Texas Baptists Helping Katrina’s Victims

Ebcharlesandme100How to be there in ways that truly help is on all our minds.” Dr Charles Wade.

Thats Charles on the left. He directs the Baptist General Convention of Texas. (BGCT). Dr E.B. Brooks on the right heads up their mission projects, including mine. Oh . . the good looking guy in the middle is me, without my hat. Milfred Minatrea (not in picture, but his book is in my left column) is probably the guy doing all the hard work so pray for him.

There are a lot of scams going on – be careful where you give your money. One group I trust implicitly is the Baptist General Convention of Texas. The BGCT are already directing $1 million towards the victims and the churches are raising extra money individually. They have sent 7 Texas Baptist Men disaster relief teams into Louisiana and are putting together teams of able bodied men (and women) who can serve for 2 weeks on a team. BGCT trained chaplains are already involved in relief counseling.

All of us can be involved Dr. Charles Wade suggests we Pray, Give and Serve. And if your church is helping out, send an email to katrinaresponse@bgct.org and BE CONNECTED.

I have suggested churches in the affected areas throw a HUGE POT LUCK meal tomorrow after church and make sure some homeless families are there to eat it with you. Not because they are hungry, but because it could be a safe place for housed families to meet non-housed families – around a table where they can get to know each other, build trust, and open doors of hospitality that will bless everyone involved. But to pull it off tomorrow, you might need to get on the phone today. Other ideas, including an “Elijah Room” in your house are here.

“Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing so, some have entertained angels without knowing it.” Heb. 13:1-2

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Andrew

Andrew Jones has been blogging since 1997. He is based in San Francisco with his two daughters but also travels the globe to find compelling stories of early stage entrepreneurs changing their world. Sometimes he talks in the third person. Sometimes he even talks to himself and has been heard uttering the name "Precious" :-)

5 Comments

  • thanks for mentioning this, andrew. the media here is becoming ridiculously sensationalist and is focusing on all the bad and only briefly mentions all the people/organizations that are actually doing something to help…
    another thing people don’t realize is that fema requires some sort of disaster relief training prior to volunteers helping out at the immediate scene of the disaster (seeing dead bodies, devastation, sewage, etc, can be overwhelming). but those of us who have not had this training can still open our homes and provide meals/$$/etc. and pray for those affected. applause to the folks you mention who are doing so.

  • Andrew,
    I am from New Orleans originally and my family lives near the Mississippi Gulf Coast in Picayune, MS. I embarked on an effort to get to my family and hometown as quickly as I could, but it took me several days. In the doing, I took around 30 people and several trucks full of supplies. We opened a shelter on the Gulf Coast with the Red Cross that is now one of the most effective shelters there and is servicing 2 hospitals and 6 nursing homes. The shelter has fed around 1500 people and is housing a 150 in its first couple of days. I was able to rescue my aging grandmother from evacuation to unknown parts, repair my father’s house from damage from 4 trees falling on it, and evacuate him to Montgomery, AL, where I live. I just got back and we’re going to keep at this for the forseeable future. I say all of this to say, that it started with me deciding on Monday I had to get to my family and help them. Others heard and wanted to come along. God was in it.
    When we arrived at the Red Cross headquaters on Friday, they told us to set up a shelter at a Lutheran church. I asked them how they wanted it done. They were completely overwhelmed and just said, “Make it happen.” I want to encourage everyone to trust God and act. Don’t wait. Don’t sit around. Whether it is with Hurricane Katrina relief, or local work, people are desperate everywhere and need believers who will, with God’s help, “Make it happen.”
    One last note: In the shelter on Friday night I gathered believers together who had lost everything. About nine of us had a time of sharing, opening God’s word, and encouraging one another. I encouraged them to rejoice in the Lord despite their circumstances. I was humbled and awed at God’s power to give joy in the midst of such despair and loss. One fourteen year old girl said her birthday was the other day, but it was her best one yet because she was still alive and she thanked God. May each one of us know Him in our sufferings.

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