Disaster Relief Update as of 3/17/2020

Tennessee Baptist DR Volunteers,

My heart is saddened to tell you that, due to the Coronavirus, we are canceling all training events from now until the end of April. Please pray that God would stem this tide soon.

Even though we are canceling these trainings, God has opened a door of possible ministry for not only DR volunteers, but also our local churches. Last week the DR State Directors were on a conference call in which representatives of the CDC ask if we (both DR and the churches at large) would consider assisting in meeting needs arising from the coronavirus event. What this might mean has yet to be defined however, some of the possible scenarios we talked about were: delivering food staples to those who were in self quarantine and did not have family or friends to help, possibly cooking either on large scale or within church kitchens and delivering food, assisting with getting food to children who are home and are no longer getting meals usually provided at school, and setting up a phone line for people to call in and talk with someone to get prayer or encouragement.

As this is going out, discussions are being held with Directors of Missions all around the state to ask them to join us in this effort and for them to seek to enlist the local churches to participate with us. This does not at all take away from the myriad of ways that churches are already serving their communities. It is to fill in and help those who may fall through the cracks.

Should we be called upon to serve in any of these ways, we will have to follow all guidelines to protect ourselves. These guidelines will be posted soon either through another email, our TNDisasterRelief.org webpage and/or on Facebook.

This is not a call to action currently, but a call to prepare and ask yourself some basic questions. Am I willing to serve if we are called upon? How might I be involved should the needs arise? What precautions do I need to take in order to protect myself while responding?  Am I willing to assume the risk?

Two of the things that I will be working on for when the threat has passed are: Planning for long-term rehab of homes damaged by the tornados where the owners were either uninsured or underinsured. In a different project, the container of materials to help with the rehabilitation of the two churches in Grand Bahamas has made it to the port to be shipped.  Prayerfully it should be in country within the next week to 10 days. When we can start traveling again, we will schedule teams to assist in the rehab effort there.

Most importantly during this time: 1. Lift up our country and the world as we face this event; 2. Pray for those who have the virus that God would heal; 3. Pray for safety and protection for all who directly minister to those who are infected. 4; That the church would be the hands and feet of Christ to meet the needs of our church members, family, friends, neighbors and strangers, and present a positive loving witness to our Lord and Savior; 5. Pray that God would receive praise, honor and glory through it all.

Scripture tell us that, “And I (Christ), If I (Christ) be lifted up from the earth, I (Christ) will draw all men unto me” (John 12:32). He was lifted on the cross to pay the price for our sin, let us lift him up in this time so that we might see many come to saving faith in Christ and set on the road to discipleship.

In Christ, Serving Together,
Wes Jones

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