Baptists in Harvey relief efforts
The Baptist World Alliance donates funds to Baptist disaster relief units, which predict a long term deployment following the devastating hurricane
The Baptist World Alliance (BWA) sent an initial sum of US$15,000 to Baptists in Texas in the United States to assist those affected by Hurricane Harvey.
Harvey, which landed as a category 4 hurricane on the coast of Texas on August 25, has caused widespread destruction in the Greater Houston/Southeast Texas region.
Thirty people were known to have died by the end of August, while more than 300,000 people were left without electricity and billions of dollars in property damage was sustained.
BWA General Secretary Neville Callam told David Hardage, executive director of the Baptist General Convention of Texas, that 'the Baptist family worldwide is viewing with alarm recent developments in the state of Texas resulting from the passage of Hurricane Harvey.'
Dr Callam added, 'the scenes of devastation are heart-rending and we are deeply concerned about the suffering people are facing.' He assured Baptists in the state 'of our prayers for all who suffer.'
Elsewhere, Southern Baptists of Texas Convention (SBTC) Disaster Relief units have begun deployment for "what could be the largest relief effort the state of Texas has seen", Baptist Press (BP) reported.
It quoted Gordon Knight, SBTC director of chaplains, who said, 'This is going to be a record setter. This is huge, and we're gearing up for a long-term stay.'
The relief units are involved with mass care feeding, administration and setting up water treatment units, as well as cleanup and recovery once the floodwater starts to recede. They also send chaplains to the affected areas.
There are a number of faith-based groups involved in the relieft efforts - this Baptist News Global article carried more information. In addition more than 12,000 members of the Texas National Guard have been called out to support local authorities in response to the storm.
Stories of individuals also began to emerge. The BP website shared an article about how a Baptist children's minister had welcomed 16 flood survivors into her home. A British Baptist minister also reported how a Texan team involved in a mission week alongside his church last month had been affected by the floods.
Baptist disaster relief crews have rallied with a "phenomenal" response to Hurricane Harvey, yet an "overwhelming" tasks loom, DR leaders say Baptist Press 5 September
Photo | U.S. Soldiers with the Texas Army National Guard rescue Houston residents as floodwaters from Hurricane Harvey continue to rise, Aug. 28, 2017 | US Department of Defense | Flickr | Public domain