|Southern Baptist Convention Disaster volunteers at work. Source: Baptist Press|
The 2020 hurricane season has been extremely active already and the Southern Baptist Disaster Relief (SBDR) is rising to the action. According to the organization’s national director Sam Porter, “We as Southern Baptists have to be ready at all times, and I’ve been grateful for the way we have been able to respond in unison.”
“That’s just been the kind of year that we’ve had, from COVID hitting in March, through the hurricane season getting started early.”
In addition to providing meals, volunteer chainsaw crews are working to complete 1300 jobs: cutting down trees and removing debris.
Nearly 400,000 of those meals have been served in regions struck by Laura. Additionally, as public feeding starts to wind down in Louisiana, storm recovery efforts will continue at least into mid-to-late October following Laura’s widespread damage, which affected much of the state.
Recovery efforts following Hurricane Sally are well underway in Alabama and Florida after the storm made landfall late last week. SBDR teams have already prepared more than 80,000 meals, and relief teams have begun shifting into response mode.
The needs are great, and hundreds of requests for assistance have come in to SBDR leaders in Alabama and Florida.
According to Delton Beall, director of SBDR in Florida, he expects that recovery efforts will continue for another 3-4 weeks. He stated, “People don’t know what to say when we tell them this is a ministry provided by Southern Baptist churches and that it is free.”
While assisting homeowners, one Florida homeowner was shocked to learn that the help SBDR was offering came at no charge. Volunteers assist with debris removal, pray with families, offer meals and provide words of comfort.
Currently, Beall and Mark Wakefield, disaster relief director with Alabama Baptists, are requesting assistance for their disaster relief teams. Most requests for assistance primarily involve tree removal caused by flooding.
“We are very grateful for our Southern Baptist family and for the prayers and financial support and for being here and being the hands and feet of Jesus when people need to have such a witness,” Beall said.
Source: Baptist Press