MODR Shower and Laundry Take the Spotlight

MODR Shower and Laundry Take the Spotlight

Quite often, the first response from Missouri Baptist Disaster Relief involves flood recovery or chainsaw teams. However, when the area around Spencer, Iowa, received nearly 16 inches of rain in three days, it called for a first response of another kind.

As water from the Oscheyedan River joined the Little Sioux River, which flows through the city of Spencer, nearly 500 homes were affected by flooding… which peaked during the night on June 22. Not only were nearly 40 percent of the houses in town damaged or destroyed, but much of the city was without power, water or sewer service for several days. In response, temporary shelter was quickly provided at the Clay County Regional Event Center on the Clay County Fairgrounds. Since Red Cross had the food covered, the most obvious need otherwise, and the first response from Missouri Baptist Disaster Relief, was to send in shower and laundry units within three days of the disaster.

“On many deployments flood recovery or chainsaw work is the ‘main event’,” said Toby Tucker, white hat for the Spencer callout. “In this case, the shower and laundry units were the main events. Even if the people who were affected weren’t staying at the shelter next door, the power and utilities were still out at many homes. Sadly, there were also dozens of washers and dryers setting at the curb that had been destroyed by the flood waters; so laundry and showers at home weren’t an option.”

Hence, it was no surprise that the shower and laundry units were in constant use. In fact, in the first four days of deployment alone MODR assisted the public by providing nearly 200 showers and doing close to 150 loads of laundry.

“We were originally told people would be sheltered at four different locations,” Tucker added. “So, we had sent four separate shower and laundry units to the area, including the ADA shower unit. However, as the city consolidated housing into one location, we also consolidated our services at a location next to the event center.”

In the meantime, a total of 22 DR volunteers from throughout the state, plus, Aaron Werner, leader of the MODR collegiate program, and all 12 collegiate interns, volunteered their time to bring Help, Hope and Healing to the community.

“Of course this is just the beginning,” said Tucker. “Starting in July, after we’ve met with the city officials, we will begin assessing homes that can be salvaged and put out a callout for flood recovery teams. We’ll also be passing out cleaning supplies and Shockwave to those in need.

“In the meantime, we will be moving from the Okoboji Bible Conference Center in Okoboji, which generously provided us with our initial base, to Good News Community Church in Okoboji, where we’ll have more room for volunteers and parking. “Please continue to pray for the citizens of Spencer as we try to be the hands and feet of Jesus,” he concludes. “Recovery is going to be a long process.”

If you would like to give to this ministry of MODR, please go to and select Iowa Flood recovery from the drop-down menu, you can also text “DR” to 573-433-8286 and follow the prompts to give, or you can mail a check to: MODR 400 E. High St., Jefferson City, MO 65101