Current Needs

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Read article on MBDR from Tampa Tribune:

http://www.tampabay.com/news/humaninterest/red-cross-finds-launching-pad-for-hurricane-irma-help-at-idlewild-baptist/2338261

October 9, 2017

Category One Hurricane Nate makes landfall Oct. 8 in Gulfport/Biloxi area

Hurricane Nate made landfall at Gulfport/Biloxi on the night of October 8 as a Category One storm. It has since weakened to a tropical depression and is moving through the northeast U.S. Assessments across south Mississippi have been completed, and no additional response is needed at this time.

With Mississippi Baptist Disaster Relief (MBDR) involvement in Florida (Hurricane Irma) closed out, MBDR will continue to concentrate volunteers in the Orange, Texas, area (Hurricane Harvey) near the Texas/Louisiana border. Much progress continues to be made as over 70 Mississippi Baptist volunteers worked there through the weekend.

If you and/or your church feel called to work in the Texas relief effort as it moves forward, the best way to get started is to make contact by email: msdisasterrelief@mbcb.org, with dates preferred, team size, and male/female count.

Donations

Financial donations are always needed to provide for specific supplies and other items that are necessary for response activities. Financial donations may be given through MBDR and will go directly to support victim recovery in partnership with local Baptist churches and associations. Donations may be made on-line at mbcb.org/giving/. Checks made payable to the Mississippi Baptist Convention Board, designated “Hurricane Relief” on the memo line, may be mailed to MBCB, P.O. Box 530, Jackson, MS 39205-0530.

October 3, 2017

NAMB sets Puerto Rico response;

Texas needs stream of volunteers

The North American Mission Board (NAMB) Send Relief ministry has been asked to manage the disaster response to Hurricane Maria on behalf of the Convention of Southern Baptist Churches in Puerto Rico.

“The needs here are unprecedented, and we need our entire Southern Baptist family to help Puerto Rico during this tragic time,” said Jorge Alvarez, who leads the Puerto Rican convention.

“This really is an unprecedented event in Puerto Rico’s history,” said David Melber, NAMB’s vice president of Send Relief. “We as Southern Baptists cannot let our neighbors and friends down.”

Melber and his team will work with state Southern Baptist Disaster Relief (SBDR) partners, of which Mississippi Baptist Disaster Relief (MBDR) is one, to see that Southern Baptists meet the need. In NAMB’s structure, Send Relief includes traditional SBDR ministry but also has service options for untrained church groups and individual volunteers.

Don Gann, MBDR coordinator and director of men’s ministry at the Mississippi Baptist Convention Board, said MBDR is on standby for service in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Both U.S. territories suffered direct strikes while Hurricane Irma was a Category Five storm.

“About 100 volunteers from state Baptist conventions not currently committed to Texas [Hurricane Harvey relief] or Florida [Hurricane Irma relief) are going to Puerto Rico,” Gann said. “As teams rotate in and out during the long-term recovery effort, MBDR may be tasked to send volunteers.”

Gann added that Spanish speakers will be needed if MBDR volunteers are called to Puerto Rico.

As the plan to send help and hope unfolds, NAMB will be working with Southern Baptists to establish church-to-church partnerships that will help meet long-term needs.

In the coming weeks, NAMB and SBDR will be sending volunteers who will staff kitchens and provide food for Hurricane Maria survivors. Trained disaster relief personnel will be sent to the island first, followed later by untrained volunteers who will receive training on-site or en route to their service destinations.

For individual and church information on volunteering in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, visit sendrelief.net.

Texas

While Puerto Rico and the response in the Caribbean garners headlines, the needs in Texas persist. SBDR and NAMB’s Send Relief volunteers have continued to chip away at the carnage left by Hurricane Harvey.

Mickey Caison, who recently retired as NAMB’s national coordinator for disaster relief, has been guiding the Send Relief response in Houston. Caison reported that, by the end of October, nearly 1,600 Send Relief volunteers from all over the United States will have come in to serve in Houston and beyond.

Hundreds of MBDR volunteers have rotated in and out of the Orange, Texas, area near the border with Louisiana, Gann said, and the need for volunteers is still great.

