Serving Minnesota and Northern Iowa.

Helping those in need

By Renae B. Vander Schaaf

Date Modified: 05/06/2013 11:21 AM

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WORTHINGTON, Minn. — Dennis Anderson, of Albert City, Iowa, believes in helping those in need.

He is director for Domestic Disaster Relief for Global Compassion Network, well-known for their charitable care in Haiti.

When disasters occur domestically, the network is ready to work with local churches to help.

A phone call alerted Anderson that Worthington had been hit hard by the April 9 storm. Power lines and poles had collapsed. GCN volunteers responded. In a week's time, they hauled away 57 truck loads of debris.

"We come with the resources to make everyone more effective," said Anderson. "We often partner with local churches. In Worthington, we had contacted the First Baptist Church, which provided a place to stay and put us in contact with Love In the Name of Christ, a local organization of churches in Worthington."

"It was just a mess,'' said Pastor Jonah Beckermann at First Baptist Church. "With the help of Global Compassion we mobilized our congregation to clean in one of the largest parks in town that sustained a lot of damage. Sunday afternoon, we went to church families and their neighbors to help clean up on individual properties."

Heavy equipment comes along with their labor.

Farmers have donated excavators, skid loaders, dozers, a side dump truck, backhoes and semis.

Another partner is the Valley Disaster Relief from Valley Church in Des Moines. The volunteers have a bus that is divided in two. Half of the bus is for passengers, and the other half is for chain saws, said Anderson.

"We work in two phases," said Anderson. "Phase one is to provide immediate assistance, phase two has us coming back to work with the rebuilding."

The work ethic that Anderson learned growing up on a farm has prepared him for this work. He spent 20 years in youth ministry. While in ministry, he also worked in construction in Chicago.

"Global Compassion has been a tremendous blessing to our church family and community,'' said Pastor Beckermann. "We have been able to help a lot of people in a short amount of time. Our mission as a church is to share Christ with our community. Global Compassion has come alongside us and helped us to show the kind of love we believe Christ would show to families and individuals in need.''