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TBM Rebuild rescues Beaumont woman after 58 days of living in her attic following Imelda

General     1 week ago   by John Hall

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Tropical Depression Imelda made landfall in Southeast Texas Sept. 17. The rain fell and fell and fell some more. More than most people anticipated it would. And as it fell, the water rose higher and higher.

When it first started creeping in the house, Sonia, the single woman who lives in this small Beaumont home, began moving her belongings into the attic. Shortly after, she hoisted herself up there. There she stayed, riding out the storm.

Sonia’s been there ever since with the exception of a few trips to Houston for work. 58 days. 1,392 hours. 83,520 excruciating minutes. Surrounded by her stuff, hovering over a home she couldn't live in.

Until now. TBM volunteer teams first removed the damaged flooring and sheetrock in the days after the floodwaters receded. Now they’re back to install sheetrock, giving her something extra to be thankful for this Thanksgiving – a safe home as well as gift cards for a Thanksgiving dinner.

In two days, TBM transformed her home from unlivable to secure, empowering the resident to take another step in the recovery process. Along the way, volunteers bonded with her, taking her out to dinner and giving her a ride to visit her ailing father in the hospital.

The effort is part of a nearly two-week blitz by TBM Rebuild to help put homes and lives back together again that are still affected by Imelda. Spread across Beaumont, TBM lifted spirits as they lifted sheetrock.

“In many ways, what we’re seeing is a picture of what help, hope and healing through the gospel of Jesus Christ does,” said David Wells, who leads TBM Rebuild. “We are broken people, but God carefully makes us whole through a relationship with Him. As we work in these houses, we’re ministering to residents. We’re praying with them. We’re encouraging them. God cares deeply about them.”

About 50 volunteers from churches across the state are working during the rebuild effort, a growing part of TBM Disaster Relief ministries. The initiative allows larger church groups to respond to significant and long-term needs after disasters.

“The recovery process is much longer than most people realize,” Wells said. “Particularly after a large-scale disaster, people can continue struggling for months if not years. By walking and working alongside hurting people, we are helping them practically, emotionally and spiritually on that journey.” 


TBM recognized for service following Tropical Depression Imelda, Dallas Tornados

General     3 weeks ago   by John Hall

U.S. Congressman Van Taylor and the city of Nederland recently recognized TBM for its relief efforts in the wake of Tropical Depression Imelda as well as the Dallas tornados.

The ministry delivered help, hope and healing after the disasters by serving thousands of meals, cleaning out homes and removing fallen debris.

Rep. Taylor thanked TBM by name from the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives.

“When natural disaster strikes, families suffer," he said. "It takes a strong community to bring hope out of the wreckage. “Communities with solid foundations do more than rebuild homes, businesses and schools. They help relieve heartache that follows catastrophic loss. Countless faith-based and non-profit organizations including the Network of Community Ministries, the American Red Cross of North Texas and the Texas Baptist Men have risen to meet the needs of our community.”

TBM based a significant amount of its post-Imelda work out of First Baptist Church in Nederland, using the congregation’s facilities to house volunteers, including many from across the nation. One of TBM’s mobile kitchen prepared thousands of meals from the church’s parking lot, distributing them across the region.

“Whereas, the City of Nederland wishes to applaud and recognize the heroes from Nederland and those from outside the area and state, who give of themselves to assist their neighbors, our community, and our region when help was sorely needed,” the proclamation read. “And now, therefore, I, Don Albanese, Mayor of the City of Nederland, Texas, do hereby proclaim October 28, 2019 as “Texas Baptist Men Day” in the City of Nederland, Texas and encourage all citizens to support this organization and its noble humanitarian mission.” 


TBM To Rebuild Homes In Nederland Affected By Tropical Depression Imelda

General     3 weeks ago   by John Hall

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Churches, groups and individuals can give people affected by Tropical Depression an extra reason to celebrate Thanksgiving this year by providing them safe, secure housing through TBM Rebuild.

Participants in TBM Rebuild efforts Nov. 10-22 will help individuals and families with the highest needs, including the elderly and single parents. Volunteer teams will install drywall and make homes safe for residents.

TBM will provide the materials for the projects as well as a place for volunteers to stay and meals for them to eat.

“Imelda devastated Southeast Texas,” said David Wells, TBM associate director of disaster relief. “As we responded with feeding and mud out efforts, we identified significant needs that we believe we can meet. Together, we can make sure families have a safe, secure place to celebrate Thanksgiving.”

In the wake of the storm, TBM delivered help, hope and healing in the form of thousands of meals as well as cleaning out many homes. In recognition of the effort, the city of Nederland recently declared Oct. 28 Texas Baptist Men’s Day.

For more information about participating in TBM Rebuild in Nederland, visit TBMTX.org/rebuildnederland


TBM teams help after Dallas Tornado

General     4 weeks ago   by John Hall

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The Weesners were enjoying a relaxing Sunday evening together in front of the television. The Dallas Cowboys were up big against the rival Philadelphia Eagles. Everything was good. Until it wasn’t.

“We were watching the Cowboys game like most people,” Jay Weesner said. “Our friend called and told us to take cover, so we pulled out our weather app. That’s when someone called and said, ‘I think it’s on your street.’ We grabbed our socks, shoes, batteries, we even put on bike helmets and went to the center of the house.”

An EF-3 with winds up to 140 miles per hour, one of three that blew threw North Texas, blasted the Weesners’ Richardson home moments later. It sounded like a “freight train,” Jay said. Then the couple heard pieces of their roof being pried off bit by bit.

Within minutes, everything was silent again. Darkness surrounded them, preventing them from seeing all the damage. Only in the morning did they realize the full extent of what happened. New faces were moving up and down the street.

“I see Texas Baptist Men,” he said. “This is serious. We have major devastation because these guys show up when there’s trouble. Then I looked up and down the street and see houses destroyed.”

TBM’s rapid response chainsaw team began clearing his street shortly after sunrise and had most of the Weesners’ yard cleared by lunch. After that, they began working on the couple’s neighbors up and down the block.

Fallen 60-70-foot-tall trees, overturned sport utility vehicles and various debris are bunched in nearly every yard of the Weesners’ neighborhood. In between sawing and moving 100-pound logs, volunteers visited with homeowners to help them process what they experienced. TBM team members prayed with people affected by the storms.

“The Dallas tornado tore a hole in our hearts as it ripped through the city,” said TBM Executive Director/CEO Mickey Lenamon. “It rocked people’s world. This morning, we’re providing help, hope and healing in Jesus’ name to people and families affected by this tragedy.”

The team of volunteers is the first wave of TBM ministry after the tornado. It was followed by a second chainsaw team as well as the activation of its rapid response feeding team to feed in the Bachman Lake area of Dallas.

TBM collaborated with Buckner International Tuesday to feed lunch to more than 200 children and their parents served by the Buckner Family Hope Center at Bachman Lake. Volunteers served warm, healthy meals to the families at Jose “Joe” May Elementary School, many of whom live in a nearby apartment complex.

“We got a call from Buckner about 7 a.m. and we have the rapid-response unit we use in Texas that feeds good, hot meals and so we put together a meal of hamburgers, beans and rice,” Lenamon said. “It’s a high-protein meal because this is the only meals these kids may get today.” 

Marcela Dominguez, youth and children specialist for the Buckner Family Hope Center, said the group already was in need due to poverty. TBM and Buckner both are affiliated with Texas Baptists. Buckner has been serving the Bachman Lake community for three years, and will officially open the Buckner Family Hope Center at Bachman Lake in early 2020. The Hope Center provides programs and services like GED and ESL classes, financial empowerment and family coaching to 4,000 families in the Bachman Lake community.

“These are children who normally rely on free school lunches but are without due to school closures from the tornado. Many of these families are without power and many had homes damaged by the storm.”

Lenamon said the damage in the Bachman Lake area “is a lot worse than you think it is. I watched it on Sunday night on television, but we have cleaning crews and chainsaw crews out in the area right now and it’s serious. And, since this neighborhood is more economically challenged, there’s more need.”

TBM teams jumpstart the recovery process for each homeowner they help.

“When these guys show up and get out and they are able to share this ministry – we’re talking about hard serious labor here, this is big time ministry here,” Weesner said.

“They’re here to build up the joys and live through the sorrows. I can’t thank them enough.”

TBM disaster relief ministry is supported by financial gifts by people just like you. To change a life, visit tbmtx.org/donate. 100 percent of gifts to TBM disaster relief ministry support disaster relief efforts.


TBM relief teams serving after Dallas Tornados

General     1 month ago   by John Hall

TBM chainsaw and feeding teams are delivering help, hope and healing after a tornados struck the Dallas area Oct. 20, leaving thousands of people without electricity. The teams are removing limbs from homes and feeding hundreds.