“Mississippi Baptists have completed 140 jobs [mud-out/cleanup], and we have 140 jobs to go. We’re halfway through the jobs that have been assigned to us, and it’s going to take a lot of volunteers to finish up,” he said.

Likewise, Caison said Send Relief’s biggest need at the moment is for churches to send volunteers who are capable of leading volunteer teams – experienced people who can assess a site and direct the crew as to what needs to be done.

Send Relief (sendrelief.net) could also use volunteers who can manage entire sites from administration to warehousing to other forms of organization, he said. For church and individual information on volunteering through MBDR, e-mail msdisasterrelief@mbcb.org.

Florida

Gann reported that MBDR’s mass feeding unit and rotating teams of volunteers, stationed at Idlewild Church in Lutz in the Tampa area, have returned to Mississippi as meals counts dropped below 500 per day for the unit, which can prepare up to 20,000 meals per day.

The MBDR mass feeding unit is a fully self-contained, commercial kitchen mounted on a tractor-trailer rig. It has an industrial power generator, potable water, and propane cooking supply. For the Hurricane Irma response, the mass feeding unit was accompanied by another 18-wheeler filled with food in case supply lines were disrupted due to the hurricane.

As of Sept. 28, SBDR reported serving more than 500,000 meals and completing nearly 900 assorted recovery jobs. Volunteers have also seen over 40 professions of faith.

Virgin Islands

In the Virgin Islands, a mobile kitchen from the Alabama Baptist Convention is in transit via ship and should arrive in St. Thomas early next week. Two Alabama SBDR leaders will arrive a few days later to start setting up the kitchen and establishing relations with pastors there.

They will also be helping to set up an island-wide response before a volunteer team from Alabama comes in to start serving meals.

Two Florida Baptist Convention leaders are also set to arrive early next week and will join the Alabama Baptist personnel in helping to set up the Southern Baptist disaster relief response that will take place in the coming weeks.

Donations

Financial donations are always needed to provide for specific supplies and other items that are necessary for response activities. Financial donations may be given through MBDR and will go directly to support victim recovery in partnership with local Baptist churches and associations. Donations may be made on-line at mbcb.org/giving/. Checks made payable to the Mississippi Baptist Convention Board, designated “Hurricane Relief” on the memo line, may be mailed to MBCB, P.O. Box 530, Jackson, MS 39205-0530.

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September 28, 2017

Mass Feeding Unit decamps Tampa;

urgent calls for volunteers ongoing

Hurricane Irma – Tampa, Florida

The Mass Feeding Unit of Mississippi Baptist Disaster Relief (MBDR), stationed since Sept. 14 at Idlewild Church in Lutz, Fl., in the Tampa area, was deactivated Sept. 27 as meal preparation counts declined to about 500 per day from a high of 20,000 per day.

“Power is back on in most of the state,” said Don Gann, MBDR coordinator and director of men’s ministry for the Mississippi Baptist Convention Board. “The only two kitchens that are still open are in the Miami area and in the Florida Keys. Miami is scheduled to shut down Sept. 29. No date has been yet set for the Florida Keys kitchen.”

The MBDR Mass Feeding Unit consists of a fully self-contained, commercial-grade kitchen mounted on a tractor-trailer. The unit carries its own electrical generator, propane supply, and potable water. For the Tampa deployment, a second 18-wheeler loaded with food followed the kitchen in case local supply lines had been disrupted by the hurricane.

The feeding unit, support equipment, and volunteers are now back in Mississippi. However, Mississippi Baptist volunteers are still urgently needed as the relief effort moves into the long-term phase. If you and/or your church feel called to work in the Florida relief effort as it moves forward, the best way to get started is to make contact by email: msdisasterrelief@mbcb.org, with dates preferred, team size, and male/female count.

Hurricane Harvey – Orange, Texas

MBDR mud-out/cleanup crews continue their work in the Orange, Texas, area. Mud-out/cleanup job requests completed by MBDR number 106 as of Sept. 26. There are over 200 job requests remaining for MBDR crews.

Teams of Mississippi Baptist volunteers are still being recruited for jobs in the Orange area. Opportunities include office work, team support, feeding, and general help in the relief effort. Mississippi Baptist volunteers are urgently needed through October, and possibly longer. If you and/or your church feel called to work in the Texas relief effort, the best way to get started is to make contact by email: msdisasterrelief@mbcb.org, with dates preferred, team size, and male/female count.

