KATY, Texas –- They traveled hundreds of miles to help victims of May’s devastating tornadoes, but now a group of volunteers from two Katy churches are victims themselves after thieves stole a cargo trailer filled with tools.
“I walked outside and it was gone,” said Steve Godby, a volunteer from Grace Fellowship United Methodist Church. “I just started thinking I might have parked it somewhere else or something else happened last night.”
Godby was one of about 30 volunteers who made the trip from Katy to the Oklahoma City area to help.
“From my garage, I backed the trailer up and took everything I thought we’d need,” Godby said.
But four days into their trip, thieves hit.
They stole the trailer which had been chained and locked up outside the Oklahoma church where the group was staying.
Tools and equipment worth tens of thousands of dollars was gone.
“I’m not in the retribution business. I’m in the grace and forgiveness business,” said Rev. Nathan Bledsoe, a pastor with St. Peter’s United Methodist Church. “And whatever causes a person to be in that situation, to have that need or feel that way, I just want them to know we love them, God loves them.”
The group’s spirit was tested, but they remained strong in their mission.
They bought and borrowed replacements for some of the items that were taken.
“We had a whole day left and people were not going to let this stop them,” Bledsoe said.
The group filed a police report, but they said they’re realistic about the likelihood they’ll never see their equipment again.
The one thing no thief can take away is something the volunteers said they’ll have for a lifetime.
“Our tools were taken, but our joy for coming up here and helping these folks will never be taken,” Godby said.