This relief effort is made possible by gifts from people like you. To give financially, visit https://tbmtx.org/donate


TBM offers help, hope and healing in Southeast Texas after Tropical Depression Imelda

General     2 months ago   by John Hall

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It’s been two years since Hurricane Harvey, but heavy rains still make Bruce Smith nervous. The barrage of water pellets was so intense Sept. 19, he was pacing between rooms of his home at 3 a.m. Eventually, he moved out to his workshop where he began moving his belongings to higher shelves.

He’s fortunate he did. Shortly after placing the last item, he and his wife Renee escaped before one of the wettest storms in United States history, Tropical Depression Imelda, could no longer be held at bay. Water filled the floor of their home, ruining their flooring, carpet, furniture, baseboards and drywall, among other things.

“I went and got my wife and said, ‘We’ve got to get out of here,’” Smith said as tears welled up in his eyes.

The Smiths’ home is one of more than 14,000 devastated by Imelda, a storm that caught many along the Texas by surprise. Though it wasn’t as large as Harvey, Imelda pelted the region with as much as 42 inches of rain, flooding homes that had just finished rebuilding after Harvey and impacting houses that Harvey didn’t reach.

Five people died as a result of the flood and authorities performed hundreds of rescue operations that saved multitudes.

Even before the rain stopped falling, Texas Baptist Men volunteers were feeding 800 meals a day to first responders and victims of the storm at a convention center in Orange. Conversation accompanied every meal served as the volunteers helped people express what they’d experienced and asked to pray for them. Almost everyone took the volunteers up on the offer. Several individuals came to faith in Christ.

“In the darkest days of our lives, all of us want to know that someone cares,” said Dwain Carter, director of TBM disaster relief. “We care, and as Christians we represent a God who cares about them deeply as well. Many times, we are a physical reminder of how much God truly does love each and every one of us.”

In the days after the storm, TBM’s efforts mushroomed to include a kitchen in Nederland capable of feeding up to 15,000 meals a day for the community. A mud out team of local volunteers began cleaning out the Smiths’ home a few days after the storm. By lunch of the first day, they had removed all the affected drywall, flooring and the furniture the couple hadn’t yet gotten to.

The work is difficult, and in the hot, humid Southeast Texas weather, exhausting. In the first moments of beginning their work, streams of sweat start running down volunteers’ faces. Even with short breaks, the perspiration is incessant.

The team is unhindered. In a few hours, the TBM team accomplishes what it would take days for the Smiths to accomplish. For older people throughout the region, teams do what residents cannot do on their own.

“Make no mistake, clearing out a home after a flood is incredibly hard work,” Carter said. “It requires long hours and grueling effort. By helping people with this effort, teams are jump starting the recovery process for each home. When a team leaves a house, it is ready for reconstruction.”

In the days to come, more TBM mud out teams as well as partners from Alabama, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri and Tennessee will descend across Southeast Texas and prepare hundreds of homes for reconstruction. The process will be lengthy, but TBM is committed to it.

“God has blessed us immensely,” Carter said. “We want to be a blessing to others by providing help, hope and healing. Whether we’re serving a warm meal or removing a piece of sheetrock, I pray that God guides our words and actions to do just that.”

TBM’s impact on the Smiths is undeniable, Bruce said. Their presence is encouraging. Their work is extremely helpful. Their spirit is incredible.

“It’s amazing the amount of people will come and help you. It’s the wonderful part of this right here, the people will come out here and help, work their rear end off. They’re here for one reason: To help us out. It’s such a blessing,” Smith said.

“It’s just so heartwarming to see them and what they do. This is what Christianity is all about to me. I’m so thankful for family and people like you who come and help us out.”

TBM disaster relief ministries are made possible by gifts from individuals and churches. All gifts designated for disaster relief through TBM are used for disaster relief ministry. To give, visit TBMtx.org/donate.


We need YOU in Southeast Texas

General     2 months ago   by John Hall

You have been trained to serve people in the wake of disasters. Now is the time to put that training into action.

More than 14,000 homes have been affected by Tropical Depression Imelda, and we need volunteers to serve on feeding units, mud out units and other ministries through five locations providing help, hope and healing. If you have gone through Yellow Cap training, you can serve in these areas. YOU are needed now.

We have a significant shortage of volunteers who can serve, and need people just like you to step forward to help the hurting in the wake of Tropical Depression Imelda. TBM needs hundreds of people to do God's work in this time.

If you would like to serve on the feeding teams:

If you would like to serve on any other team:

If you live in the Dallas area and would like to answer the calls of people looking for help in Southeast Texas:

If you can’t go, please pray for the volunteers that will be going.  

Dwain Carter
TBM Director of Disaster Relief
214-676-7201
dwain.carter[at]tbmtx.org


TBM meets needs in Southeast Texas after Tropical Depression Imelda

General     2 months ago   by John Hall

TBM is serving individuals and families affected by Tropical Depression Imelda, delivering help, hope and healing in the midst of heartbreak. Teams of TBM volunteers currently are cleaning out homes and disinfecting areas to prepare them for reconstruction. While they work, volunteers are visiting with homeowners and helping them process what they've experienced.

Please pray for those affected by Tropical Depression Imelda as well as the volunteers who are delivering help, hope and healing in this time of need. To support this effort, visit www.tbmtx.org/donate.


Warm blankets await infants in wake of disasters, thanks to Garland woman

General     2 months ago   by John Hall

In the wake of a hurricane, flood or tornado, many times families have lost all they worked for their entire lives. Their home is in shambles. Their items have been ruined. They are shaken to the core.

In the midst of it all, infants are struggling to make sense of what they’ve experienced. They sense their parents’ mental state and unconsciously realize how scary the world is around them can be.

But thanks to a Garland woman, they’ll quickly be reminded that people love them.

Peg Oppenhuis recently donated 80 handmade blankets and matching burp cloths for the TBM child care unit to use in the wake of disasters.

Lost and frazzled by what they gone through, infants come to volunteers running a TBM child care unit, a licensed effort that ministers to children while parents can fill out paperwork and take the first steps toward recovery. Volunteers will wrap children in the blankets, providing a sense of warmth and comfort.

Each of the blankets has a different theme that appeals to infants – animals, balloons and flowers to name a few – and calming designs to help soothe them.

“My first hope is that they feel hugged, they feel loved, they feel warm,” said Oppenhuis, a member of Big Springs Baptist Church in Garland where her husband, Greg, serves as pastor. “I hope it helps them along.”

Oppenhuis worked on each blanket for two hours, working on four-five of them in a row as she watched television or visited with friends. She picked up the material on her way back home from work and hand crocheted each blanket.

The blankets are a special aspect of TBM Disaster Relief ministry, which has responded to every major disaster in the United States since 1967, delivering help and hope in the midst of heartbreak for millions through mass feeding, home construction prep and debris removal.

“These blankets truly are a gift of love,” said Dwain Carter, director of TBM Disaster Relief. “Children are incredibly special in the eyes of God, and Mrs. Oppenhuis has given us another way to express how much He loves them. These blankets will be a great gift to infants and their families during some of the most difficult moments in their lives.”

Disasters of any kind are traumatic, particularly for children. Oppenhuis hopes a moment of calm helps families as they take the first steps in recovery.

“Babies are so special,” she said. “Moms and dads want the best for them. Hopefully this will help them.”


How to Help Victims of Hurricane Dorian

General     3 months ago   by John Hall

Tbm Disaster Relief


TBM serves free lunch for 1,000 UT Dallas students

General     3 months ago   by John Hall

Tbm Feeds 1000 Utd Students

As word spread across the University of Texas at Dallas, students filled the center of campus to see if the rumors were true. Could they really get a free fajita lunch?

When the serving line opened for fajitas, rice, beans and side dishes, students jumped in line. Soon they created two lines that remained at least 20 deep for the next two hours as a steady stream of young people came through. While waiting, they met leaders from the Baptist Student Ministry at the campus and began building relationships with them.

Kasey Olander remembers those conversations well. She first learned about the BSM in 2012 when she came for a free lunch provided by TBM volunteers. She connected with BSM leaders and quickly became involved in the ministry, became part of the leadership the next year and eventually went on mission trip to South Padre Island where she served alongside TBM volunteers.

“BSM was very formative for me, especially with the Spring Break mission trip,” Olander said. “It helped me articulate a faith I had practiced for a while but hadn’t put into practice sharing with others.”

Olander’s experience represents what TBM and BSM leaders are attempting to duplicate this year as they feed 1,000 students during one of the first days of the fall semester. Throughout lunch, students shared their information with the BSM, allowing the ministry to follow up with them and promote future events.

“As we’ve reflected over the years, we’ve come to realize what we do is about relationships,” said Joe Crutchfield, who leads the TBM State Feeding Unit. “It’s not about the food. Food is simply a tool we use to share the gospel.”

