By Vickie Anderson
Tennessee WMU executive director
When the Tennessee Baptist Convention began disaster relief in 1978, the Golden Offering provided $20,000 to purchase a 31-foot motor home and $4,000 for disaster relief operations. Today, Tennessee Baptists giving through the Golden Offering support the daily operations of Tennessee Baptist Disaster Relief so they are ready to respond when a disaster strikes locally, nationally or internationally. GOTM provides the necessary funds for the upkeep and maintenance of state owned equipment while supporting the operations at the Missions Mobilization Center in Mount Juliet. As a result of the GOTM support, 100 percent of donations made toward a specific disaster go directly to expenses and assisting those in need.
The goal for the 2018-19 Golden Offering is $2,100,000. This goal includes three allocations for Disaster Relief:
• $85,000 for equipment, training and resources for churches and associations to meet physical needs and share Christ with those impacted by disasters;
• $8,000 for training and deploying college students to assist with disaster relief and building and rebuild ministries; and
• $3,000 to minister to first responders and their families while providing a training and service opportunity for disaster relief volunteers.
While disaster relief is one of many ministries that receives GOTM funds, the impact of the ministry is significant and immediate as the needs of people in crisis are met and opportunities are created to share the gospel.
As your church highlights Tennessee missions in September, by taking part in the Week of Prayer for Tennessee Missions and giving to the Golden Offering, ask church members who have been or are currently involved with disaster relief to share personal stories about the ministry. Perhaps someone in your church has received help from Tennessee Baptist Disaster Relief during a time of need, encourage them to share their stories.
As we celebrate 40 years of Tennessee Baptist Disaster Relief, we encourage you to join us in honoring this milestone by donating $40 to the Golden Offering for Tennessee Missions. You can give online by visiting www.goldenoffering.org.
If you are interested in learning more about serving on a Tennessee Disaster Relief team, sign up to be trained by visiting tndisasterrelief.org
Thank you, Tennessee Baptist Disaster Relief, for being there when we need you.
Happy 40th anniversary!