Meanwhile, SBDR assessors are working in coastal communities from Florida to Virginia coordinating first responses for cleanup, mud out and recovery.
“The heartbreaking thing is that we are talking about the same communities in South Carolina that flooded earlier this year,” said North American Mission Board SBDR executive director Mickey Caison. “In North Carolina these are the same communities that just completed their long-term recovery from Hurricane Floyd. They are flooded again.”
NAMB Send Relief vice president David Melber shares Caison’s concern. He called for prayers for those affected by the storm.
“We are experiencing historic widespread damage from Florida to Virginia,” Melber said. “Our greatest need is for prayer that God would direct and coordinate all we do in response. I am so thankful for the Disaster Relief network, and in particular the leadership in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia. We have a network of volunteers in motion and resources coming from many states.
“This crisis is a great opportunity to see churches empowered to serve and minister to the thousands in need,” he added. “We are grateful for the support in resources, both volunteer and financial.”
Caison said SBDR will be preparing as many as 100,000 meals per day.
“We currently have volunteers from seven states involved in the response, including Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia,” Caison said.
Volunteers from Arkansas, Missouri, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas are traveling to their areas of service and are prepared to respond as assessments determine the areas of greatest need, Caison noted.
Kitchen operations are currently located at First Baptist Church of Flagler in Palm Coast, Fla.; Turning Point Baptist Church in St. Augustine, Fla.; North Jacksonville Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Fla.; Southside Baptist Church in Savannah, Ga.; Northside Baptist Church in Brunswick, Ga.; North Conway Baptist Church in Conway, S.C.; First Baptist Church in Harleyville, S.C.; and Hoffmeyer Road Baptist Church in Florence, S.C.
“Most of the rivers and streams will not crest until Wednesday (Oct. 12), so we will not know the full extent of some of the damage until then,” Caison said. “Assessors will be working at least for another week.”
Caison noted that the year has been exceptionally taxing for volunteers with widespread flooding, tornadoes, wildfires and other disasters.
“This is an excellent opportunity for spontaneous volunteers to join with trained teams and serve,” Caison said. “This is going to be a large and long response. We need the help.”
Those wishing to donate to SBDR relief can contact the Baptist convention in their state or visit https://donations.namb.net/dr-donations. For phone donations, call 1-866-407-NAMB (6262) or mail checks to NAMB, P.O. Box 116543, Atlanta, GA 30368-6543. Designate checks for “Disaster Relief.” (BP)