UTD is one of fastest growing universities in Texas with more than 28,000 students, including 8,000 international students from around the globe.

“This is a beautiful mission field,” said Mark Warrington, director of the campus BSM. “College students love free food. We’re building relationships and having conversations. We’re grateful for TBM. We couldn’t do this without them.”


TBM delivers tractor-trailer load of water to wildfire first responders

General   Disaster Relief     3 months ago   by John Hall

Tbm Responds To Copper Breaks Fire

TBM is delivering a tractor-trailer load of water to firefighters working around the clock as they battle the more than 8,000-acre Copper Breaks Fire.

The delivery is in response to a request from Texas Emergency Management and will help keep first responders hydrated as they fight the blaze that at one point engrossed 12,000 acres. TBM is picking up the water from the Salvation Army in Arlington and taking it to Hardeman County. The firefighters have the wildfire 50 percent contained, according to the latest reports.

“Firefighters are working around the clock to put out this fire,” TBM Disaster Relief Director Dwain Carter said. “We’re extremely proud of those who put their lives on the line to protect the rest of us and happy to support them in any way we can.”

The fire began Friday morning, and firefighters have been battling it since then. The Texas A&M Forest Service brought in bulldozers, motographers and helicopters in an effort to relieve responders. 


‘Love beats hate every time,’ says volunteer who served in wake of El Paso shooting

General     4 months ago   by John Hall

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EL PASO – Even by Glenn Pennington’s standards, Saturday was going to be busier than usual. He just came home from leading a weekly men’s Bible study and was getting ready to run errands to get his daughter ready for college when an alert on his phone stopped him in his tracks.

There was an active shooter at the shopping center 15 minutes from where he stood.

He and his wife turned on the television and discovered with the rest of the nation that a shooter had killed 20 people and injured 26 more.

“It was shock, disbelief. I’ve lived here since 1997. It really is a family-oriented community. I’ve never had any problems. People help each other out,” said Pennington, a member of Del Sol Baptist Church in El Paso.

“Just to see what happened at that Walmart was shocking. My wife and daughter went there the night before. It could have been them there.”

The phone rang shortly afterward. It was Mike Moss. TBM volunteers were needed to respond.

Moss and Pennington met at a police station, where they directed traffic, accepted donations and loaded them on trucks for distribution for the next six hours. They worked alongside a growing number of people from the community, each wanting to make a difference in some sort of tangible way.

“When we got the call, that’s what we’re trained for – whether it’s feeding migrants at a migrant center or responding in the wake of a disaster,” Pennington said. “We’re just here to do whatever is needed.”

Pennington estimates they unloaded hundreds of cases of water and bags of ice. TBM volunteers thanked people for the supplies and offered an encouraging word when possible.

“Young kids, old people, college and high schoolers brought in cases and cases of water and supplies,” Pennington said.” I’ve never seen so many cases of water or ice before. It was pretty amazing.”

A day after the shooting, Pennington said the community is resolved to push forward. People are making a distinct effort to reach out to each other. People are friendlier. El Paso is a community where people care about each other.

“Love beats hate every time,” he said.” You can see hate on social media. It’s just toxic. What we do at TBM and other people do in the community, it just shows love is stronger than hate every time.”


TBM responding in wake of El Paso mass shooting

General     4 months ago   by John Hall

Tbm Responds After El Paso Shooting

TBM volunteers were asked to serve first responders and and families affected by the Aug. 3 mass shooting at an El Paso shopping center. 

“This is a deeply tragic event today in El Paso," said Dwain Carter, TBM Disaster Relief director. "We are praying for everyone affected by this event. We have mobilized TBM volunteers to serve in partnership with the Salvation Army feeding first responders and at the family reunification center.”

TBM volunteers directed traffic, unloaded donations and prepared them for distribution to first responders as well as the family reunification center.

Reports indicate 22 people were killed in a shooting at an El Paso shopping center this morning and 26 more were injured. 

For a first-person perspective on what it was like to serve in the wake of the shooting, click here.


DR in DFW Impacted Lives

Disaster Relief     4 months ago   by Rand Jenkins

South Dallas resident Pauline Irving retells her experience as severe storms throughout North Texas blew through her own neighborhood. When a large tree was blown onto her house by strong gusting winds, she learned about TBM Disaster Relief.

You can be part of the volunteer force that impacts lives all over the world. 


Hurricane Barry

Disaster Relief     5 months ago   by Rand Jenkins

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TBM is deployed to Louisiana to assess and address the needs in the aftermath of Hurricane Barry

TBM is also deployed in the Rio Grande Valley after extensive flooding. 

Please pray for individuals impacted by Hurricane Barry and continue to pray for the people in the Weslaco and Mercedes.


TBM DR in Dallas/Fort Worth

Disaster Relief     5 months ago   by Rand Jenkins

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Sunday, June 9 began TBM’s Disaster Relief efforts in the Dallas area after strong storms caused thousands of trees to fall on homes, property, and across power lines disrupting electricity for hundreds of thousands of people.

As that relief work continued, another system on Sunday, June 16 in the DFW Metroplex spawned three tornadoes greatly increased the work ahead of the TBM Volunteers in Chainsaw, Feeding, and Shower/Laundry teams. And as normal, these volunteers are continuing to step up through what could be a month-long deployment in the DFW Metroplex due to the number of families who still need assistance. There are currently four chainsaw teams housed in the Dallas headquarters, one working out of their homes in Collin County, and two more on their way from Central and East Texas.

Working through this many projects requires a lot of volunteers and a significant amount of funds. Our volunteers are volunteers and aren’t paid, but there are expenses such as food, fuel, and equipment that also help make the work TBM does happen. The number of tasks also necessitates a priority system which is based on the severity of the damage. The priorities in chainsaw disaster relief situations are 1) damage to house, entrance or egress, senior adults, disabled individuals, first responders, and imminent damage situations; 2) large trees with the potential to fall across house or driveway; and 3) yard clean-up of debris and fallen trees that do not pose imminent threat to life or property. 

One of TBM’s Priority One projects was a tree that had fallen across a woman’s front door making entry and exit almost impossible. “I’m so grateful for what you all were able to do,” she said as the volunteers finished.

 “I’m going to have a great story to tell my Sunday School class next week.” During the prayer time she further expressed her gratitude through tears to the men and women who worked on her home in Dallas, “You are truly a God-send. Thank God and thank you.”

“The amount of work in the area has required us to ask other states for assistance,” Dwain Carter, TBM State Disaster Relief Director said. “The problem is that with so many other relief efforts underway due to flooding in Oklahoma and Arkansas, we just don’t have the people and equipment to respond the way we want to. One of the teams working alongside us in Arkansas is from South Carolina. We are really having to pull people together due to all the recent storms across the US.”

Between Sunday, June 9 and Sunday, June 16, TBM Disaster Relief has provided the following to Dallas – Fort Worth area residents in need.
-1,886 volunteer hours
-135 ministry contact resulting in seven professions of faith
-47 Bibles distributed
-100 heavy equipment hours
-38 chainsaw jobs

“We need your support right now. If you are TBM Chainsaw trained, please contact us,” Carter added. If you are able to financially support this effort, please visit TBMtx.org/donate, call 214.275.1100, or mail a check to TBM, 5351 Catron Dr. Dallas, TX 75227. “We need you to help impact people’s lives.”


Texas Baptist Men open new doors at Breckenridge Village of Tyler

General   Builders     5 months ago   by Rand Jenkins

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Tammy looked around at the new residential homes on the campus of Breckenridge Village of Tyler (BVT) and was reminded again that dreams do come true. 

Tammy has been a part of the BVT community through the day program for four years. Her time at the faith-based community for adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities has helped her grow in confidence and has given her many new friends, but with full occupancy, there was no chance for her to become a full-time resident.

Thanks to the support of generous donors and the direction and labor of Builders teams from Texas Baptist Men (TBM), on May 17 the BVT community celebrated the grand opening of three new homes, enabling Tammy and others anxious for long-term placement the joy of calling Breckenridge Village “home.”

“I’ve waited so long for my dream to come true and it has finally happened,” she said. “Now I can move into Breckenridge Village and live like so many of my good friends. BVT is an answer to prayer for me. They make dreams come true.”

BVT Executive Director Steven Campbell said he has a waiting list of 80 people interested in placement at BVT.

“There is such a great need to serve people, and it is a tremendous blessing now that these new homes have been completed, which brings us to nine homes on campus,” he said. “We simply could not be more proud and grateful to be able to open our doors to even more people at BVT. These homes will fulfill the dreams of so many people, like Tammy, who long to call BVT home.”