Hurricane Maria – Puerto Rico/Virgin Islands

Southern Baptist Disaster Relief (SBDR), in which MBDR participates, is currently working through churches in Puerto Rico to provide disaster relief and, while SBDR has begun to activate state convention disaster relief units for duty in Puerto Rico, MBDR has not yet been mobilized. Check back frequently on this page as updated news and information will shared as soon as it becomes available.

If you and/or your church feel called to work in the Puerto Rico/Virgin Islands relief effort, the best way to get started is to make contact by email: msdisasterrelief@mbcb.org, with dates preferred, team size, and male/female count. Please note that no announcements have been made at this time regarding Puerto Rico/Virgin Islands volunteers.

Donations

Financial donations are always needed to provide for specific supplies and other items that are necessary for response activities. Financial donations may be given through MBDR and will go directly to support victim recovery in partnership with local Baptist churches and associations. Donations may be made on-line at mbcb.org/giving/. Checks made payable to the Mississippi Baptist Convention Board, designated “Hurricane Relief” on the memo line, may be mailed to MBCB, P.O. Box 530, Jackson, MS 39205-0530.

Prayer Request

Please continue to pray for those affected by the storms that have made landfall so far this year, and for potential victims who could be in the paths of storms yet to occur. Still two months to go in hurricane season.

Mississippi Baptist Disaster Relief is supported by gifts to the Mississippi Cooperative Program, the Margaret Lackey Offering for State Missions, and donations from caring individuals.

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September 23, 2017

MBDR moving forward in Texas, Florida,

in response to Hurricanes Harvey, Irma

Orange, Texas

Mississippi Baptists have completed 71 mud-out/cleanup requests. A total of 490 Mississippi Baptist Disaster Relief (DR) volunteers have utilized housing, meals, and showers set up at North Orange Church in Orange. About 166 ministry contacts (sharing the Gospel) have been made, with three people making decisions for Christ on the spot. Daily meals for volunteers stand at 2,067 prepared by the MBDR feeding team. About 250 work requests are still open.

If you and/or your church feel called to work in Orange, the best way to get started is to make contact by email: msdisasterrelief@mbcb.org, with dates preferred, team size, and male/female count.

Tampa, Florida

The MBDR mass feeding unit continues their work at Idlewild Church in Lutz in the Tampa area. A team rotation was completed Sept. 22, with a new team replacing the team that deployed on Sept.13. The meal counts have begun to shrink somewhat due to hurricane victims returning to their homes or making other arrangements, but feeding continues. A third team is being secured to travel September 29, to relieve the team currently in place.

If you and/or your church feel called to volunteer for the Sept. 29 relief team  or to work in Florida, the best way to get started is to make contact by email: msdisasterrelief@mbcb.org, with dates preferred, team size, and male/female count.

By the numbers, as of Sept. 21

Hurricane Harvey – Texas

  • Meals prepared by MBDR: 47,067
  • Volunteer days logged: 665
  • Avg. # of MBDR volunteers per day: 67
  • Mud-out/cleanup jobs completed: 69

Hurricane Irma – Florida

  • Meals prepared by MBDR: 57,340
  • Volunteer days logged: 260
  • Avg. # of MBDR volunteers per day: 26

Grand total for meals prepared by MBDR in both states since mobilization: 104, 407.

Prayer Request

  • Southern Baptist volunteers as preparations are made for response to Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico and the earthquake in Mexico City, as well the work of volunteers in the continuing responses in Texas and Florida.

Donations

Financial donations are always needed to provide for specific supplies and other items that are necessary for response activities. Financial donations may be given through MBDR and will go directly to support victim recovery in partnership with local Baptist churches and associations. Donations may be made on-line at mbcb.org/giving/. Checks made payable to the Mississippi Baptist Convention Board, designated “Hurricane Relief” on the memo line, may be mailed to MBCB, P.O. Box 530, Jackson, MS 39205-0530.

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September. 20, 2017

Mississippi Baptist Disaster Relief (MBDR) and Mississippi Baptist churches are undertaking a tremendous response to Hurricanes Harvey in Texas and Irma in Florida. God’s people serving those affected by these historic storms bring help, healing, and hope. Here’s an update and invitation for you to volunteer.

