Baptist and Reflector
MOUNT JULIET — Tennessee Baptist Disaster Relief flood recovery teams will be needed en masse in the weeks ahead, according to Wes Jones, disaster relief specialist for the Tennessee Baptist Mission Board.
Teams are already at work in Knoxville, which was hit hard by flooding almost two weeks ago. An incident command center has been set up at Glenwood Baptist Church in Knoxville, Jones said.
More teams are needed as soon as possible. Lodging and meals have been set up for volunteers, Jones said. Teams can contact Jones at firstname.lastname@example.org or Elizabeth Holmes at email@example.com if they can respond to the needs in Knoxville.
Lou Mulsand, DR director for Knox County Association of Baptists, reiterated the need for help. As of March 7, teams had completed five jobs, “but there are many, many more to go,” he said.
Mulsand observed that some families lost a little while some “have lost everything.” In addition, there are requests between both ends of the spectrum. Many of those affected have no insurance or resources, Mulsand added.
“If we can come together in unity, we will reach hundreds of people in Knox County in the name of Jesus,” he wrote in a letter requesting volunteers.
“The devastation of recent flooding has impacted more lives than what we initially anticipated,” said Phil Young, director of missions for Knox County Association of Baptists. “The urgency for volunteers to respond is at an all-time high for this area,” he added.
Cooperation and missions are what Baptists are about, Young continued. “Our partnership with the Tennessee Baptist Mission Board, along with other area associations and churches, enables us to respond in the most effective way.
“This gives us a great opportunity to show our neighbors how we can work together to meet them at their point of need,” Young said.
DR volunteers from Nolachucky Baptist Association, based in Morristown, have helped with recovery efforts in Hamblen County as well, Jones reported.
In addition, volunteers will be needed in Decatur County, Savannah and other areas around the Tennessee River and its tributaries, he added.
“Please pray for these areas that are still under water, and now we are supposed to have two to three inches more of rain the next couple of days,” Jones said in a March 7 letter to volunteers.
Jones said that tentatively the plan is to set up operations in Decatur County and Savannah when the water goes down sufficiently.
“We have already received word from some churches in these areas that are willing to host an operation. I will more than likely look for other states to come in and oversee these two operations,” Jones said.
However, he added, “I hope to augment what they want to do with some of our units, such as shower and laundry trailers. Our units can also continue working in these areas alongside of these folks as they come.”
Jones offered some suggestions for Tennessee Baptists as relief operations gear up.
- Pray for those who are still flooded out, those needing help and the volunteers who will serve them.
- If you can mobilize a Flood Recovery Team, let us know ASAP with dates and the number (of people) on the team.
- Pray that the Holy Spirit will be opening the hearts of those who need to hear and respond to the gospel.
- Pray that our volunteers will have love and boldness as they serve and share their faith.
- Share the needs with everyone in the church.
- Give as the Lord leads, to allow us to carry on this operation, Jones encouraged. “With hardly any national press, most people around the states do not know about the needs in Tennessee,” he said.
For more, go to www.tndisasterrelief.org and click on the “Give Now” button.