Church council member David Chauvin from Vision Christian Center, a Foursquare church in Bourg, La., pastored by Kim Voisin, is thankful God uses relationships to release resources, turning disaster into opportunity for those who put their trust in Him.
Since the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico on April 20, David’s seafood business in Terrebonne Parish has taken a serious hit. The month of May normally marks the peak of the brown shrimp harvest, and David’s business typically offloads 100,000 pounds of shrimp from 40 vessels. This month, the harvest has been reduced to 5,000 pounds, largely because of the oil slick and the federal government order grounding all commercial fishing operations in the Gulf.
Two days after the explosion of the rig, a representative from British Petroleum contacted David, asking for his help with the cleanup effort. Now, instead of fishing for shrimp, David has become the point man for more than 25 vessels and three times as many fisherman actively cleaning up the oil slick that threatens the environment, the economy and the lives of nearly everyone living in the coastal areas of the region.
“Some people sit around and worry about what to do in times like this,” Pastor Kim told foursquare.org. “David is a stable member of our congregation, and he is showing the other fishermen that God can turn all things to our good when we trust in Him.”
Crews go out for days, or even weeks, at a time, and David coordinates crew changes and supply drops in open water, often in 3- to 4-foot swells. Pastor Kim and his congregation volunteered the church bus as the main transport for the four-hour drive to Venice, La., where a supply boat takes fresh crew and supplies to the 25 vessels. In one of these trips, David and crew hauled a 400-pound anchor to Venice so it could be transported by supply boat to a waiting fishing-turned-cleanup vessel.
Back at home in Bourg, Pastor Kim and his church are using a food bank originally set up after Hurricane Katrina to help the community. In the first few weeks following the explosion in the Gulf, they served 80 families, says Pastor Kim, and they are prepared to serve many more in the weeks ahead.
“Relationship releases resources,” David affirms, reflecting on one of Pastor Kim’s favorite expressions. The BP connection happened because of a conversation between David’s wife and an acquaintance.
David personally selected the first 25 boat captains and vessels to help with the cleanup; the captains of two of those boats are his adult sons. The families being served by the church’s food bank are receiving food because The Foursquare Church across the U.S. shared resources to establish that ministry following Hurricane Katrina. Indeed, God does use relationships to turn disaster into opportunity for those who trust Him.
By: Rod Light, an ordained Foursquare minister and educator serving with Foursquare Communications in Los Angeles