By Lonnie Wilkey
Editor, Baptist and Reflector
In recent years, NAMB introduced Send Relief which includes a disaster relief element. I felt that it was competition to SBDR and not needed. I voiced my opinion, which, I might add, many disaster relief volunteers shared.
There have been conversations with NAMB leadership about the concerns and the leaders (especially NAMB President Kevin Ezell) have listened. In recent weeks, following Hurricanes Florence and Michael, I have seen a softening of NAMB’s position and an increased emphasis on SBDR.
That culminates on Sunday, Nov. 11, when Southern Baptists are being encouraged by the North American Mission Board to observe Disaster Relief Appreciation Day to thank disaster relief leaders and volunteers for their commitment and service. Kudos to Dr. Ezell and NAMB for their ringing endorsement of disaster relief volunteers.
I cannot emphasize enough the contributions made by Southern Baptist Disaster Relief volunteers and especially those who comprise Tennessee Baptist Disaster Relief. I know many of them and I have seen firsthand their passion and love for people. They are truly heroes. They do more than cut up trees, provide meals and clean out damaged homes. They intentionally look for ways to share the good news of Jesus Christ. They see that as their primary role. Everything else just creates avenues to talk about Jesus.
Thank you to everyone who serves through disaster relief. One day, you will receive the highest accolade possible, a “well done good and faithful servant” from the One you serve and love — our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
And, thanks to Dr. Ezell and other NAMB leaders for supporting Southern Baptist Disaster Relief in such a positive manner. It is further confirmation that Southern Baptists can do more cooperatively than we can do apart. Our disaster relief efforts are positive evidence of the power of cooperation. B&R