Two of the new homes on the BVT campus are named in honor of Pierre deWet and Paul Powell (posthumously), whose families took part in cutting the ribbons to open the homes. The third home is named for Bill Pigott, who led the TBM builders team when the Baptist group constructed the first six homes and the Robert M. Rogers Chapel on the BVT campus 22 years ago. Standing at the entrance of the home bearing his name, Pigott swung a long arm in the direction of the chapel at the front of the 78-acre campus. 

“I left a lot of sweat all over these grounds,” Pigott reflected. “I was involved in everything on this campus except the pool. Texas Baptist Men built everything here. It’s such an honor to have taken part in this and to have my name on a house.” 

Mickey Lenamon, Executive Director / CEO of TBM, said naming a home in honor of Pigott is fitting, because “we are remembered because of the work of Bill,” he said. “TBM is a special group because they are men and women who want to build for the glory of God; they want to make an impact and be a part of this community,” Pigott said. “They share Jesus with a hammer in their hand.”

Gary Morgan and Ralph Stephenson participated in the building of the three buildings and said they “were here when these homes were nothing more than dirt.” The two were instrumental in much of construction, and Stephenson served as lead builder for the cabinetry in the spacious kitchens of each home. 

Morgan, a resident of Gatesville, Texas, lived on the BVT campus in a trailer for a year during the construction of the three homes. His wife, Nancy, participated in the building project as well. Many TBM teams are husband and wife teams, Morgan noted.

“I started helping my dad in construction when I was 16 years old and have been doing it ever since,” he said. “On these homes I oversaw projects from framing, cabinets, doors, and windows. Throughout my time working here, I think it was the attitude of the residents that inspired us to continue working. Throughout the three-year project, we had right in front of us the motivation for what we were doing.” 

Touring the newly opened homes, BVT employees Dianna Martin and Viana Scoggins said they were excited about the additional residents who would now call BVT home. 

“We know there are many families who have been waiting for this,” said Martin, a weekend house manager at BVT. “These beautiful new homes are such a wonderful solution. I love this work and embrace it as a calling. Serving the residents of BVT is a blessing to me.”

Brian, a BVT resident for 16 years, walked through the Bill Pigott Home and slowly examined aspects of the open-concept kitchen, living and dining area, the exercise room, spacious covered back porch, and bedrooms waiting to be personalized. 

“This house is a lot bigger,” he observed, adding that he would be moving into the Pigott House from another residence on campus and had already picked out his bedroom. “I like living here and it really is the best place for me.”

Breckenridge Village has made an impact on hundreds of residents through the years but also on their extended families, said Leslie Moulton. 

“When Breckenridge Village was still being built, my grandmother, who was a widow and sole caregiver, applied for her son, my uncle David, who was severely autistic,” Moulton said. “She was aging and was becoming unable to care for him physically.”

Moulton, who serves as scholarships and grants director at Dallas Baptist University, said even in the early construction phases, said it was obvious BVT “was going to be a great place,” she said. “I was younger and trying to help my grandmother where I could, as I was my uncle’s next of kin. I had no idea places like this even existed.”

Moulton is emotional as she remembers her uncle, who passed away in 2016. 

“BVT was truly a godsend for our family,” she said. “Regardless of who was on staff, they cared for David and wanted him to grow and learn new skills. They set careful, attainable goals, and always tried to help him know that he was loved. It was amazing to watch him become more independent and make new friends.”

Kevin Dinnin, president and CEO of BCFS system, was instrumental in helping BVT become a reality two decades ago, acting on the dream of Jean Breckenridge, who had a desire to establish a nurturing home facility which would be able to care for her son, Jimmy. 

“I know Jean Breckenridge would be so proud to see this campus today,” Dinnin said. “BCFS has a vision to work to strengthen families to be better parents, students and workers. That rings true at BVT as well. BVT helps residents grow to their full potential.”

Texas Baptist Men at work “is an amazing sight to see,” said David Dykes, pastor of Green Acres Baptist Church in Tyler. “When Breckenridge Village was launched in 1998 with the vision of Kevin Dinnin, TBM showed up like a wave, trailer after trailer, camper after camper. They set up and went to work and built this whole place and they are still doing it today. Because of Texas Baptist Men, thousands of people throughout East Texas and beyond know of and are proud of Breckenridge Village.”


Deployment Update

Disaster Relief     6 months ago   by Rand Jenkins

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TBM Volunteers in Abilene and San Angelo Serve Own Communities

TBM has disaster relief volunteers all around the state. At times, they get to serve people in their own community.

The tornadoes and severe storms that hit Abilene and San Angelo this weekend caused damage to hundreds of homes in each area. TBM volunteers already began initial clean-up and assessment yesterday which continues today. The local TBM volunteers will help residents by installing temporary roofing tarps and clearing trees from homes and yards with chainsaws and heavy equipment. The majority of volunteer disaster relief efforts start on Monday morning.

In addition to this relief work, San Angelo’s Fire Chief, Brian Dunn, who also serves as the City Emergency Manager, has asked TBM to feed 100 families three meals a day as the relief efforts begin. The families are displaced due to damage to their home or the lack of electricity. The TBM Feeding Unit serving these families is based in San Angelo enabling them to impact their own community. 

We are continuing our disaster relief in Longview and expect another week or two there as we clear trees from homes.

Ways you can be involved:
1. Volunteer - if you are TBM chainsaw-trained, please contact your area coordinator;
2. Donate - give financially to help feed families in San Angelo; and
3. Pray - your continued prayers for safety and opportunities to provide Hope.

Please help fund our disaster relief response at TBMtx.org/donate.


TBM Helps Feed Students of Alto ISD

Disaster Relief     7 months ago   by Rand Jenkins

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Through our disaster relief work in Alto, Texas, after three tornadoes damaged numerous homes and buildings leaving some homeless, we learned of another way we could help the community of Alto.

All three of Alto Independent School District's schools - elementary, junior high, and high school - are on one campus which was damaged during one of the tornadoes. The building that received the most damage was the high school, which housed the kitchen and cafeteria making it unusable.

TBM set up a field kitchen under a 20x40 tent at the entrance to the school with industrial-grade equipment similar to what they are used to using. The field kitchen has tilt-skillets, convention ovens, warming ovens, a steam kettle, and other items and necessary utensils enabling the staff to make just about any type of food they want to for the 810 students who they feed twice a day.


TBM Provides Aid in Mozambique

Water Ministry     7 months ago   by Rand Jenkins

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The deadly Cyclone Idai that struck Mozambique in March was the worst it has experienced, possibly ever, killing hundreds and displacing almost 600,000 people. Due to the massive flooding, water-borne illnesses like cholera have been spreading at an alarming rate.

Through past relationships due to international disaster relief, TBM received a call for help. “After talking with our contacts in Mozambique it was determined that the best way to provide life-saving assistance was to supply water filters,” DeeDee Wint of TBM Water Ministry said. “We understand there is widespread disease due to people drinking contaminated water - water with dead bodies floating in it - and the filters we are delivering will help save lives.”

TBM has delivered 500 Sawyer Point One bucket filters and each one can meet the needs of a family of five, and if cleaned properly, can last up to eight years. In addition to these single-family filters, TBM provided money for a large community filter that will help on a larger scale.

As clean-up and disaster relief efforts continue, we will maintain contact and find more ways to help these disaster-stricken communities.

To learn more about TBM Water Ministry and to help save lives in Mozambique, please visit www.TBMtx.org/water


TBM Deploys in Texas

  7 months ago   by Rand Jenkins

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TBM volunteers deployed to Alto and Franklin this morning to provide much-needed disaster relief. Units that are deployed include: chainsaw, feeding, shower, temporary roof, electrical support, and chaplains. 

Our early assessments are a great deal of damaged roofs, fallen trees, and hurting people. Our response is designed to meet all needs - physical, emotional, and spiritual.

Please find a way to join in these efforts by connecting with your area volunteer coordinator or financially supporting this volunteer work that touches so many lives at TBMtx.org/donate


Water is Great - Until There is Too Much

General   Disaster Relief     8 months ago   by Rand Jenkins

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Residents in Tennessee, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, Iowa, Michigan, and others are all beginning their slow process of recovering from extensive flooding.

TBM has already deployed to some of the flooded areas with Mud-Out and Feeding teams to begin helping people dig out their homes. We are currently waiting for waters to recede in some of the more recently hit areas of the Midwest for assessment teams to enter ahead of additional Mud-Out and Feeding teams.

These flooding incidents are kicking off what experts are calling a particularly bad year for destructive flooding here in the US. They’ve even created a list of 25 states (including Texas) that are in particular risk of massive flooding destruction. Scientists at the National Weather Service are stating that what we’ve seen in the Midwest already is a precursor to the amount of flooding to come this year.

