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Southern Baptist Disaster Relief
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By Joe Conway
ALPHARETTA, Ga. – North
American Mission Board Disaster Relief Executive Director Fritz Wilson appealed
to Southern Baptists to pray for the people of Moore, Okla., as the entity
geared up to respond to the devastating EF4 tornado that leveled portions of
the Oklahoma City suburb May 20. NAMB disaster relief leaders were en route to
Moore this morning to help coordinate the Southern Baptist Disaster Relief
“Prayer is the biggest thing
people can do now,” said Wilson, as emergency workers and first responders
continued to search the area for survivors. “The total loss, the loss of a
child or other family member, is one of the hardest things the survivors will
have to deal with. The emotional toll is devastating.”
All current donations to
SBDR are dedicated to the Moore response. To donate to SBDR efforts, visit namb.net/disaster-relief-donations.
Other ways to donate are to call 1-866-407-NAMB (6262) or mail checks to NAMB,
P.O. Box 116543, Atlanta, GA 30368-6543. Designate checks for “Disaster
Relief.” Contributions may also be made to state Baptist conventions.
In support of Baptist
General Convention of Oklahoma SBDR volunteers, NAMB dispatched a semi truck
with bottled water and roll roofing tarp from its headquarters Tuesday morning.
A mobile command center was being prepped for departure Wednesday. NAMB
disaster relief coordinators Eddie Blackmon and Beth Bootz are traveling to
Moore. NAMB chaplain Enio Aguero was also heading to Moore to lead SBDR
Final confirmation from the
National Weather Service was still pending, but the storm was estimated as much
as one half mile wide with winds in excess of 170 miles per hour. The official
death toll stood at 24 as of the morning of May 21.
“You have to remember that
Oklahoma was already responding to damage from storms the day before, and
Missouri is responding to damage from tornadoes spawned by the same system,”
said Wilson. “But that is one of the things that distinguishes Southern
Baptists, they have a heart for service and a huge capacity for ministry.
“The immediate needs are the
focus, but we have to remember that we are still in a long-term response from
Hurricane Sandy. Obviously there will be long-term rebuild needs in Moore.
Southern Baptists are unique in approaching disaster relief ministry as a
marathon. The best thing Southern Baptist can do now is pray and give to help
make sure the ministry continues for the long haul.”
NAMB coordinates and manages Southern
Baptist responses to major disasters through partnerships with 42 state Baptist
conventions, most of which have their own state disaster relief programs.
Southern Baptists have 82,000 trained
volunteers—including chaplains—and 1,550 mobile units for feeding, chainsaw,
mud-out, command, communication, childcare, shower, laundry, water
purification, repair/rebuild and power generation. SBDR is one of the three
largest mobilizers of trained disaster relief volunteers in the United States,
along with the American Red Cross and The Salvation Army.
Joe Conway writes for the North American Mission
Date Created: 5/21/2013 11:45:52 AM
A Southern Baptist Convention entity supported by the Cooperative Program and the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering®© Copyright 2013 North American Mission Board, SBC