Hurricane Irma – Tampa, Florida

The MBDR mass feeding unit (18-wheeler) with Team #1 has been on site for four days at Idlewild Church in Lutz in the Tampa area. As expected, the demand for hot meals prepared by the unit has reached maximum output of 20,000 meals per day.
In case of an interruption of supplies,  second 18-wheeler packed with additional food is also part of the MBDR response in the Tampa area. The volunteers are working hard under the HOT Florida sun. God is using their work of “giving a cup of cold water,” or in this case a plate of hot food, in Jesus’ name. Daily meal counts are high and may climb above the maximum as high as possible.

Team #2 will leave for Florida on Thursday, Sept. 21.  We still need more people to help on this team and future teams. Volunteers will stay at Idlewild Church, which has electrical power and air conditioning. 

Hurricane Harvey – Orange, Texas

After eight days of MBDR response in Texas, the Incident Command Team has coordinated the following numbers.

  • Mud-out/Cleanup jobs competed: 32
  • Volunteers: 304
  • Meals prepared for volunteers: 1,458
  • Ministry contacts (sharing the Gospel): 98

This is outstanding service. Still, over 200 work orders are open and awaiting service, and the number of work orders is expected to explode in coming days and weeks. Volunteer teams will continue to be needed into the foreseeable future.

Thank you for your prayers for all those affected and all those serving.

Volunteering

For more information on how to volunteer, contact the Men’s Ministry Department at the Mississippi Baptist Convention Board. E-mail: msdisasterrelief@mbcb.org. Telephone: (601) 292-3335 or toll-free outside Jackson (800) 748-1651, ext. 335. Web site: www.mbcb.org.

Donations

Financial donations are always needed to provide for specific supplies and other items that are necessary for response activities. Financial donations may be given through MBDR and will go directly to support victim recovery in partnership with local Baptist churches and associations. Donations may be made on-line at mbcb.org/giving/. Checks made payable to the Mississippi Baptist Convention Board, designated “Hurricane Relief” on the memo line, may be mailed to MBCB, P.O. Box 530, Jackson, MS 39205-0530.

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September 18, 2017

Call goes out for Florida volunteers

as Miss. Baptists continue in Texas

Hurricane Irma

The mass feeding unit of Mississippi Baptist Disaster Relief (MBDR) is going full force at Idlewild Church in Lutz, Fl., in the Tampa area, and has achieved its capacity of 20,000 meals per day for several days now for victims of Hurricane Irma and first responders involved in the post-hurricane effort.

Volunteers from Mississippi Baptist churches are needed at the feeding unit in Florida as soon as possible. Volunteers will receive on-site training for duty at the feeding unit. For more information on how to volunteer, contact the Men’s Ministry Department at the Mississippi Baptist Convention Board. E-mail: msdisasterrelief@mbcb.org. Telephone: (601) 292-3335 or toll-free outside Jackson (800) 748-1651, ext. 335. Web site: www.mbcb.org.

The MBDR mass feeding unit consists of a fully self-contained kitchen mounted on a tractor-trailer. The unit carries potable water, its own electrical power generator, and propane supplies for cooking. It was followed to Florida for this deployment by another tractor-trailer filled to maximum capacity with cooking supplies in case local deliveries are interrupted.

Hurricane Harvey

Mississippi Baptists are continuing their full flow of volunteers into areas of Texas affected by Hurricane Harvey. There is much work to be done. Mississippi Baptist teams working out of Orange, Texas, for mud out/clean-up of homes are especially in demand and will continue to be needed in that area for the foreseeable future, as approved work orders are being received in massive numbers.

For more information on how to volunteer, contact the Men’s Ministry Department at the Mississippi Baptist Convention Board. E-mail: msdisasterrelief@mbcb.org. Telephone: (601) 292-3335 or toll-free outside Jackson (800) 748-1651, ext. 335. Web site: www.mbcb.org.

Donations

Financial donations are always needed to provide for specific supplies and other items that are necessary for response activities. Financial donations may be given through MBDR and will go directly to support victim recovery in partnership with local Baptist churches and associations. Donations may be made on-line at mbcb.org/giving/. Checks made payable to the Mississippi Baptist Convention Board, designated “Hurricane Relief” on the memo line, may be mailed to MBCB, P.O. Box 530, Jackson, MS 39205-0530.