The damaging flooding isn’t contained to the United States. We are currently in conversation with international response groups concerning flood recovery in Mozambique after Cyclone Idai left numerous dead and mass destruction to homes and livelihoods.

What this means is that Disaster Relief needs to be prepared to act here and abroad. We always stand ready to go help people in times of need and offer Hope that comes from Christ. These actions take people and money to accomplish. We need your help to meet these needs and carry this message.

To help people now and as floods continue this year, please consider two things:
1)Donate at TBMtx.org/donate
2)Become a Mud-Out or Feeding Unit trained TBM Volunteer.


Carter Named DR Director

General   Disaster Relief     10 months ago   by Rand Jenkins

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Carter Named Disaster Relief Director

(DALLAS) - Dwain Carter has been named the State Disaster Relief Director for Texas Baptist Men (TBM) as we begin 2019.

Carter has served as Deputy Director for TBM Disaster Relief for almost two years and takes over this position with experience gained from work with Hurricanes Harvey, Florence, and Michael with TBM and from over five years of experience as State Disaster Relief Director with the Missouri Baptist Convention.

“I’m excited to continue work in this new capacity and continue to minister to those recovering from a disaster,” said Carter. “The ministries of TBM are incredible ways to serve, support, and comfort people while sharing Christ’s love.”

“Dwain takes this vital role in TBM with a knowledge of how things are to be done and a vision for how to continue relief work into the future,” Mickey Lenamon, TBM’s CEO and Executive Director said. 

Dwain and his wife, Leslie, live in Forney, have two grown daughters and now grandchildren with whom they enjoy spending free time. 

TBM is best known for its state, national, and international disaster relief but also rebuild homes after disasters, build facilities for non-profits, and travel the world providing clean water to communities through water wells. 


The First Water

Water Ministry     11 months ago   by Rand Jenkins

The linked article, "The First Water" tells the story of how water came to the Sogorosa Village through the work of TBM's Water Ministry. 

Read the Article. 


Impacting Lives Far and Near

General     11 months ago   by Rand Jenkins

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Today several TBM Volunteers served 15,000 meals to homeless families as part of Operation Care at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas. 

Attendees got to be part of an amazing day with haircuts, gifts, coats, shoes, pony rides, petting zoo, medical evaluations, family pictures with Santa, foot washing and more. Each felt special, cared for, cared about, and loved.

One of today’s volunteers, Wendy Morris, brought her whole family. “We are here to reach out to our neighbors by feeding people, caring for people. It’s was Jesus would have done and what Jesus wants us to do. Actually, we need to do more of it.” Looking down the serving line at her children she added, “I want them to know there is something better to do with their time than electronic gaming.”

Walking around, meeting people and hearing individual stories highlighted that fact everyone has a story and everyone is made in the image of God. Today, I met families who have jobs but can’t meet housing payments, veterans from armed forces and from Vietnam, and individuals who struggle daily with issues.

Numerous people from the cooking team that started at 4:00 this morning recently returned from serving in North Carolina and Florida after the recent hurricanes. Their dedication continues to impress me and heightens my happiness about being part of this organization.

I’m grateful for TBM and that some of our volunteers got to be part of Operation Care again this year as each of us looks for ways to better serve people we often walk past without noticing. 

One of my favorite Crowder songs is “Come as You Are” making it clear that whatever our situation, we are welcomed by God. To me, an extension of this truth is also “Go as You Are” since each of us is already equipped to serve – just as you are.


Things Given Are Given A Purpose

General   Disaster Relief     11 months ago   by Rand Jenkins

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Things Given are Given a Purpose.

TBM received a trailer as a donation from a wonderful, giving family. We are, in-turn, donating it to the pastor of First Baptist Church, Paradise, CA, who was affected by the California wildfires. He and his family will live out of this trailer as they continue to minister to the church members and the community as a whole.

The trailer, which is heading west today, is also filled with cleaning and ash-out supplies to help them in their ministry.

"It's amazing to see what God does with things given and re-given out of love for others," Dwain Carter with TBM Disaster Relief said. "Much of the disaster relief work in California is handled locally and we are happy to find ways to help from afar." 


Responding To Texas Floods

Disaster Relief     1 year ago   by Rand Jenkins
ADD TEXAS TO THAT LIST.

TBM volunteers have been deployed to help those impacted by the recent and continued flooding in the Mable Falls, Kingsland, and Llano areas. 

“We have deployed some early responders but the majority of our disaster relief will start Tuesday in the flooded areas,” Dwain Carter, deputy disaster relief director said. “With the expected rain this weekend, flooding could get worse and there are about 300 homes that have been affected by high water already.”

Flood Recovery, Mud-Out, Shower/Laundry, Chaplains and Feeding Units from around the state have been activated to the Marble Falls, Kingsland and Llano areas. The units will set up their command center at First Baptist Church, Kingsland. As of the writing of this, Kingsland is without water service and Marble Falls is on a boil notice for their drinking water.

With the Kingsland Bridge out, Llano is essentially two different cities and made a 10-minute drive to school, the store, work a 50-minute drive. “Every-day activities have become harder making the additional work of cleaning out your home all the harder and more stressful,” Carter added. “TBM comes in with incredible volunteers to help improve the situation and exhibit Love.”

To say things are busy is an understatement. We are also currently providing disaster relief in North Carolina after Hurricane Florence and in Florida after Hurricane Michael. But, we are Texans and ensure our efforts here. “We are beginning to be stretched thin, but know that our work providing loving aid will continue.” To help in the current situations, donate financially to supplies and materials at TBMtx.org/donate.


TBM is Loaded Up and Heading to Florida

Disaster Relief     1 year ago   by Rand Jenkins

Quick look of some of the vehicles and supplies TBM sent out to help people in the wake of Hurricane Michael.

Please be in prayer.

Please consider helping us financially to do this work. We do all the work at no cost to the homeowners and our awesome volunteers are not paid but we can only impact lives when people like you give to the efforts.

To donate online visit tbmtx.org/donate and choose "Disaster Relief" as the category.


TBM Deployed in North Carolina and Sonora, TX; on Standby for Florida

Disaster Relief     1 year ago   by Rand Jenkins

TBM has volunteers in North Carolina assisting people in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence and Mud Out volunteer teams in Sonora, TX helping homeowners clear out their damaged homes due to flooding in late September.

We are now also on Standby to provide Feeding Units and Temporary Roofing Units and supplies to Florida due to Hurricane Michael.

To help fund the ongoing efforts, please donate to "Disaster Relief" at TBMtx.org/donate


TBM Volunteers Departed for Hurricane Florence Disaster Relief

Disaster Relief     1 year ago   by Rand Jenkins

Texas Baptist Men volunteers had a busy week preparing to serve. Several of them left this morning and the hard, yet rewarding work, has yet to begin.

TBM will be serving as an Incident Management Team in Bayboro, NC as we help manage the requests and disaster relief work for the coming months.


TBM Deployed to North Carolina and Texas; Standby for Florida

Disaster Relief     1 year ago   by Rand Jenkins

TBM has volunteers in North Carolina assisting people in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence and Mud Out volunteer teams in Sonora, TX helping homeowners clear out their damaged homes due to flooding in late September.

We are now also on Standby to provide feeding units and temporary roof units and supplies to Florida due to Hurricane Michael.

To help fund the ongoing efforts, please donate to "Disaster Relief" at TBMtx.org/donate


Vice President and Governor Praise Work of Faith Communities

Disaster Relief   Rebuild     1 year ago   by Rand Jenkins

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Inside a full sanctuary at First Baptist Church, Rockport today, Vice President Mike Pence and Texas Governor Gregg Abbott thanked and encouraged a crowd of survivors, volunteers, and faith-based non-profits as we commemorate the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Harvey making landfall in South Texas.

The event started out with music and choir, during which technical difficulties changed the plan. The Spirit won out and led by the church’s Minister of Choral Worship, Marcia Peterson, the congregation sang “Amazing Grace” and “How Great Thou Art” – not sure what was planned but this was moving for the attendees.

FBC Rockport’s Pastor, Scott Jones, talked about the long road of recovery. “So much has been accomplished in the past year. We are entering into what is often called the ‘disappointment phase’ after a disaster,” Jones said. The disappointment happens about a year out when the accomplishments fade in memory but the distance to go is heightened in one’s awareness. “The recovery effort is far from over – it is long, difficult, and slow,” Jones said. “The community must come together to fully rebuild. We have come very far but we have not finished yet.”

Vice President Pence, while encouraging attendees said, “In times like this you want to be able to count on the government. But it is also the neighbors too…those who put their lives on the line for others.”

