East Tenn. DR Team Goes Above and Beyond

From Baptist & Reflector

The members of a DR team from East Tennessee salute the flag at the home of Army veteran Myron Havrilchak. (Contributed photo)

SOUTHBURY, Conn. — Myron Havrilchak, a resident of Southbury, Conn., was among the thousands of homeowners who saw their houses and property substantially damaged by the tornadoes that recently swept through the area.

And yet, when the members of the Tennessee Baptist Disaster Relief team arrived at the Havrilchak residence on May 26, they quickly realized Havrilchak had something on his mind that meant more to him than brick and mortar.

Havrilchak is a veteran of the US Army, and he proudly flies a flag in his backyard. But the storms had destroyed his flagpole, and the 86-year-old Havrilchak, having the heart of a solider, was focused on rectifying the problem.

“When we got to his house, he was more concerned about not being able to properly celebrate Memorial Day (which was two days away) than he was about the trees in his yard,” said Larry Sharp, a member of the DR team from East Tennessee that was deployed in Connecticut. “So, we went to a hardware store, we purchased a piece of pipe, took it back to his house and drove it in the ground.” Continue reading

Tennessee DR Teams Asked to Mobilize for New England

National Atlas – Public Domain

From Baptist & Reflector

FRANKLIN — Tennessee Baptist Disaster Relief teams are being asked to mobilize for relief work efforts in Connecticut after tornadoes swept through New England last week.

The line of storms, which included two EF-1 tornadoes, caused severe damage to several towns in Southwest Connecticut. The storms destroyed roughly 200 homes and damaged about 800 more.

New England DR teams are working quickly to mobilize, but are in need of assistance. Tennessee DR teams are being asked to mobilize, if possible, to help in the following areas: Continue reading

Call-Out: Illinois Flood Recovery

Team Leaders and DOMs,

Photo: Illinois Department of Public Health

We have received a call-out for Flood Recovery teams to go to Illinois. If you can put together a team and want to respond, please let me know as soon as possible before contacting Illinois.

Here is a copy of what Dwain sent us today…..

We need help in Illinois with flood response.  As I sat in the Incident Command center while teams returned from a beautiful day of work here in Iroquois County, I was thankful that the weather had warmed up enough for our foggers to work. IC leadership informed me that they received another new 70 jobs from the county. This brings our total number of requests to 256. We have completed 57 homes so far which leaves us at 199 homes waiting to be cleared.

It is early in the season and we are in need of help. If you have Flood Recovery teams, this is our main need. If you are able to send teams please contact me, or the Off-Site Coordinator. Karissa is coordinating the numbers of teams over the next weeks. We are hopeful that we can finish up in three to four weeks if we can get the hands to help.

Incident Command and Housing
Cornerstone Ministries
200 Half St
Woodland, IL 60974
IC Phone: (217) 622-5101

Offsite Coordinator – Will send you the FormStack for this callout.
Carissa Howell
(618) 687-4126

IC White Cap
Jim Weickersheimmer
State Disaster Relief Director

In Christ Serving Together,
Wes Jones

Hurricane Response Update & a Note From a Relief Worker

Team Leaders, Secretaries and DOMs,

Harvey – we continue to have teams in Texas doing Flood Recovery. They are looking for two small feeding teams for next week to cook for volunteers (4-6). If you have a feeding team interested, let me know ASAP. They continue to close sites and move manpower where they work is still needed. Rebuild teams are now being scheduled.

Irma – We have a mixed group of team leaders in FL this week assisting with teams coming in. Pray for a great week of work for all involved.

Maria – Our team continues to work through some of the adverse conditions. Pray for continued strength. One team member had a mishap on Saturday, please pray for him. Below is a note I received from the team today to let you know some of the things they have been doing. Continue reading

Harvey, Irma, Maria & Nate

Team Leaders, Secretaries and DOMs,

Here are the most resent updates on what is going on in DR.

Maria – Our team of 20 from East Tennessee left out yesterday and traveled to Atlanta for their flight out to Puerto Rico this morning. Last work I received was that they were all checked in, through security and on the flight waiting to take off. By the time of writing this, they should have arrived to start their great adventure to see how the Lord will use them over the next two weeks.

Please pray for them as they look for opportunities to serve the people in Puerto Rico through whatever means available. Some of the things this may include may be cleaning up and salvaging people’s property, cooking and hooking up the portable water purifier and simply giving out clean water to the residents around them. Pray for God to open-up doors of ministry to share about the love of Christ in a difficult time. Pray for their safety and living conditions as they will be camping out in a church facility with very limited access to food, water and electricity. Pray that each night, God will give them good rest. Continue reading

Update on Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria Along With Las Vegas Shooting

Team Leaders, Secretaries and DOMs,

Thank you for your continued support to those who are hurting.

Las Vegas – As of Monday’s conference call Nevada SBDR was in communication with the State Emergency Manager and offering assistance with Chaplains to help minister to those affected by the shooting. Please be in prayer for all those affected by the tragedy. Continue reading

New Updates for Texas, Florida, & Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico (Map: NOAA)

Team Leaders, Secretaries and DOMs,

I want to thank all our volunteers and leadership that continue to serve those in need when called upon. You are a blessing to work with.

