2018 Relief Efforts by Southern Baptists Still Need Volunteers in the New Year

Send Relief, the compassion ministry arm of the North American Mission Board, has several 2019 ministry opportunities for college students to bring relief and the hope of the Gospel to those affected by the crises of Hurricanes Florence and Michael. NAMB Photo

ALPHARETTA, Ga. (BP) — The calendar has turned to a New Year, but hundreds of people in the Southeast continue picking up the pieces following the massive storms that hit the region in 2018.

“It’s January, and there are still areas that look like a tornado hit yesterday,” said Delton Beall, the state disaster relief director for the Florida Baptist Convention.

Churches and college students still have numerous opportunities to serve those in need. Southern Baptist Disaster Relief (SBDR) teams in Florida and North Carolina and the North American Mission Board (NAMB) continue offering help, hope and healing to those who endured Hurricanes Florence and Michael.

Tom Beam, a student mobilization consultant with North Carolina’s Baptists on Mission, has been helping coordinate the volunteer response since Florence hit North Carolina in September 2018.

“I tell people that the hurricane left in six days, but we’re still right in the middle of it,” Beam said. “I’d dare say that, in North Carolina, [Hurricane Florence] is the worst disaster we’ve ever had.”

In Florida, SBDR credentialed and non-credentialed volunteers served throughout December and are expected to continue until the end of January performing recovery work, operating chainsaws, removing debris and gutting storm-damaged homes.

“The recovery efforts have been phenomenal with the numbers of people we’ve had come from all over the [nation],” Beall said. “The outpouring of love and support is very heart-warming and encouraging.”

Beall, a resident of Panama City, Fla., described the new perspective he received as a survivor of Hurricane Michael, which made landfall in October 2018 on the Florida Panhandle.

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Source: Baptist Press