The Vice President took a moment to thank the faith-based organizations who act as “the hands and feet of Christ” and encouraged them to “not grow weary of doing well.” Among his comments he mentioned facts about the work: 5,100 volunteers, 105,000 volunteer hours, and $300,000 which has all been poured back into rebuilding the community through First Baptist Church, Rockport. In referencing the work of the church and partnering organizations like Texas Baptist Men, Pence said, “You inspired a nation by your efforts.”

Texas Governor Gregg Abbott and Vice President Pence both spoke of their collaborative work over the past year and pledge to continue until “Rockport is built back. But not just to where it was, better.” Amidst these comments were inclusive talk of all neighborhoods in the community will rise together. When talking about the continued work in the area, Abbott stated, “God is not done with us yet.”

TBM served with and through FBC Rockport who embraced their community in incredible ways. The church as an integral staging and command center from about October to July for TBM volunteers.


Israeli EVP and TBM Volunteers

Disaster Relief     1 year ago   by Rand Jenkins

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Israeli EVP training of TBM volunteers.

This is a great group of people who trained well and learned well.


Kendu Bay Water Well

Water Ministry     1 year ago   by Rand Jenkins

New water well by TBM Water in Kendo Bay where 600 people now have clean water! Some of these individuals were paying 75% of their income for water. This well and the message of Christ's love is impacting their lives in many ways.


Volunteer Village - RGV

Disaster Relief     1 year ago   by Rand Jenkins

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TBM VOLUNTEER VILLAGE

Responding to flooding in the Rio Grande Valley

To assist church volunteer groups interested in disaster relief, TBM has set up Volunteer Village, a place to get information and register for responding to natural disasters.

Texas Baptist Men’s Volunteer Village is now accepting registrations for church groups wanting to work in the Rio Grande Valley area after widespread flooding. Below are the general guidelines for serving and if you would like to commit your group to a time of service, please REGISTER HERE.

After receiving your registration, we will match your group with the best fit based on size and date requested then will send a follow-up email confirmation with further details. We look forward to serving together.

General Information

Accommodations:

· Typically, a local church facility
· Bring cot or air mattress with sleeping bag or linens
· Sleeping area is divided into female and male sections
· Showers provided (bring towels and toiletries)
· Meals will be provided

To participate volunteers must:

· Be 18 years or older or a minor (16 & 17) who is accompanied by a parent, legal guardian or organization leader
· Have a recent background check through TBM
· Not be a registered sex offender
· Not be a registered violent offender
· Not have criminal convictions for crimes against persons or property
· Not bring tobacco or alcohol products to any work site
· Not remove anything from a work site
· Sign a TBM Release and Indemnity form which will be sent to you after registering
· Wear appropriate clothing. No see-through or revealing clothing, spandex or spanks.  Shirts must be worn at all times.

Work MAY consist of the following:

· Moving debris
· Cleaning  yards
· Assisting homeowners in retrieval of personal property
· Handing out boxes
· Assisting shower & laundry or feeding units
· Mucking and gutting houses

What should I wear or bring?

· You will be hot & dirty, so pack accordingly.
· Long pants are recommended
· Gloves are recommended
· Mosquito repellent
· Safety glasses recommended
· All other equipment will be provided

All volunteers must conduct themselves as representatives of Texas Baptist Men. TBM may refuse volunteers due to inappropriate dress, speech or behavior, or other factors deemed inappropriate by the TBM Coordinator.

Finally, please understand that when working in disaster area things can change quickly.  We ask that all volunteers remain flexible.


TBM Working Through FBC Weslaco

Disaster Relief     1 year ago   by Rand Jenkins

TBM helping after flooding in South Texas through First Baptist Church, Weslaco.


TBM Providing Muck Out in Weslaco

Disaster Relief     1 year ago   by Rand Jenkins

TBM Muck Out teams are helping some of the 6000 families displaced by the flooding in Weslaco and the Rio Grande Valley. Here are two stories of lives you are touching.


TBM Deploys to Weslaco

Disaster Relief     1 year ago   by Rand Jenkins

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On Sunday, June 24, TBM sent a truckload of supplies and numerous volunteers to aid families in Weslaco, Tex., as they begin recovery from recent flooding. Work on individual homes should begin Monday or Tuesday and continue for several days.

"The first step in recovering from a flooded home is to get the mud, debris and wet drywall out of the house to help prevent mold," Terry Henderson, TBM Disaster Relief Director said. "Mud Out is a difficult task for an individual homeowner so we come along and do the work for free. This reduces the cost of repairs and provides hope during one of the hardest moments of recovery."

To help provide this ministry to people in need, sign up for a volunteer training course and/or donate to the efforts at tbmtx.org/givenow. 


TBM Mud Out Responds in Two Cities

Disaster Relief     1 year ago   by Rand Jenkins

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Recent heavy rains in Weslaco and in the already battered Orange have caused widespread flooding in the two areas and TBM Mud Out Teams are preparing to deploy in both cities.

To stay connected with the Disaster Relief efforts, continue to check the TBM site and follow TBM on social media. To support this Mud Out work, visit tbmtx.org/givenow.


Water Ministry Touches Lives in Kenya

Water Ministry     1 year ago   by Rand Jenkins

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Mogra Children’s Home provides children who were abandoned or orphaned in the slums of Nairobi an opportunity to be cared for, loved, educated by believers, and a brighter future. Believing God is the creator of all, they refuse no child.

When most Americans hear the word “slum” images of dilapidated buildings with old lighting, broken windows, and sub-standard plumbing enter the mind’s eye. For this reason, the term slum doesn’t quite describe the conditions from which many of these children come. To fully know this place with the population of Denver, Colorado living in a half-square mile requires all five senses - the sights of people living among trash, the sounds of happy children and desperate parents, the smells of waste and of food preparation, the taste of everything on the air, and the feel of the semi-soft ground due to drainage and non-existent plumbing along the shoulder-width pathways.

Providing hope amidst this landscape is Christ’s love shared and exhibited by “Momma Hannah” who is the founder of Mogra Children’s Home and Mogra Star School. Born into poverty herself, she is self educated and has a mind for business. This led her into successful business ventures from which she has used her income and business proceeds to start and support the home and school. “Education is the key to their future,” says Hannah. “We opened the school to help children in this city and noticedmany of the children were malnourished and were falling asleep during class. We discovered that they were homeless or had horrible, unsafe living conditions which makes learning impossible. They needed a safe place to live which prompted us to open the Children’t home”

The shared name, Mogra, is a combination of Momma Hannah’s two children, Moses and Grace. The home is a haven to over 330 children which increases weekly due to the need and the time it takes to raise a child. The school provides an education from 3 years old through high school and assists the students with exam preparation. “It is difficult and costly because the government changes curriculum every year or so and we try to keep up,” explains Hannah. This leads to outdated, incomplete, or severely damaged books which are checked out and returned each day of class to prevent further damage or loss.

One of the largest continuous expenditures is acquiring clean water. Nairobi does provide water service which is several hundred dollars a month but comes only intermittently to their area. Their two alternatives for the 10,000 liters a day need for drinking, cooking, and cleaning are purchasing 10,000 liters a day for $350 per day (which is extremely cost-prohibitive) or carrying hoses and a water pump down to the local river which is time consuming and supplies unclean water.

To help the students and children the most, TBM Water Ministry provided the funding for an on-site water well at the cost of $28,000. “This well is far costlier than most of our projects,” explains DeeDee Wint, VP of TBM Water. “To best serve these children, the well had to be on-site with holding tanks and new pipes. It had to supply a lot of clean water every day for years to come. So, we have to drill deeper, provide more equipment and acquire the appropriate permits to construct a usable well.”

To help TBM continue to reach communities in need of clean water and hygiene, continue praying for, and donating to the water ministry at tbmtx.org/givenow. Your prayers, encouragement, and financial support reach people around the world in times of need, while sharing the love of Christ in the most practical way.


Rebuilding El Mesias after Harvey

General   Disaster Relief     1 year ago   by Rand

TBM continues to work through churches in South Texas after Hurricane Harvey. 

Pastor Marty Vera and his wife Priscilla are long-time members and now leaders of El Mesias Baptist Church in Houston. Hurricane Harvey left their church in great need but trusted that there was a plan to fix it and reach the neighborhood. "We are a church that believes in the power of prayer," Pastor Vera said. "Other churches do too and as we began our rebuilding, I received a call from a church who said God told us to help you. It was hard to do, but I knew churches in worse shape than ours and I connected them. But God is faithful and other churches, other people, and TBM are helping us rebuild to reach this community."

Marty and Vera grew up in this church and Marty jokes about when they were in the nursery that, "She kept crawling over to my crib." As they grew in leadership in the church and served as youth minister for the better part of three decades it came time to find a new pastor. Marty was involved in the new pastor search and a lady who had led Marty and Vera through their childhood spoke up in a meeting and announced to Marty in front of the congregation, "You won't find a pastor for this church! Because you are him." At first, Marty shunned the idea but felt God's direction and became the pastor 9 years ago.