Prayer Requests

 

September 14, 2017

Miss. Baptists headed to Tampa area

while Texas response hits full speed

Hurricane Irma

Volunteers with Mississippi Baptist Disaster Relief (MBDR) have been mobilized to the Tampa, Fl., area with the MBDR mass feeding unit capable of producing up to 20,000 meals per day for the victims and first responders of Hurricane Irma. The unit has arrived at Idlewild Church in Lutz after a non-stop trip through heavily-damaged, debris-strewn areas of the state.

The MBDR mass feeding unit consists of a tractor-trailer with a fully self-contained commercial kitchen, food supplies, potable water, propane for cooking, and an industrial-grade electrical power generator. A second eighteen-wheeler from Mississippi Baptists, loaded with additional food supplies for an extended deployment, is also at Idlewild Church.

In addition, the first of many support teams of MBDR volunteers with specialized equipment is en route to Tampa for mud-out and chainsaw work along Irma’s path. Please be in prayer for all these Mississippi Baptist volunteers as they bring hope and the Good News of Jesus Christ to hurricane victims.

Teams of MBDR volunteers will be rotating in and out of the Tampa area approximately every 10 days, so the next team will depart Sept. 21 and return to Mississippi Sept. 30. The third scheduled rotation will be Sept. 29-October 10. Both teams presently have openings for Mississippi Baptist volunteers.

Hurricane Harvey

MBDR crews have completed 20 mud-out, cleanup, and whole-house decontamination jobs in just the first two days of activity. So far this week, around 60 volunteers have come for work assignments to North Orange Church in Orange, Texas, where MBDR is headquartered. About 166 work orders remain open and requests for help grow every day. MBDR is providing support for these teams. There is a continuing need for volunteers who can cook, others who can assess assistance requests, and still others to support incident command.

How your church can help

  • MBDR can use short-term volunteers in support of the feeding unit in Florida. Encourage your church to send a team to help with this support.
  • MBDR can use teams from your church to do cleanup in Texas as well as help feed volunteers. — Church-to-church partnerships are also being established through the Southern Baptist Convention’s North American Mission Board in Alpharetta, Ga. For more information and to sign up your church, visit namb.net/harvey.
  • Financial donations through MBDR Hurricane Relief are helping meet critical needs. Financial donations may be given through MBDR and will go directly to support victim recovery in partnership with local Baptist churches and associations. Donations may be made on-line at mbcb.org/giving/. Checks made payable to the Mississippi Baptist Convention Board, designated “Hurricane Relief” on the memo line, may be mailed to MBCB, P.O. Box 530, Jackson, MS 39205-0530.

Questions?

Send e-mail to msdisasterrelief@mbcb.org

Prayer requests

  • Family of MBDR volunteer Ronnie Ferrell.
  • Travel safety for teams moving through potentially dangerous, debris-strewn areas.
  • Team leaders who are making critical decisions in the response effort.
  • The victims of Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma.
  • The victims and first responders to the wildfires sweeping the western U.S. (Southern Baptists are also involved in that emergency.)

September 11, 2017

Mississippi Baptists assigned to Orange, Texas, 

while Florida teams prepare for mobilization

Hurricane Harvey

The Mississippi Baptist Disaster Relief (MBDR) Incident Command Leadership Team is on the ground in Orange, Texas, where the Texas Baptists coordinating the response to Hurricane Harvey have requested MBDR volunteers. Thomas Nix, MBDR volunteer and member of First Church, Fulton, is serving as team leader.

Among the Leadership Team’s responsibilities are feeding, assessment, chaplaincy, and support. MBDR mud-out/cleanup teams began arriving in Orange on Sept. 10. So far, over 100 work orders for mud-out/cleanup have already been received. These work orders are being assessed and prioritized so MBDR teams can begin work today. The unusually large number of work orders shows the huge need, as these have been received in less than twenty-four hours. More assessors are in Orange to help document needs in the local area.

The MBDR feeding team that has been stationed at a Southern Baptists of Texas convention disaster relief mass feeding unit in Corpus Christi, Texas, concluded their assignment on Sept. 10 and arrived back in Mississippi on Sept. 11.

