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Chitwood: Disaster Relief for Hurricane Harvey

 

What is being done to provide help from Kentucky?

Flood relief buckets prepared in advance were in route from Kentucky to Texas before the storm made landfall. Currently, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is coordinating the RESCUE response but will soon open the area for RELIEF response, at which time Kentucky Baptist Disaster Relief’s trained volunteers will be on sight with water purification units, mobile kitchens, chaplains, mud-out & chainsaw units, and mobile shower units.

 

What can I do to help?

- First of all, pray. Pray for those impacted, the first responders, emergency management leaders and Texas Disaster Relief and Southern Baptist Convention leaders as they seek to plan how we might respond in an effective way in the right timing. Pray for wisdom in planning and safety while traveling. Pray that God will open doors to the gospel in this time of tragedy that teams might share the life-giving hope of Christ. Finally, pray that God’s will be done and that He be glorified in the midst of this tragedy.

- Second, give. You can donate through the Kentucky Baptist Convention either by mailing checks designated for disaster relief or by giving online where 100 percent of the contributions go to Kentucky Baptist Disaster Relief efforts and to assist those affected by disasters. Your church can also collect gift cards to be sent to our partner Southern Baptist convention in Texas where they will be distributed to those in need. Remember, these gift cards allow the survivors to purchase items they need and the dignity of making the purchase themselves. 

- Third, prepare to go!  Due to the rigorous training required, only certified disaster relief volunteers will be allowed to respond initially. If you are interested in helping with disasters learn more about training at www.kybaptist.org/dr. The next training will be held in Richmond on Saturday, Sept. 16.

 

How long will the recovery last?

At this point, there is no way to tell. Much like the Katrina response, rebuilding after Harvey will take years. Volunteer teams from Kentucky Baptist Convention churches will be needed. Our Mission Mobilization team will post opportunities when the time comes.

 

What should I not do?

While there is always a desire to collect donations such as water, clothes or household products, these are not always the best. It is expensive to ship items and the required logistics on the ground for sorting, storing and distributing is a burden on the receiving community. Sometimes, we can also send well-intentioned but unneeded supplies.

FINALLY, thank you, Kentucky Baptists, for loving hurting people in Texas. Might the Lord use our prayers, work, and resources to share the hope of the gospel with them.

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