As Hurricane Florence continues its trajectory toward the Carolina coastline, the North American Mission Board is coordinating the national Southern Baptist Disaster Relief response, along with moving supplies from Send Relief’s warehouse in Ashland, Ky.
SBC President J.D. Greear, in a video distributed by NAMB, is calling on Southern Baptists to “display the generosity of Christ” through the upcoming disaster effort.
Eddie Blackmon, a disaster response specialist with NAMB, has been at the the American Red Cross National Capital Region headquarters in Fairfax, Va., in the Washington, D.C., metro area preparing for the initial feeding response.
“Currently, SBDR disaster relief directors across all states have committed 22 mobile field kitchens with a per day meal capacity of 315,000 meals,” Blackmon said. “All of these kitchens are on standby with Red Cross, most likely to receive an activation notice on Friday (Sept. 14).”
Once activated, the kitchens will move from their respective states and be staged until they are assigned to feeding locations as needed.
“North Carolina, in their planning, is talking about having as many as 15 to 20 feeding sites in the state” hosted by Baptist churches, Blackmon said.
NAMB’s national SBDR office also has prepared and transported pastor packs for local pastors in serving their communities, with distribution through Baptist state conventions in North and South Carolina as well as Virginia.
The pastor packs were prepared and shipped from the Appalachia Ministry Center of Send Relief, NAMB’s compassion ministry arm. Along with the pastor packs that shipped Wednesday morning (Sept. 12), NAMB has been loading semi-trucks with disaster relief supplies to be used by SBDR teams in states affected by Hurricane Florence.
The pastor packs will include a generator, chainsaw and water filter along with various supplies needed to operate the equipment.
“This is much like what we did in Puerto Rico in 2017,” said Sam Porter, NAMB’s national director for disaster relief. “These packs will go to the state conventions for them to share, especially with the small, rural churches that will lose electricity.
“We are sending lots of Shockwave mold remediation, lots of water and other supplies that the state disaster relief teams have asked for,” Porter said. When and where those supplies will be delivered will be dictated by the effects of Hurricane Florence.
Greear, in the NAMB video, noted that “there are a number of things you can do as a Southern Baptist.”
“Number one, you can pray. You can pray for those who are going to be affected by this tragedy, pray that God will be merciful, that there will be safety, pray that the rescue crews will have everything they need.
“Secondly, you can give. If you go to NAMB.net, right in the middle of the page there’s a big thing that says Hurricane Florence, and there’s a way that you can give and get involved right there.
“In addition to that, it has a way that you can go down to your state convention and give through your state convention.
“This is a real place that we as the body of Christ can serve our community…. We can show that we have a message of love, not just in what Jesus did in dying for our sins, but He came to rescue and save. And we can put that on display.”
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Source: Baptist Press