MBDR shower units are in service in Deridder, La., and Katy, Texas. Also, Longtime MBDR volunteer Donna Swarts, member of Goodwater Church, Magee, has come out of retirement to relieve Tracy Barber, childcare coordinator for the Texas Baptist Men organization.

 

Hurricane Irma

The MBDR mass feeding unit is ready for deployment to Florida. The unit consists of a fully self-contained kitchen mounted on a tractor-trailer. The unit carries potable water, its own electrical power generator, and propane supplies for cooking. The unit can prepare 20,000 meals per day.

Volunteers assigned to the Florida team will travel this week, but departure time and location assignment have not yet been decided with the remainder of the storm track still somewhat uncertain. An MBDR shower unit is also ready to deploy with the feeding unit. 

 

Please keep in mind that volunteers will be needed for several weeks in Texas and Florida.

 

Please pray for:

  • The people in the track of Hurricane Irma.
  • Florida Baptist Disaster Relief volunteers, many of whom are being personally affected by the hurricane while devoting themselves to the needs of the people of the state and the volunteers who are arriving.
  • The people in Texas affected by Hurricane Harvey.
  • Southern Baptists from across the nation who are responding to these two unprecedented disasters.
  • MBDR teams who are responding now and in the future for their safety as they travel and respond to people’s needs, and for effectiveness as they minister in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Volunteering

For more information on how to volunteer, contact the Men’s Ministry Department at the Mississippi Baptist Convention Board. Web site: www.mbcb.org. Telephone: (601) 292-3335 or toll-free outside Jackson (800) 748-1651, ext. 335. E-mail: msdisasterrelief@mbcb.org.

Church-to-church partnerships are being established through the Southern Baptist Convention’s North American Mission Board in Alpharetta, Ga. For more information and to sign up your church, visit namb.net/harvey.

Donations

Financial donations may be given through MBDR and will go directly to support victim recovery in partnership with local Baptist churches and associations. Donations may be made on-line at mbcb.org/giving/. Checks made payable to the Mississippi Baptist Convention Board, designated “Hurricane Relief” on the memo line, may be mailed to MBCB, P.O. Box 530, Jackson, MS 39205-0530.

All sites are indicating that water or other commodities are not being requested at this time. Typically, a surge of donated items is received in the early days that meets initial demand. After those supplies are depleted, public requests will be made for additional items. In-kind donations (clothing, furniture, appliances, etc.) are currently not being accepted.

September 8, 2017

Volunteer Info – Click to Download

September 1, 2017

Mississippi Baptists get call to join Texas effort

A team of 20 trained Mississippi Baptist Disaster Relief (MBDR) workers will be the first MBDR volunteers to travel to the storm- and flood-damaged Texas Gulf Coast area, staffing the Southern Baptists of Texas feeding unit in Corpus Christi, Texas, from Labor Day (Sept. 4) to Sept. 9, as the Southern Baptist response to the devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey continues to build.

The two Texas Baptist conventions affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention – the Baptist General Convention of Texas and Southern Baptists of Texas convention – along with Texas Baptist Men are coordinating the massive response in affected areas and providing support for evacuees. By Sept. 1, Southern Baptist mobile feeding sites will be preparing upwards of 135,000 meals per day.

All sites are indicating that water or other commodities are not being requested at this time. Typically, a surge of donated items is received in the early days that meets initial demand. After those supplies are depleted, public requests will be made for additional items.

Financial donations may be given through MBDR and will go directly to support victim recovery in partnership with local Baptist churches and associations. Donations may be made on-line at mbcb.org/giving/. Checks made payable to the Mississippi Baptist Convention Board, designated “Hurricane Relief” on the memo line, may be mailed to MBCB, P.O. Box 530, Jackson, MS 39205-0530.

Church-to-church partnerships are being established through the Southern Baptist Convention’s North American Mission Board in Alpharetta, Ga. For more information and to sign up your church, visit namb.net/harvey.

August 30, 2017

Mississippi Baptist Disaster Relief continues on standby status

Tropical Storm Harvey continues to bring catastrophic flooding to southeast Texas and southwest Louisiana. Harvey will likely go down in history as one of the United States’ worst flood disasters. Many victims have lost everything, including hope. Southern Baptists are already meeting the physical needs of many people affected while sharing the hope of Jesus Christ. Texas Baptist Men, the Disaster Relief team from Southern Baptists of Texas convention, and Louisiana Baptist Convention Disaster Relief are leading the response.

