BINGER—Mark Price remembered feeling safe on Easter Sunday. The pastor of Binger Church said COVID-19 appeared not to reach his community in western Oklahoma. That changed the next day.
Binger Nursing Home and Rehab Facility reported one positive COVID-19 case on Monday, April 13, Price said. “It went from one to four to 21 and now 43 (positive cases)” he said.
By the end of April, the Oklahoma State Department of Health reported seven deaths in Binger as a result of COVID-19.
Price contacted Binger Nursing Home to see what his church could do to help. The administrator told him they needed a place for six people to sleep. Price went on Facebook to ask for fifth wheels or RVs to house nursing home staff members. Within two hours, people responded and provided, but Price also needed to find generators to power the large vehicles.
After searching for help, Price was not having much success. Then he called Hance Dilbeck, executive director-treasurer of Oklahoma Baptists.
“He was a breath of fresh air,” Price said about Dilbeck. “I didn’t think he would call me right back, but he called three times before I could call him back.”
Dilbeck got Price in touch with Don Williams, state director for Oklahoma Baptist Disaster Relief (DR), who was able to provide resources. Pittsburg Association provided its DR shower trailer, and Cimarron Association provided its DR laundry trailer for Binger Nursing Home.
“We did 20 loads of laundry in the first three hours the trailer was there,” Price said. “The shower trailer also is a great blessing for (nursing home) staff members.”
Price’s wife Kandy and Daphne Opitz have been overseeing the laundry duties for the nursing home, but other Binger Church members have stepped up in helping with maintenance of the generators and in other ways of serving the nursing home. Among the church members were Tad Hollis, Benny Bowling, Mike Opitz, Jeff Cart, Robbie Gunter and Arlene Bordwine.
“We are willing to stand in the gap here for them and help them continue to put diesel in those generators and do what we need to do,” Price said. He also mentioned the nursing home administrator “has been so grateful, even to tears.”
As of May 6, reports indicated a downward trend in COVID-19 cases in the Binger Nursing Home.
“In a world full of ‘No’ (responses), Oklahoma Baptists should be ‘Yes’ people for the things that matter,” Price said.