December 11, 2013

Editor stranded in ice storm experiences truest form of humanity



I set out on foot around 10:30 a.m. to find a phone charger. During my venture I crossed the paths of three men from The First Baptist Church of Whitesboro. Among them was Head Pastor Mike Flanagan. He told me they were heading to the community shelter to grab some cots and move the refugees to the church, joining us with a larger camp.

I hopped on a bus with the men determined to help them in any way I could. In trying times, common conversation is an invaluable gift. I’m an alumnus of a Texas A&M system school, so our conversation quickly turned to college bowl games. For a few moments, I forgot that I didn’t know how or when I was going to get home.

We moved the cots and took the people to the church. I saw Flanagan joking with some of the stranded just like he had with me. He spoke Spanish to those who didn’t speak English. He happily embraced everyone, a true embodiment of Christian values.

I left the church shortly after to continue my quest for a cell phone charger. One of the men I met with Flanagan, Chris Clark, was driving to the same place to acquire soap and shampoos for the refugees and offered me a ride. During the trip, I told him about my car and how it was on top of a hill on Highway 56. His response matched what I had come to expect from this amazing group of people. He said he would try to tackle the hill and get me to my car.

He was successful, and upon arriving at my vehicle, Clark helped me push it out of the ice-covered parking lot and led me back to the shelter, never getting farther than 15 yards away from me.

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