Much work is still to be done at El Mesias and more to reach its community, but God is faithful and through gifts and the work of TBM, the church is completing its unplanned renovation to include showers and extra space to house future disaster relief workers. They are truly a church that continues to give to others.


Relief to Hawaii

Disaster Relief     2 years ago   by Rand Jenkins

In the wake of recent volcanic eruptions in Hawaii, the area has run out of respirator masks that filter out ash. To meet this critical need, Texas Baptist Men is sending 200 of these masks to aid volunteers in their clean-up efforts.

“The N95 masks filter out the ash that covers everything after a volcanic eruption,” Terry Henderson, director of TBM Disaster Relief said. “We have trained ash-out teams and we understand the issues they’ll face as clean-up continues. The masks we are sending to Pahala Baptist Church and Puna Baptist Church will help ensure the workers and volunteers breathe in clean air.”

TBM has a long-standing relationship with these two churches as well as a recent connection with the Hawaii Baptist Convention. Three years ago when lava flow threatened the community, TBM sent Childcare teams at the request of the state convention to work with the children who were displaced.

“We are glad to be able to help in this capacity,” Mickey Lenamon, TBM Executive Director said. “We are not only sending needed materials, but encouragement and prayer for their work as they minister to their community.”


TBM and Israel Enter DR Training Together

Disaster Relief     2 years ago   by Rand Jenkins

TBM has entered into a God-ordained partnership with Israel's Emergency Volunteer Project (EVP) to support and work alongside Israelis in time of crisis. Acting on behalf of the State of Israel, the EVP is authorized by the Israeli government to recruit, train and deploy volunteer teams to assist in various capacities.  The Israeli government and emergency services turn to EVP’s network of trained volunteers to aid when it is most needed.

From man-made to natural disasters, Israel is at imminent risk. When a natural disaster strikes at home in the US, we can be assured of an outpouring of support from around the country but things are different in Israel. The country is cautiously examining the predictions of a 100-year earthquake and the understanding that they will not be able to rely on their neighbors for assistance and support. 

Based on TBM’s 50-year success record for training  volunteers and responding to disasters, TBM and EVP is launching a campaign to train Emergency Response Teams (ERTs) consisting of hundreds of volunteers from local US churches to commit to deploy to Israel when a disaster hits the country. American volunteers will be trained in Israeli methods and protocols in order to assist Israeli first responders when deployed in an emergency situations and on mission trips during peacetime. While the primary goal is to train teams of volunteers to help Israel during crises, attendees can also apply this training personally and in your local community. By taking this important step, you are demonstrating to Israel your support and commitment. Upon completion of training, deployment teams will be organized for short or long-term assignments according to availability and skills. When a crisis does occur, credentials provided through this class and this partnership will be the only avenue into Israel to assist.  

In addition to response team deployments, there will be opportunities for peacetime mission trips and ways to meet financial needs in the area through which  you can share the resources God has provided your church. 

Within the next few weeks, detailed information on training opportunities in Texas will become available. In the meantime, please pray about how your church can have direct impact on the people of Israel. 

This partnership will include sending Godly men and women to Israel to do one or more of the following:
• Cross-train disaster relief volunteers in Israel and Texas
• Provide disaster relief equipment for mobile kitchens
• Send teams to renovate bomb shelters
• Provide $100,000 in initial funding
• Other tasks and opportunities that present themselves as God leads this work.

For more information on this partnership and how you or your church can be involved, please contact Dwain Carter at dwain.carter[at]tbmtx.org.


A Well for Mogra Children's Home

General   Water Ministry     2 years ago   by Rand Jenkins

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Nairobi Kenya

Naomi made her way slowly through the busy streets stopping often to rest. It had been a very difficult journey beginning in her village at dawn. After walking up the trail to the highway she boarded a matatah, a small van taxi, and rode the bumpy roads into the city. It was late afternoon by now, time to make a decision. Timing was crucial. Squatting beside a building she calculated, should she go now? Was it too early? Too late? Her labor pains were increasing, no, just a little longer, then she would go. Rising, she shuffled the last block and entered the hospital. She was in active labor, they couldn’t turn her away now. Seeing her condition, the hospital staff hurried her into the labor and delivery ward trying to get her name and fill out the paperwork on the way.  “Hanna, my name is Hannah,” she said. No, she had forgotten her identification papers, left them at home in the rush to get to the hospital. Shortly later she delivered a baby boy, or was it a girl? It didn’t matter.  The next evening, during the night, she gathered her clothes and slipped out the door, leaving her baby behind.

This, and stories just like it, are common in Kenya. Dr. John Mvcohi told this story to the Water Ministry team from TBM Texans on Mission, as we visited Mogra Children’s Home and Rescue Center in Nairobi, Kenya. Dr. John said, “Ninety five percent of the children here have been abandoned. Most of the 329 children came straight from the hospital. Others were living on the street when their parents died of AIDS or just left. Family members don’t want them. Local adoption, even taking in children of family members is rare. Foreign adoption is illegal in the country. So.....the children are forced to fend for themselves.”

Mogra Children’s Home began in 2003. The founder and director Reverend Hannah Njoroge shared, “I had started a school, Mogra Star Academy, for the needy children of the slums. The teachers were complaining about the students falling asleep in class.”  “We discovered,” she said, “that the children attending class were homeless, or lived in terrible conditions. As some of the children left school for home many just stayed, they had nowhere to go”. Smiling, she told us “God told me to open a home. A home that all children are welcomed. It doesn’t matter what tribe they are from, or their health issues, all are welcomed. We have children with AIDS, heart defects, etc. and we accept and love them all. We give them a safe, clean place to live with loving family, three meals a day, education and Christian upbringing.”

Her school, free for 1,100 underprivileged children teaches children from 3-18 and provides them with breakfast and lunch.

One of the biggest problems for them, and the reason we were invited to visit, is that they have a desperate need for water. The center uses 2,650 gallons of water a day, when they have it. That is about 6 gallons a person. An American averages about 98 gallons a day. The city is supposed to supply water once a week, but it seldom comes, forcing them to draw water from the dirty river nearby. During the dry season even that is no longer an option, and they must buy water to be delivered by tanker at the cost of $1,000 a week. That is impossible for them, so they ration it. The farm land that supplies all their vegetables, and the cattle for milk and meat are the first to be rationed. This causes loss of food.

As we walked around the school, and the children’s home we saw needs at every turn. It was overwhelming, but God gently reminded us of what He has called us to do. Our ministry is not to have a children’s home or open a school. God has called Reverend Hannah and her staff to do that. They know the culture, the language, and are doing it well. Our call from God is to help God’s workers do their ministries.  They are the front runners, in the trenches. The best way that we can help them, to help the children, is to relieve the stress due to the lack of water. We, with your help can do that! (The article photo is of the children's drinking water source.)

They need a well.

We have a matching funds offer up to $10,000. The well cost is $28,000 due to location, depth of clean water, and construction requirements to serve the children in the school.

To support this effort, go to legacy.texasbaptistmen.org/givenow and select "water well drilling" as the receiving fund. Thank you.


Water Filters to Navajo Nation

Water Ministry     2 years ago   by Rand Jenkins

Texas Baptist Men Water Ministry partnered with NavajoH2O #NavajoH2O to distribute water filters to the Navajo Nation around the area of Gallup, New Mexico. The Navajo have no surface water rights and the water that they can get is often contaminated either with bacteria or contains naturally occurring arsenic or unsafe levels of radiation from uranium mining run off.

In the areas near town, water is piped from municipal water sources, however, the reservation covers a vast area and this method is not economically feasible beyond a certain point. Drilling water wells is also a very costly solution because the depth of the water table (around 1000 feet) and the difficulty of drilling cause wells to cost as much as $400,000. The fact that people live so far apart compounds this problem because distribution from a common well is expensive also.

Ceramic water filters provided by Texas Baptist Men Water Ministry  @tbm_water is helping with this critical situation by providing a means by which available water sources my be used, thus eliminating the need to use bottled water. Using bottled water is always a difficult option because of the need to constantly transport the water and it can become very expensive in the long run. The filters that TBM/Water provides will last for years and will give great protection against bacteria and other contaminates providing #cleanwater.  #FightForTheForgotten


Baptist disaster relief in Texas sets new records

  2 years ago   by Ken Camp

Framing

Texas Baptist Men disaster relief workers may have wondered this time last year how they ever could top the 12,000-plus volunteers days they gave in 2016. If so, they could not have foreseen surpassing 40,000 volunteer days this year.

Due primarily—but not exclusively—to Hurricane Harvey, TBM and its out-of-state partners who worked alongside them in Texas set new records in 2017 in most categories for disaster relief ministry.

