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By Joe Conway
BOULDER, Colo. – The first day of fall brought snow to
Colorado’s Front Range, and a caution to Southern Baptist Disaster Relief
volunteers: ministry in the Rockies brings its own set of challenges. Estes
Park, an area where SBDR leaders hope to be serving soon in response to recent
flooding, received snowfall Monday.
“The peaks are
white now and there was snow as we traveled to do assessments,” said Colorado
Disaster Relief Director Dennis Belz. Belz reminded leaders and volunteers that
freezing temperatures were coming soon and full-scale mobile operations will
only be tenable through the end of October.
“We are working in
Longmont, Bolder, Loveland and Greeley,” said Belz. “We hope to be opening up
Estes Park and some of the other mountain areas soon. Jobs are being completed,
but we have a lot of work to do, weeks of work.”
Weather was still
mild, but a cold front was forecast for this week, and freezing temperatures
will make mobile units vulnerable to the elements. Leaders will look to
alternative ministry locations but hope to keep clean-up and mud out crews
working as long as practically possible.
“We are going into
some areas that have been closed to the gospel,” said Eddie Blackmon, North
American Mission Board SBDR coordinator on site in Longmont. The Lord is doing
some great things and is opening the doors to ministry. We need to be ready to
walk through the doors.”
Colorado, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma and Texas Baptist Men have already
responded and are serving in the four locations. Additional SBDR volunteers are
on the way from Arkansas, Kentucky, Southern Baptist of Texas, Tennessee and
Utah/Idaho. Additional states have committed to the response. Blackmon said
trained mud out teams are still needed.
In addition to the
Colorado floods and long-term rebuild in New York and New Jersey from Hurricane
Sandy, SBDR volunteers are active in Nebraska, New Mexico and Texas in response
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.
To donate to SBDR
efforts, contact the Baptist convention in your state or visit https://donations.namb.net/dr-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.
Joe Conway writes for the North American Mission
Date Created: 9/25/2013 5:10:35 PM
A Southern Baptist Convention entity supported by the Cooperative Program and the Annie Armstrong Easter Offering®© Copyright 2014 North American Mission Board, SBC