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Stories tagged with: disaster relief

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  • Calif. fires leave locals 'shocked,' DR active

    by David Roach, posted Tuesday, August 14, 2018 (one month ago)

    Screen capture from KGO
    CLEARLAKE OAKS, Calif. (BP) -- California Southern Baptists have found themselves dispensing hope amid the death, destruction and weariness caused by more than a dozen wildfires burning across the state.

    The largest recorded fire in California history -- the Mendocino Complex fire in the northern part of the state -- has burned more than 340,000 acres, destroyed 147 homes and left a firefighter dead Aug. 13.

    Among those to suffer loss in the massive blaze is Gregory Holmes, director of missions for the Mendo-Lake Baptist Association in Lucerne, Calif., who lost all the structures on his 23-acre Lake County retirement property. Holmes, 72, had spent years preparing the property for his retirement, which he hoped to begin in four to five years. But he couldn't find a company willing to issue fire insurance because of the high risk. Read More

  • Calif. wildfires: Chaplains become first phase of DR

    by Brandon Elrod, posted Monday, July 30, 2018 (one month ago)

    Screen capture from TIME
    REDDING, Calif. (BP) -- California Southern Baptist Disaster Relief chaplaincy teams have begun providing spiritual and emotional counseling to survivors of Northern California's Carr fire, which started on July 23 and rapidly grew over the weekend to consume more than 98,000 acres.

    Mike Bivins, director of California's SBDR efforts who has been on site visiting shelters, reported that between 800 and 1,000 survivors have been in and out of shelters in the Redding area.

    "As of [Monday morning, July 30], no evacuation orders have been lifted," Bivins said. "We are anticipating that shelters will remain for three-plus days." Read More

  • Iowa tornado devastation triggers Baptist DR response

    by Tobin Perry, posted Wednesday, July 25, 2018 (2 months ago)

    Photos courtesy of Iowa Baptist Convention Disaster Relief
    MASHALLTOWN, Iowa (BP) -- Southern Baptist Disaster Relief teams have begun cleanup work in Marshalltown, Iowa, following a devastating tornado July 19.

    A Missouri Baptist Disaster Relief team arrived Tuesday to set up incident command at Iglesia Karios in Marshalltown. Chainsaw teams from Iowa have dispersed throughout the city to clear debris. An SBDR feeding team has prepared meals for recovery workers in the area.

    Additional SBDR volunteers from Kansas-Nebraska and Florida already are on the ground in Marshalltown. Carlson, co-director of Iowa Baptist Disaster Relief, expects volunteers from other nearby states to arrive later this week and early next week. Teams from other states interested in providing assistance should contact their state disaster relief director. Read More

  • Missouri DR deploys after 17 killed at Branson lake

    by Benjamin Hawkins, posted Friday, July 20, 2018 (2 months ago)

    Screen capture from CNN
    BRANSON, Mo. –(BP) -- Seventeen people, including children, died yesterday (July 19) after a sudden violent storm capsized a "duck boat" on Table Rock Lake near the tourist hotspot of Branson, Mo. The tragedy prompted a response from Missouri Disaster Relief (DR) today, as well as from other Southern Baptists in the region.

    Branson is known among tourists for its "duck boats," which can travel both on land and in the water. Two boats were still in the water yesterday at Table Rock Lake, when a fast-moving storm brought winds in excess of 60 mph and caused three-foot waves on the lake.

    One of the boats was able to make it back to shore but another -- carrying 31 passengers -- struggled amid the waves and was finally capsized. Read More

  • Colo. wildfires draw multi-state Baptist DR response

    by Brandon Elrod, posted Friday, July 20, 2018 (2 months ago)

    Photo submitted by Dennis Belz
    LA VETA, Colorado (BP) -- Southern Baptist Disaster Relief teams from as far east as Kentucky are headed west to Colorado to help bring hope and healing to communities ravaged by fires that have consumed tens of thousands of acres and destroyed hundreds of homes.

