SBTC Disaster Relief volunteers more than 48,000 hours in 2019
January 28th, 2020 / By: Jane Rodgers | TEXAN Correspondent / comments
GRAPEVINE Floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, fires, homelessness, mass shootings and migration crises—storms of all kinds—saw Southern Baptists of Texas Convention Disaster Relief workers donate thousands of volunteer hours throughout the Lone Star state, the Midwest and the South in 2019.
The year was characterized by unusual deployments. SBTC DR crews served along the Texas/Mexico border as thousands sought entry to the United States, ministered in the wake of tragic shootings in El Paso and Odessa, helped victims of unprecedented October tornadoes in Dallas and prepared meals for Austin’s homeless.
SBTC DR crews crossed Texas, serving in Alto, Austin, Bastrop, Beaumont, Borger, Brownsville, Brownwood, Bryan, Dallas, Del Rio, Eagle Pass, El Paso, Hamshire, Harlingen, Kilgore, Kountze, League City, Madisonville, Mineral Wells, New Baden, Odessa, Pflugerville, Port Arthur, Robstown, Sargent, San Augustine, Raymondville and Vidor.
Outside Texas, volunteers ministered in Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nebraska, North Carolina, Oklahoma and Tennessee.
The Quick Response Unit, a mobile food truck, saw significant use in 2019, including serving meals near a predominantly Muslim neighborhood in tornado-ravaged Dallas and moving rapidly to feed fire victims in Madisonville this fall.
SBTC DR Director Scottie Stice praised the efficiency and flexibility of the QRU and the volunteers manning it, telling the TEXAN that SBTC DR added two more QR kitchen units to its fleet this year.
The response to the migrant crisis at the border proved to be “the most evangelistic ministry we had this year,” Stice said, noting that the ministry provided opportunities to build relationships with government agencies and further partnerships with Samaritan’s Purse and the Salvation Army.
“God really blessed SBTC DR ministry this year. We praise God for the great results. Personally, I thank God for SBTC DR volunteers. They come from churches from all over the state and give their time and their love to those in need,” he added.
The statistics to the left tell the story. The ministry of churches along the border such as West Brownsville Baptist saw more than one thousand salvations.
Although SBTC DR has over 6,000 trained volunteers, the number of total volunteers refers to days deployed rather than to separate individuals. Over 4,800 deployed means 4,800-plus days in the field. Many volunteers faithfully served repeatedly in 2019.
For more information about online and site-based SBTC DR training to become a DR volunteer, visit sbtexas.com/dr.