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Local relief effort group has items stolen from church property

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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- A local group dedicated to relief efforts fell victims themselves. However, it was not a natural disaster which struck them; instead, it was theft.

The North Carolina Baptist Men have been there for victims of disasters all over the world; from Haiti after their massive earthquake, to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. Closer to home, they helped out after a tornado tore through High Point, and complete tasks as small as helping neighbors remove fallen trees.

“It can be very difficult circumstances, but it is a very rewarding work,” said Eddie Honeycutt, senior pastor at First Baptist Church Stanleyville.

This past Friday, the group realized that some of the items they use to do their work were stolen from their trailer, which is stationed at the First Baptist Church in Stanleyville.

“One of the guys came over to get a drop cord off the trailer and discovered that the lock had been cut off, and the door was open, and all the tools were gone,” Honeycutt said.

Also taken were multiple chainsaws, an air compressor and a generator. In all, they say they had about $10,000 to $15,000 worth of items taken.

“You get angry, you get frustrated, but then you just know that it’s a part of the world that we live in,” Honeycutt said. “A lot of us grew up in a culture where there was a different reverence toward the church and church property than personal property, but that seems to have disappeared in our culture today.”

Also in the trailer were two boxes of Bibles, but apparently, the thieves did not think they were of enough value.

“The one thing on the trailer they really needed was the Bible, and they took everything they really didn’t need,” Honeycutt said.

The group says their situation -- much like those in the areas where they have provided relief -- will improve.

“We will recover, we will rebuild and we will keep going on and keep helping people,” Honeycutt said. “We forgive, we’re not sure the Winston-Salem police department feels the same way about forgiveness.”