’s example to me and others is that he works not for his own comfort, but to be able to give to others. Ephesians 4: 28 says, “Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need.”
Thank you to our Brothers and Sisters everywhere for going and giving. In Jesus’s name!