We are grateful to God for your concern and willingness to help those affected by the recent tornadoes. Here are two specific ways to help:
- We have reached out to our ministry partner Dale Ledbetter at the Maury Baptist Association. Dale has recommended we point people to the Samaritan’s Purse team who is coordinating recovery efforts. You can sign up for a time to serve on their site: SAMARITAN’S PURSE VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES
- Through our pastoral staff contacts, we are working on a plan to partner with a sister church who sustained significant damage. We will share specific details about how to help in the near future, including how our church will give financially to help them rebuild. We are still working out the plan in a timeline that is best for the church affected. Stay tuned.
In the meantime, continue to pray for God’s mercy and grace for those affected and pray for the Gospel to go forth and spread hope.
Here are excerpts from a letter from Disaster Relief Specialist Wes Jones with the Tennessee Baptist Mission Board sharing how sometimes too many people coming to help in a disaster relief situation actually hinders the relief effort. Our hope is to be of the best help possible at the best time possible. Please pray with us toward that goal.
As you have probably heard by now, Nashville, Mount Juliet, Lebanon, Cookeville, and everywhere in between got slammed by a tornado early Tuesday morning. Most do not know that the storm that night also affected Benton Co. With 22 people already confirmed dead and a number unaccounted for, there may be more tragedy and heartbreak to come. More than anything PRAY for those affected. Pray for those who those who have lost loved ones and the many more who have lost their homes.
In the meantime, TBDR units are already beginning to respond. We are currently using teams that are traveling into the affected area nearest them. We have had people responding to all the affected areas.
I am going to beg your patience in the response. Currently there so many local people just showing up that there is massive gridlock in all the middle TN locations. People are on top of each other and it is extremely unsafe. Today in one area, the EMA had put out an all call for volunteers. He expected up to 1,000 to show up. Our local DR director tried to tell him to expect many more than that. When they got there that morning there were already over 1,000 and more coming all the time. One person ended up overseeing some 2,500 volunteers. People waited for hours to get on the buses to go clean up the sides of the roads. Finally, about noon with roughly 500 people still waiting, he told them to go home, they were not needed anymore. I do not want to put our teams in that position where you come and then you are not allowed to get the work done.
I appreciate the amount of people who have called offering their team and churches to assist and we are going to play the long game. So, I ask your patience as we make some long-term response plans.