Laundry Ministry Is a Labor of Love for Woman’s Missionary Union Volunteers

WMU volunteers from churches in Robeson Baptist Association in Lumberton, North Carolina, work behind the scenes, sorting and washing laundry at the Lumberton Rebuild Center. The center, part of North Carolina Baptists on Mission, serves volunteers who help area residents recover from devastating hurricanes and flooding that hit the region. WMU photo by Pam Henderson
WMU volunteers from churches in Robeson Baptist Association in Lumberton, North Carolina, work behind the scenes, sorting and washing laundry at the Lumberton Rebuild Center. The center, part of North Carolina Baptists on Mission, serves volunteers who help area residents recover from devastating hurricanes and flooding that hit the region. WMU photo by Pam Henderson

Washing piles of muddy clothes and cleaning bathrooms may not sound like the most glamorous missions project available, but it’s a labor of love for Woman’s Missionary Union volunteers from Robeson Baptist Association in Lumberton, North Carolina.

Working behind the scenes at the Baptist Rebuild Center in Lumberton, women from several area churches regularly do laundry; put fresh mattress covers on rows of bunk beds; clean sinks, showers, and commodes; sweep and mop floors; and sort and deliver donated food items.

The Rebuild Center, a ministry of North Carolina Baptists on Mission, is equipped to house and feed up to two hundred volunteers from across the state and beyond. The volunteer teams continue to help area residents rebuild from two devastating hurricanes that hit the region: Matthew in 2016 and Florence in 2018.

“As the volunteers would come, we wanted it to be a clean, inviting, comfortable place for them,” explained Deborah Taylor, president of WMU of North Carolina. She noted that the volunteers typically work long hours removing moldy insulation; installing new wiring, plumbing, and roofing; hanging drywall; and painting.

Taylor, whose husband Alan is the mission strategist for Robeson Baptist Association, contacted area churches and WMU groups about adopting the laundry and cleaning ministry.

“We saw that there were people who were trained a lot better than me in painting and pulling insulation out of houses and rebuilding those floors,” Taylor said. “But they still needed food, they still needed their clothes washed, especially after being out in the field all day and coming in with the mud. And so I called and asked our ladies, ‘How about if we do this?’ . . . I felt like that was the little bit that we could do.”

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Source: Baptist Press