USA (MNN) — Hurricane Sandy rocked residents in many states, including New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and West Virginia. Southern Baptist Disaster Relief (SBDR) volunteers are on their way to the hardest-hit areas to bring help and hope to this crisis.
Bruce Poss, DR coordinator for the North American Mission Board, was Southern Baptist's liaison with the Emergency Agency. "This is our time to do what God has commissioned us to do."
SBDR units from across the country are heading toward New York and New Jersey. New York has made the largest request, 100,000 meals per day. "We are working with New York City, the American Red Cross, and other partners to ramp up for a high capacity response," said Fritz Wilson, DR executive director for the North American Mission Board (NAMB).
"This response has been similar to any other, in that the first 72 hours are hectic, but things are working well," Wilson said. "We've had some logistical challenges, particularly because of the size of the storm and the high population density, but we have teams serving and preparing to serve."
SBDR volunteers are responding from many state conventions including the Baptist General Convention of Virginia, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland-Delaware, Mississippi, New England, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania-South Jersey, South Carolina, Southern Baptist Conservatives of Virginia, Tennessee and West Virginia.
West Virginia experienced heavy snows which caused multiple roofs to collapse. DR Director Delton Beall reported five people were confirmed dead in the blizzard and 200,000 homes are without power. State conventions in Virginia are responding to the needs in West Virginia.
SBC has a partnership with NAMB. Together they respond to major disasters. SBDR assets include 82,000 trained volunteers, including chaplains, and about 1,550 mobile units for feeding, chain sawing, mud-out, command, communication, childcare, shower, laundry, water purification, repair/rebuild, and power generation. It is one of the three largest mobilizers of trained disaster relief volunteers in the United States, along with American Red Cross and The Salvation Army.
Southern Baptist asks that you pray for the teams that are serving. Pray that they will be able to share the good news about Jesus while they are physically serving the people's needs. Also if you would like to be a part of the disaster relief operations and donate, you can go to NAMB's disaster relief fund.