SBTC DR receives help from SEND Relief, Texas Relief in Golden Triangle
October 15th, 2017 / By: Jane Rodgers | TEXAN Correspondent / comments
VIDOR—Traditionally trained Southern Baptist Disaster Relief (SBDR) teams are receiving an influx of new workers in the form of newly minted volunteers signing on with the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention’s Texas Relief program, and college students recruited from across the U.S. to participate in the North American Mission Board’s SEND Relief outreach.
Over the weekend of Oct 7, the first college crews from SEND Relief descended upon churches in the Golden Triangle where teams of college kids were assigned to work alongside seasoned SBTC DR volunteers.
Calling SEND Relief “an excellent idea” when addressing the leadership of the Golden Triangle Baptist Network assembled at his church on Oct. 5, FBC Vidor pastor Terry Wright praised the enthusiastic crew from the University of Alabama at Huntsville and the University of Mobile who had already arrived to volunteer.
“Next week our numbers will climb to over 100 SEND Relief people,” Wright said, explaining that where once six or eight traditional DR workers might tackle a job, the additional college students will provide “young shoulders and backs” to help.
“Instead of doing a house every two or three days, we now hope to be doing a house every day,” Wright added, noting that the SEND Relief students would be sent out from FBC Vidor throughout the region as part of an agreement with NAMB.
Wright explained that FBC Vidor’s DR units would be combined with SBTC DR units and those from Illinois Baptist DR and other sources and “put in the field.” The effort would use shared supplies out of a central warehouse.
When the TEXAN asked how the first day of sheetrock removal went, the Alabama college group replied, “Awesome!” as an Illinois Baptist DR volunteer manning a shower/laundry unit stationed at FBC Vidor explained the protocol for getting clean clothes.
“We guarantee you’ll get your clothes back in a bag with your name on it, and they will be wrinkled,” he said with a laugh.
White praised out of state teams from Kentucky, Illinois, Tennessee and church groups from around Texas, for their help.
“Church teams, local teams, college teams, whoever can come in is welcome,” White said.
FBC Kountze expected 20-25 college students from Louisiana over the weekend, part of the SBTC’s Texas Relief program that streamlines sign-ups for new volunteers (http://sbtexas.com/evangelism/disaster-relief/hurricane-harvey-dr-information/texas-relief-harvey/.)
Experienced SBTC DR unit director Paul Ester was coming to supervise the work of the college students, White said, adding that Friendship Baptist in Groves also expected to receive Texas Relief teams to work with SBTC DR veterans.
Texas Relief volunteers had already served in Houston.
“There is still significant work to be done in Southeast Texas. I don’t know if we are even halfway there,” Wright said, noting the number of citizens “doing their own stuff” in terms of recovery and adding, “we focus on folks who can’t do the work.”