By Lonnie Wilkey
MOUNT JULIET — Tennessee Baptist Disaster Relief has been asked to send flood recovery teams to First Baptist Church, Huffman, Texas, located on the north side of Houston, in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Imelda.
Imelda dumped about 40 inches of rain on southeast Texas last week. An estimated 4,000 homes were flooded, said Wes Jones, disaster relief specialist for the Tennessee Baptist Mission Board.
An incident command team, assessors, chaplains, a small feeding unit for volunteers and flood recovery teams will be needed in the area beginning this weekend (Sept. 27-29) through at least the end of October, Jones said.
John and Kay Thomas of First Baptist Church, Sevierville, will serve as incident commanders.
Jones acknowledged that Tennessee flood recovery teams have been extremely busy over the past few years, but are needed once again.
“Texas Baptist volunteers came to our state last spring to assist with flood recovery in West Tennessee,” Jones said. “Now we have the opportunity to return the favor and assist Texas Baptists. I believe Tennessee Baptist DR volunteers and associations will step up and respond,” he added.
Jones encouraged Tennessee Baptists to pray for those affected by the flooding in Texas and for volunteers who will be ministering to flood victims.
Tennessee Baptist DR also is waiting on an assignment to the Bahamas, Jones said. Baptist Press reported Sept. 23 that Southern Baptist DR officials are in the Bahamas, exploring additional ways to help the island nation following Hurricane Dorian’s destruction three weeks ago.
This week’s trip by Southern Baptist leaders is expected to culminate in the adoption of 13 Baptist churches in the Bahamas and their surrounding communities, according to Baptist Press. Eleven state Baptist conventions, including Tennessee, have already committed to participate in these partnerships.
“We are still awaiting word on which church we will be asked to help rebuild,” Jones said. Details will be released as they become available, he added.
Anyone wanting to contribute to relief efforts can visit www.tndisasterrelief.org/contributions and click on the “2019 Hurricanes/Tropical Storms Fund.” B&R