ALPHARETTA, Ga. (BP) -- Following a prayer by North American Mission Board evangelism vice president Larry Wynn, Southern Baptist Disaster Relief drivers Larry Kirkland and K. Ray Helms fired up NAMB's two 18-wheelers and departed today (Aug. 29) for Mobile, Ala.
Each of the 60,000-pound Freightliner rigs is filled to the max with 20 pallets containing 320 rolls of plastic roof sheeting, wooden strips and nails destined for the Louisiana-Mississippi Gulf Coast, where dozens of Southern Baptist Disaster Relief volunteers will use the materials to protect the homes of Hurricane Isaac victims.
While the slow-moving hurricane continues to grind across the New Orleans area today with 75 mph winds and drenching rainfall that may top 20 inches, Kirkland and Helms will make camp tonight in Mobile, avoiding the current gusty winds and downpour in New Orleans. On Thursday, they'll proceed to staging sites in the hardest-hit areas of Louisiana and Mississippi.
Kirkland and Helms are members of the Tennessee Baptist Convention's disaster relief team. Kirkland is from Loudon, Tenn.; Helms from Johnson City.
"This is our first opportunity to deploy this roofing material, and we're excited to have this resource for the states," said Cathy Miller, disaster relief team member at NAMB's offices in Alpharetta, Ga. "Residents can use it to get their homes covered up so further damage can be prevented until permanent repairs can be made."
Miller said trained Southern Baptist DR volunteers across the SBC should immediately advise their state directors if they are available for assignment to the Gulf Coast. Volunteers in several states are on standby for feeding, chainsaw work, childcare, mud-out, chaplaincy and laundry/shower units.
"Southern Baptists need to pray for the hurricane victims, the first responders and for the safety of our disaster relief volunteers who will go in," Miller said. "We also need to pray for patience because we have to let the storm get out of the way so our state disaster relief directors can get folks in to assess the damages and the needs.
"More than anything, we need to pray for opportunities to use this disaster to share the Gospel," Miller said. Read More