Here is the latest update on what is happening through TN Disaster Relief.

Harvey – Chainsaw jobs in Texas are wrapping up. We are not going to send any more chainsaw teams to Texas. We will continue to send Flood Recovery Teams as they are available. We have one team down there now and two scheduled to go down next week. If you have teams that are willing to go, please send us your team name, unit number and dates you would like to go. We will keep scheduling teams for as long as they have work. They are also beginning to do rebuilding. If you have teams or groups that would like to be involved in this part of the work, please let us know and we will try and get you connected with their leadership. Continue reading

Winter Break Missions Opportunity for College Students

Baptist Collegiate Ministries across the state and Tennessee Disaster Relief are joining forces to assist areas recently affected by hurricanes.

During Winter Break (Dec. 30, 2017-Jan. 6, 2018), BCM students from various university campuses will form a team, become trained, credentialed Disaster Relief volunteers and minister to the people of Texas that were devastated by Hurricane Harvey.

The estimated cost for this trip is $100.

SIGN UP HERE , or visit SendTNMissions.org. Contact Tiffany Bailey for more information.

Harvey / Irma / Maria Update

Team Leaders, Secretaries and DOM’s,

First immediate needs….

  1. Incident Management people to assist in the Texas Baptist Men Command units. They are specifically looking for people with Operations ability. This means taking in work orders, making sure work orders are assessed, assigning work orders, receiving back work orders that are finished or unfinished, organizing unfilled work orders by area so teams working do not have to travel so far and making sure top priority jobs are being done in a timely manner.
  2. Laundry and Shower workers are needed in Texas as soon as possible. Teams of 2 to three are needed to man other team’s units. This will allow their folks to have a break. This will be coordinated through the SBCT convention DR.
  3. We still have needs for Chainsaw and Flood Recovery teams in Texas. Contact us here at the office and we will get you scheduled.
  4. In Texas, they are also starting to schedule Rebuild Teams. If you have a team, church or Association that would like to look at scheduling a team to participate in this, contact us here at the office and we will get you in touch with the folks in Texas.

If you or some of your folks want to respond to these needs, please let me know as soon as possible. Please email both me and Elizabeth.

TEAM LEADERS – Please make sure you are passing this information on to the volunteers you oversee. Even if you cannot take a “team”, they may want the opportunity to respond, even if it means going with another team.

HARVEY – We continue to have teams responding to needs from Beaumont, TX down to the Victoria, TX area. We have at least 2 teams scheduled to go next week to continue the work. The needs in Texas are listed in the list above. Please continue to encourage your folks to go and assist as they are able.

IRMA – We have had a Chainsaw unit in FL last week and we have a small group assisting with cooking in Lake Yale, FL. The chainsaw w/bucket truck team will be heading back home today and the cooking group at the end of the week. Due to teams coming in from other states, we will not be sending in any other teams in the near term.

MARIA – Remember how I said in the last update how things can change rapidly in DR life? The Maria response is no exception. Things continue to change moment by moment. Let me see if I can bring you up to date with the latest changes.

Puerto Rico – The response to Puerto Rico with the feeding units is OFF for the moment. The Governor of PR has decided against bringing in feeding kitchens and wants to handle things locally. We are praying that he will change his mind and allow us to bring people and units in. Please remember that in a disaster it is not the Federal Government that controls what happens on the field, it is the responsibility of the local governor to set the direction for his/her area. FEMA is still advocating for us to help but, their hands are tied. We are trying to contact local pastors to get them into a group that is forming on the island to speak into the need on the island and the resources we could assist with. Pray for these connections, listening ears and open hearts.

Meanwhile, they are trying to get feeding units to St. Croix. They are trying to get NC and KY units into this island. The logistics are difficult right now and they are trying to get it worked through.


  1. Pray for the safety and strength of the volunteers who are responding.
  2. Pray for more volunteers to go and continue the work.
  3. Pray specifically for the situation on the islands in the Caribbean that God would open doors to allow goods and services to get to the people who need assistance.
  4. Pray for wisdom on the part of all leaders involved in the discussions on how best to respond and meet the need of many hurting people.
  5. Pray most of all that God would be Glorified and that through this tragedy and many will come to know Christ as Lord and Savior.

In Christ Serving Together,
Wes Jones

Harvey, Irma & Maria Update

What a difference a few days can make. Life changes fast in the DR world and that is why we ask you to be fluid.

Harvey — We will be closing down our operation in Sugar Land, TX tomorrow. Our units will be heading back to TN. WE STILL NEED CHAINSAW AND FLOOD RECOVERY UNITS willing to go to TX and serve. There is still a lot of work to do and will be for some time. It is estimated that some 300,000 homes were affected by the storm. They are still discovering many smaller communities that have not received much help yet. IF YOU HAVE A TEAM(s) AND WANT TO SCHEDULE IT TO GO, LET ME KNOW YOU DATES OF AVAILABILITY AND WE WILL SCHEDULE THEM THROUGH THE TEXAS DOC. We will continue to help our Texas brothers for as long as we are able. They are always one of the first ones to come help other states. Continue reading