My apologies for not have updated everyone on what was going on for a while. As many of you know, it has been very busy in the DR world since Florence struck, followed closely by Michael.
TN units have continued to respond to both North Carolina and Florida along with some having responded to Georgia and South Carolina. I cannot thank you all enough for the Help, Hope and Healing that you have brought to so many in these devastated areas. You have been faithful witnesses and God has opened the heart of the people you have served, and we have seen at least 4 come to know Christ as their Savior.
What is happening now and into the near future where you and your churches and teams might plug in?
We are still looking for some teams to go to Port St. Joe, FL and help finish up some jobs that have come in recently. We need some chainsaw teams and flood recovery teams ASAP. In the next two weeks, I would like to see this part finished up. The Port St. Joe administration is going to stop picking up debris at the end of this month (Jan. 31). We need to get as much of this done as possible. If you can put together a team quickly to help meet this need, please contact us here at the office ASAP.
We will be doing “Train the Trainer” at the end of the month. Please pray for those who will be taking the classes as well as those who will be teaching them. We want to provide high quality training to our volunteers.
If you are a DR unit, a church or an association, there are opportunities to get involved and serve.
Dominica: We are still partnering with La Plaine Baptist Church to rebuild and minister to that community. Leaders from Woodmont Baptist Church in Nashville are now leading in the coordination of teams going to serve there. They have set up a webpage; your teams, churches or associations can get connected with what is going on there. Visit their site and contact them if you would like to go and serve. www.teamdominica.blogspot.com . You can continue to give to the ongoing work by going to our DR contributions web page and click on the 2017 Hurricane Fund (Dominica). www.tndisasterrelief.org/contributions
Puerto Rico: CrossNet Baptist Network and Weakley County Baptist Association have been leading in the recovery work going on in the Guayama area of the island. As spring comes they will be working on fixing up one of the churches that was heavily damaged, and the insurance company went broke without paying any of their claim.
North Carolina: Rebuild has begun in earnest, although when you start to do repairs you sometimes have to do a little more tear-out and clean up before beginning. They are coordinating with FEMA in a program called STEP. This program seeks to get the person’s home back into livable condition, so the families can move back in, but it does not finish it off totally. Teams with all sorts of construction trades and those who follow directions are needed and will be needed for at least the next 2 years. Work may include putting in doors and windows, insulation and sheetrock, mudding, installation of bathrooms and fixtures, setting a kitchen cabinet and sink, putting subfloor and covering it with louan. NC is providing housing and meals for teams that are coming to serve. They are working out of 3 different locations in the eastern side of the state. Teams wanting to go and serve can go to their website and sign up. Many of our TN volunteers have been working in the Warsaw area. The website address is: https://baptistsonmission.org/Mission-Projects/By-Mission-Type/Disaster-Relief/Hurricane-Florence/Get-Involved
Florida-Port St. Joe: Florida has not currently set up a rebuild program. We will continue to work in Port St. Joe as we have volunteers, work to do and funds to do the work with. We have started doing some rebuild work and will continue to do so as there are needs and funds available. We will take on rebuild projects as we have teams available and committed to going. If you are interested in being involved in this project, please contact the us here at the DR office (615) 371-7926 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Please help me by passing this information on to churches and groups in your areas that you think would be interested in participating in one or more of these needs.
In Christ Serving Together,
Disaster Relief Specialist
Tennessee Baptist Mission Board