Compiled by B&R staff
FRANKLIN — The Tennessee Baptist Mission Board has contributed $10,000 to the Hawaii Pacific Baptist Convention (HPBC) for disaster relief efforts following eruptions on Hawaii’s Big Island.
Since May 3, the Kilauea volcano has been releasing lava through vents in the ground, destroying 36 structures, including 26 homes, the Associated Press reported. Some 60,000 gallons of flammable liquids had to be removed from a geothermal power plant near the vents, according to CBS News.
Congregations on the island have banded together to pray, secure housing for some of the area’s 2,000 evacuees and, beginning the week of May 13, operate a mobile shower unit, according to Chris Martin, executive director of the HPBC.
“The main focus of our people so far,” Martin told Baptist Press, has been ministry “to the needs that are immediate. But our history and our practice has been a long-term presence with those that have been affected by disasters.”
“Stepping in to meet needs,” Martin added, will “open great doors” for gospel witness.
The TBMB wants to be a partner with the Hawaii convention in opening those doors, said Randy C. Davis, executive director-treasurer of the TBMB.
“It is the custom of the TBMB to share the generosity of Tennessee Baptists when disasters happen in places across the U.S. and around the globe from our Disaster Relief general fund,” David said.
He noted there are DR donations made that do not have a specific need attached with them. “After personally speaking with Dr. Chris Martin and watching the growing need in Hawaii, I knew that Tennessean Baptists would want to help,” Davis continued.
“Initially, we are offering a financial gift to be utilized by their convention’s Disaster Relief volunteers,” Davis said. “The dramatic and developing situation in Hawaii calls for our constant monitoring and constant prayers.”
Martin expressed appreciation for the TBMB gift. “We are continuing to respond to the eruptions on the Big Island and flooding on Kauai. This gift will be a true blessing to our DR teams,” he noted.
“We are very thankful for the networking of TBMB and the HPBC churches and entities,” Martin added.
Gifts designated for “Hawaii Volcano Disaster” can be sent to Tennessee Baptist Mission Board, P. O. Box 682789, Franklin, TN 37068 or online at www.tndisasterrelief.org. NOTE: This article contains reporting from Baptist Press and B&R editor Lonnie Wilkey.