Year to date, TBM volunteers responded to 19 disasters at 54 sites, beginning in mid-January and continuing throughout the year with few breaks.

As a result, Baptist disaster relief volunteers working in Texas made 25,925 personal contacts with affected individuals, compared to 8,294 last year, and they prepared more than 1.6 million meals—about 10 times the number they cooked the previous year.

They distributed 5,592 Bibles so far this year, compared to 762 in 2016. Consequently, they recorded 265 professions of faith in Christ, compared to 23 the year before.

‘Largest response in our history’

“This has been the largest response in our history,” said Terry Henderson, state director of disaster relief with TBM.

In particular, Hurricane Harvey stretched TBM beyond its available resources—but not beyond its ability to respond in partnership with other Baptist volunteers, he noted.

“Our mutual aid plan went into effect, and we had 31 states come here to help,” Henderson said. Baptist groups from as far away as Canada, Hawaii and Guam have worked in Texas after Hurricane Harvey, he noted.

Because of the rapid response by volunteers, TBM was able to begin rebuilding efforts in some locations while continuing disaster relief at other sites.

Volunteers needed for TBM Rebuild

All that has contributed to “volunteer fatigue,” Henderson acknowledged. The rebuild currently is on hiatus until January, and disaster relief also expects to suspend its operations Dec. 16 and resume as needed after Jan. 1.

While TBM Rebuild projects are scheduled in January, the demand currently exceeds the number of groups who have volunteers so far, he noted.

“We need volunteers for rebuilding,” he said.

For more information about the TBM Rebuild, click here or email TBMrebuild[at]legacy.texasbaptistmen.org.

To contribute financially to TBM disaster relief, click here or send a check designated “disaster relief” to Texas Baptist Men, 5351 Catron, Dallas 75227.


Church delivers water filters to Rockport

Water Ministry     2 years ago   by Rand Jenkins

Members of Kingsland First Baptist Church delivered TBM Water Ministry filter kits to Hurricane Harvey flood victims in Rockport, Texas recently.  Ace Hardware and Home Depot donated the buckets.

T. Stewart from Kingsland Baptist made the following comment:

We had a pair of ladies come to us and told us they had 13 people , so they took 4 filters.  All the pictures of people had the same concerns (that their water wells were contaminated)  and after talking with them and showing them the spec sheets, they thought this was the best thing since sliced bread.

I am sure hundreds more could be used in the gulf coast area,  I had one filter at church on Sunday  to  show the church members.  After church there were people visiting from the Beaumont area  wanting to get some filters for that area.  I gave them the filter I had  so the local EMS could have  clean water to drink.


TBM Meets Needs After Hurricane Harvey

Disaster Relief     2 years ago   by Rand Jenkins

Thanks to Ken Camp for the article.

HOUSTON—Before most Gulf Coast residents returned to their homes, about 175 Texas Baptist Men disaster relief volunteers already had worked more than 5,500 hours and prepared 30,000-plus meals for first responders and sheltered evacuees.

And as the rain stopped and floodwaters receded, Texas Baptists intensified their efforts to minister to people affected by Hurricane Harvey.

Cooking meals at downtown Houston shelter

About three-dozen TBM disaster relief workers set up a field kitchen outside the George R. Brown Convention Center in downtown Houston, where they prepared meals for evacuees inside the mega-shelter.

“I remember when the Katrina people were here,” said one of the shelter residents, a homeless man who simply identified himself as James. “I never thought I would be.”

Gene Pepiton, director of missions for Wichita Archer Clay Baptist Association, had served with a TBM crew at the George R. Brown Convention Center after Hurricane Katrina in 2005, when people from New Orleans were evacuated to Houston. He returned to the same site after Harvey with a vanload of TBM volunteers from his association Aug. 30.

Before his crew left the TBM Dixon Missions Equipping Center in Dallas, he reminded the volunteers of the difference they could make as they showed Christ’s love by providing nourishing hot meals people who had experienced trauma.

“For a time, we can take their minds of some of their worst hurt,” Pepiton said.

He recalled incidents after Katrina when volunteers in downtown Houston faced what seemed to be insurmountable challenges. But God opened doors of opportunity when his people ceased to rely on their own resources and depended on him, he noted.

“When we can’t do it, God shows up,” he said.

‘Gospel in motion’

Dwain Carter, deputy director of TBM disaster relief, encouraged the volunteer to look for every occasion to demonstrate the love of God, both through their actions and through words of Christian witness.

“We are the gospel in motion,” Carter said. “We are the hands and feet of Christ.”

Additional food-service teams worked in Victoria, Katy and in support of the Texas Task Force 1 search-and-rescue team.

Six days after the hurricane first made landfall in South Texas, TBM crew—together with Southern Baptist disaster relief workers from Arkansas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Missouri, Illinois and South Carolina—had washed nearly 600 loads of laundry and provided access to more than 800 showers in support of shelters and first responders.

Shower and laundry mobile units were deployed to shelters in Angleton, La Grange, Victoria, Katy and Portland, as well as multiple Houston-area sites and with Texas Task Force 1.

Damage assessors, asset protection personnel, chainsaw crews, heavy equipment operators and volunteers who distributed boxes to residents to help them reclaim and store scattering belongings worked in Victoria.

TBM childcare workers ministered to children and volunteer chaplains offered spiritual counsel at the shelter set up at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas.

Victim Relief Ministries—an interdenominational ministry that grew out of TBM’s restorative justice ministry program—also sent chaplains, crisis responders and comfort dog teams to the downtown Dallas shelter and to Refugio County in South Texas.

TBM established mobile command posts in Victoria and Katy, and the group deployed flood recovery units to La Grange and Katy.

‘A marathon, not a sprint’

Thousands of additional TBM volunteers remained on alert, waiting deployment—not only to meet immediate needs, but also to provide care over the long term.

“This is a marathon, not a sprint,” said Mickey Lenamon, TBM executive director. “We will still be responding, whether it’s a month from now or a year from now.”

To contribute financially to TBM disaster relief, click here or send a check designated “disaster relief” to Texas Baptist Men, 5351 Catron, Dallas 75227.



First Responders After Harvey

Disaster Relief     2 years ago   by Rand Jenkins

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Even before evacuated residents could return to their homes, Texas Baptist Men disaster relief volunteers were serving meals to first responders on the hurricane-ravaged Gulf coast.

Meanwhile, more than 7,000 trained TBM disaster relief volunteers remain on alert to respond to what some experts are calling one of the worst natural disasters in U.S. history.

Hurricane Harvey made landfall late evening Aug. 25 near Rockport as a Category 4 storm before slowly continuing up the coastline and dumping up to two feet of rain within 24 hours, causing catastrophic flooding in multiple counties.

TBM serves Texas Task Force 1

A TBM rapid-response food-service crew continues to provide meals for about 150 first responders with the Texas Task Force 1 search-and-rescue team in the wake of the hurricane and subsequent flooding.

The TBM crew initially served in Robstown, west of Corpus Christi, but the volunteers planned to relocate with Task Force 1 Aug. 28 to somewhere in the Houston area, more than 200 miles to the northeast.

TBM food-service crews from Lubbock Baptist Association and Tarrant Baptist Association also were preparing meals for first responders in Victoria and Uvalde.

Volunteers with TBM shower and laundry units were at work Aug. 27 in Robstown, San Antonio and LaGrange, and other TBM volunteers have been given responsibility to provide childcare at a 5,000-person capacity shelter in Dallas.

TBM also will be one of the service providers at a 50,000-person mega-shelter in downtown Houston, once roadways are clear enough for safe travel in and out of the city.

An additional two-dozen disaster relief units, including chainsaw, mud-out, heavy equipment and blue-tarp temporary roofers, already are scheduled for deployment, and many more will be called on in the future, said Dwain Carter, deputy director for TBM disaster relief.

The Baptist Health Foundation of San Antonio board voted Aug. 25 to provide a $50,000 grant to TBM—along with another $50,000 grant to the Salvation Army—for disaster relief in South Texas.

Long-term commitment after hurricane

TBM disaster relief leaders expect the duration of response by their volunteers to be measured in months, rather than weeks.

“This will be the largest TBM disaster relief operation in our 50-year history,” TBM Executive Director Mickey Lenamon said.

Lenamon had a message for trained volunteers who are eager to respond immediately: “Don’t be discouraged or frustrated if you are not called out right away. Just wait. You will be needed.”

Southern Baptist disaster relief volunteers from up to 20 states also are on alert, waiting to respond in Texas.

Texas Baptist Men is accepting crates of bottled water for distribution along the Gulf Coast. Donated water can be left at a designated staging area at the Dixon Missions Equipping Center at 5351 Catron Dr. in east Dallas from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.


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