— Latest News —
TBM Mud Out Responds in Two Cities
by Rand Jenkins2 days ago
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.
Get Involved in the TBM / Israel Partnership
by Rand Jenkins2 weeks ago
The TBM and Israeli partnership is finalized and we are beginning our training to assist when the need arises. More information on this partnership can be read here:
There are three areas of participation for your church:
- Emergency Response Teams (ERTs) that will respond in time of crisis to support Israeli first responders;
- Mission Opportunities during peacetime which may include distributing food, water, and other supplies, serving the poor, aged, Holocaust survivors in various projects including minor renovation to homes and bomb shelters; and
- Meeting Financial Needs that will support the ERTs and the mission projects
Emergency Response Teams
Per Israeli procedures, if/when a crisis does occur, the credentials provided in this class will be the only avenue for volunteers to respond to a crisis in Israel.
The opportunity to travel to Israel as an ERT or mission project team is to be taken seriously and requires a commitment. While we will provide some time for touring, these will not be sightseeing tours. Our purpose and mission is to stand by and assist Israel as mandated in scripture.
We ask that you prayerfully consider how you will join us in this opportunity and we look forward to having you join us in whatever way the Lord leads. If you have further questions, email Terry Henderson at terry.henderson[at]tbmtx.org .
Below is information on training and how to be involved as you are able.
TBM/EVP TRAINING EVENT
(Required for ALL ERTs and Mission Project Teams)
ALL DR volunteers who will be traveling to Israel in crisis or peacetime are required to take an online CERT class prior to attending a three-day onsite training class. Training in Israeli methods and protocols is essential so volunteers are prepared to act alongside Israeli first responders when deployed in an emergency or if need be on a mission project during peacetime.
TRAINING DATE: August 9 - 11, 2018 Thursday 1:00 pm - Saturday 2:30 pm at the TBM Building in Dallas
REGISTRATION: The following steps must be completed prior to attending training.
- Registration is open from June 11, 2018 - August 3, 2018
- Cost $75 (non-refundable after July 26, 2018)
- Complete online registration and submit payment:
- Complete online background check application: Click here
- Complete online FEMA course #317 - CERT
DOCUMENTATION: The following three documents must be presented at check-in.
- Paper copy of FEMA course #317 certificate of completion.
- Paper copy of letter of medical fitness from Physician.
- Paper copy of Letter of Recommendation from Pastor or other leader.
Note that failure to pass background check, any history of felony arrest or prosecution, including violence, sexual misconduct or drug use, will result in an automatic rejection of application.
For the safety of all, it is vital that all participants strictly comply with all instructions and guidelines given by the instructors during the training sessions. Please wear long pants and bring a good pair of work shoes for the training sessions. Sandals and or canvas shoes are not allowed.
TBM/EVP TRAINING AGENDA
(Subject to change)
Check in Thursday August 9, 2018 from 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Sessions to begin at 1:00 pm
Meals included: Thursday - dinner, Friday - lunch & dinner, Saturday - lunch
Sessions to include:
- Introduction to TBM/EVP "Mission Israel"
- TBM Orientation
- Middle East geopolitical changes & its impact on Israel and the USA
- Suspicious objects and body language
- Personal security thinking
- Israel water distribution protocols
- Basic First Aid
- Basic Firefighting
- Emergency scenarios in Israel
- Mass Casualty Incidents - Security protocols
- Population behavior during emergencies
- Community resilience during crisis
- Destruction site characteristics
- Light search and rescue principles
- Safe Food Handling
- Israeli culture and society
- Jewish Evangelism
- Scenarios & drills
Closing ceremony Saturday August 11, 2018 from 1:30 pm - 2:30 pm
TBM/EVP CRISIS DEPLOYMENT
*YOU MUST BE PRE-TRAINED TO DEPLOY - NO EXCEPTIONS*
Purpose: To assist EVP in numerous aspects of response to a crisis which may include, but is not limited to, mass feeding, water distribution, assisting Israeli first responders in first aid and light search and rescue and crisis intervention. As with all crises, natural or man-made, we cannot predict when a deployment might occur but we must be ready to respond immediately if the need arises. You WILL NOT be put on the front lines of any emergency situations.
Requirements: All participants must be 18-75 years of age. Certain health issues cannot be accepted (example - diabetic, heart issues, inability to walk/climb uneven inclines for extended period of time, extreme heat, claustrophobic conditions or motion sickness as travel can be long distances in a packed van). If you are not sure you meet the requirements, email terry.henderson[at]tbmtx.org with concerns before registering.
Deployment Length: Most deployments will be 10-14 days including travel time.
Deployment Cost: $1500-$2000 per volunteer plus airfare. The cost covers all inland expenses including food, lodging, equipment and transportation.
Passport: Your passport must not expire within 6 months of deployment.
TBM/EVP MISSION PROJECTS
*YOU MUST BE PRE-TRAINED TO PARTICIPATE - NO EXCEPTIONS*
Purpose: To offer mission opportunity for volunteers during non-crisis and peace time including, but not limited to, distribution of food and other supplies, renovating bomb shelters, serving poor, aged, Holocaust survivors in various projects including minor renovation to their homes.
Requirements: All participants must be 18-75 years of age. Certain health issues cannot be accepted (example - diabetic, heart issues, inability to walk/climb uneven inclines for extended period of time, extreme heat, claustrophobic conditions or motion sickness as travel can be long distances in a packed van). If you are not sure you meet the requirements, email terry.henderson[at]tbmtx.orgwith concerns before registering.
Project Length: Most projects will be 7-10 days including travel time.
Project Cost: $1500-$2000 per volunteer plus airfare. The cost covers all inland expenses including food, lodging, equipment and transportation.
Passport: Your passport must not expire within 6 months of deployment.
It is vital that the logistics framework be in place before the next emergency so TBM/EVP will be able to act quickly and efficiently inside Israel. We are currently purchasing and staging deployment equipment to be used by multiple volunteer teams.
The following are some of the items for which you can provide financial support. You may be able to help purchase a large item or only be able to provide a fraction of the cost, but when combined together, it will multiply like feeding the 5000 with five loaves and two fish with plenty to go around.
- Volunteer Deployment Kits @ $1300 each
Basic kit to allow a volunteer to operate during a crisis for up three days independently. Includes tent, sleeping bag, food and water, etc.
- Motorola Two-Way Radio sets @ $5000 each
Essential to maintain communications with teams in the field in the event that telephone lines/cellular networks are down.
- Mass Feeding Trailer and Vehicle to tow trailer @ $75,000 each
To be used to feed mass populations and EVP teams responding to the crisis as well as for mission projects on a daily basis.
To provide financial support please visit our website at tbmtx.org. Make sure you choose the "DR Israel" designation.
Water Ministry Touches Lives in Kenya
by Rand Jenkins2 weeks ago
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
by Rand3 weeks ago
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
by Rand Jenkins1 month ago
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
by Rand Jenkins1 month ago
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 (ERT’s) 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 Terry Henderson at terry.henderson[at]tbmtx.org.
A Well for Mogra Children's Home
by Rand Jenkins3 months ago
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
by Rand Jenkins6 months ago
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
6 months ago by Ken Camp
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.
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
by Rand Jenkins9 months ago
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
by Rand Jenkins10 months ago
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
by Rand Jenkins10 months ago
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.