    Colorado Baptists have been serving the community of La Veta in the south-central region of the state since June 30. The state SBDR team began feeding first responders -- firefighters, forestry workers, the National Guard, police and State Emergency Operations Center personnel -- three days after what became known as the Spring Creek Fire developed on June 27 near Fort Garland, Colo., roughly 35 miles west of La Veta, according to the Denver Post. Read More

  • Conn. 'surprised by grace' of DR response to storms

    by Diana Chandler, posted Tuesday, June 26, 2018 (3 months ago)

    Baptist Convention of New England photo
    SOUTHBURY, Conn. (BP) -- Hundreds of Southern Baptists from 13 states are helping Connecticut residents after tornadoes destroyed 300 homes there in May, disaster relief (DR) leader Tim Buehner told Baptist Press.

    Chaplaincy has been at the forefront of DR work slated to continue through mid-July in at least five communities where an estimated 98 percent of residents don't recognize Jesus as Savior, said Buehner, mobilization and ministry evangelism coordinator for the Baptist Convention of New England (BCNE). Read More

  • Mission team 'safe' 10 miles from Fuego's eruption

    by Diana Chandler, posted Tuesday, June 05, 2018 (3 months ago)

    Screen capture from ABC News.
    ESCUINTLA CITY, Guatemala (BP) -- A Southern Baptist youth mission team already in Guatemala when a volcano erupted there June 3 is safe and helping churches house and feed survivors.

    The 10-member team from Bear Cove Baptist Church in Sparta, Tenn., had arrived in Escuintla City June 1 to help Baptist churches there evangelize urban youth, church youth minister Justin Wesson told Baptist Press June 4. Read More

  • DR team helps Army veteran show his patriotic heart

    by David Dawson, posted Thursday, May 31, 2018 (3 months ago)

    Submitted photo
    SOUTHBURY, Ct. (BP) -- Myron Havrilchak was among thousands whose houses and property in southeast Connecticut were substantially damaged by tornadoes that recently swept through the area.

    And yet, when a Tennessee Baptist disaster relief team arrived at Havrilchak's residence in Southbury, they quickly realized something was on his mind that meant more to him than brick and mortar.

    A veteran of the U.S. Army, Havrilchak proudly flies a flag in his backyard. But the storms had destroyed his flagpole and the 86-year-old was focused, with the heart of a soldier, on rectifying the problem. Read More

  • Bob Dixon: Disaster relief pioneer was rooted in faith

    by Art Toalston, posted Tuesday, May 15, 2018 (4 months ago)

    DALLAS (BP) -- Robert E. "Bob" Dixon, who pioneered Southern Baptist disaster relief ministry more than 50 years ago -- seeing DR deployments as "invitations from the Father" -- died May 10 at age 90.

    Dixon fashioned homemade "buddy burners" from gallon-sized coffee cans when, in the wake of Hurricane Beulah in 1967, he was dispatched to the Rio Grande Valley from a Royal Ambassadors boys camp.

    His task: to do what he could to coordinate volunteers who would use the one-pot buddy burners to prepare breakfast for truck drivers delivering food and clothing to storm survivors. Read More

  • Flood waters, pastor's vision lead to new church

    by Don Cockes, posted Thursday, April 12, 2018 (5 months ago)

    Submitted photo
    COVINGTON, Va. (BP) -- There is a new church in Alleghany County, Va. -- and it happened because of a flood, a legacy and a pastor's vision.

    In June 2016, Fincastle Baptist Church, located in Fincastle, Va., just outside of Roanoke, reached out to the town of Covington after a flood that affected the area. Fincastle responded with volunteers, known as the Go Team, and developed a plan to provide furniture and appliances to flood victims. In partnership with SBC of Virginia Disaster Relief and with the help of SBCV's Vision Virginia funds, Fincastle was able to help nearly 500 families. Read More