Mississippi Baptist Disaster Relief remains on standby for response. A national conference call with all Southern Baptist Disaster Relief national and state leadership on Aug. 29 found all forty-two state conventions ready to assist in any way. Leadership asked other states, Mississippi included, to do the following things:

Pray – Please pray for those who are directly impacted by the storms. Pray for family members who are separated because of flooding. Pray for First Responders. Pray for Southern Baptist responders. Pray that people will come to salvation through all of this.

Patience – All of us are ready to aggressively respond. Although the need is great and desire to help is strong, it is important to avoid sending material goods or self-deploying to help until communities are safe and public officials and disaster relief organizations have had an opportunity to assess the damage and identify the specific unmet needs.

Prepare – This will be a long-term response. Teams from Mississippi Baptist churches will be needed for a long time into the future to help with cleanup and ministry. Prepare now by:

— Making sure tetanus and other inoculations are up-to-date. This is strongly recommended.

— Gathering your team and beginning to decide how, when, and where you can serve.

— Completing background checks for all team members. This is required by Texas authorities. The background checks must be within the last three years.

Background checks can be done through several ‘protect my ministry’ type organizations. Here is just one: protectmyministry.com/background-checks/volunteer-screening/.

— Texas authorities require volunteers to register and be affiliated with an identifiable group (such as your church).

— Watch this training video: namb.net/resources/disaster-relief-mudout-training.

— Spiritually prepare yourself to share the hope of Jesus Christ, whenever and wherever it is needed.

Financial donations may be given through MBDR and will go directly to support victim recovery in partnership with local Baptist churches and associations. Donations may be made on-line at mbcb.org/giving/. Checks made payable to the Mississippi Baptist Convention Board, designated “Hurricane Relief” on the memo line, may be mailed to MBCB, P.O. Box 530, Jackson, MS 39205-0530.

At the present time, MBDR has no provisions for in-kind donations (clothing, furniture, etc.).

August 28, 2017

MBDR preparing to assist Hurricane Harvey recovery

Mississippi Baptist Disaster Relief (MBDR), a ministry of the Men’s Ministry Department of the Mississippi Baptist Convention Board (MBCB), is on STANDBY for response to Hurricane Harvey’s landfall in the Houston, Texas, area.

Mobilization of the MBDR large feeding unit will likely occur on Tuesday, Aug. 29, or Wednesday, Aug. 30. Meal counts will likely be at unit capacity of 15,000 to 20,000 meals per day. Trained MBDR volunteers will man the feeding unit upon its deployment.

Also, MBDR recovery teams (mud out/chainsaw) will be mobilized to affected areas as soon as requested by Texas Baptists.

In Southern Baptist life, affected state Baptist conventions coordinate disaster response in their respective states. In this case, both Texas Baptist conventions affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention – the Baptist General Convention of Texas (BGCT) and Southern Baptists of Texas Convention (SBTC) — have large and effective Disaster Relief teams. Their response has already begun. MBDR does not self-deploy but works in partnership with our Baptist brothers and sisters in the affected state. MBDR is packed and ready, awaiting their instructions.

Here are some action steps we encourage you and your church to take today:

• Pray for those so desperately impacted by the storm. Many are displaced. Many have lost precious belongings. Some are concerned about their jobs because their places of employment are flooded. The early days after a disaster are naturally filled with chaos.

• Pray for those responding to this historic disaster. Texas Baptist Men and SBTC are responding now. They have excellent teams facing an enormous challenge.

• Pray for other faith-based disaster response groups.

• At the present time, MBDR has no provisions for in-kind donations (clothing, furniture, etc.). Financial donations may be given through MBDR and will go directly to support victim recovery in partnership with local Baptist churches and associations. Donations may be made on-line at mbcb.org/giving/. Checks made payable to the Mississippi Baptist Convention Board, designated “Hurricane Relief” on the memo line, may be mailed to MBCB, P.O. Box 530, Jackson, MS 39205-0530.

• Pray that God will use even these difficult days to lead people to salvation.