DECATUR, Ga. — South Main Baptist Church will serve as the base of operations for the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship’s Disaster Response work in Houston with CBF’s efforts also extending to other communities along the Texas Gulf Coast that are facing devastation from Hurricane Harvey.
Steve Wells, pastor of South Main Baptist Church in Houston and a member of the CBF Governing Board, said this role fits with the CBF partner congregation’s DNA.
“South Main has great confidence in our partnership with CBF and takes great comfort in knowing that the people of the Fellowship are giving their prayers, time and financial resources to come to the aid of the people of South Texas,” Wells said. “We believe that together we will be able to do something great for the Kingdom of God.
“At South Main, we have always thought that we should be about making disciples,” Wells continued. “In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, we’re going to help others do that through our church. At South Main, we believe every Baptist leaves the church each week to go onto the mission field. In the coming months it is a more obvious truth. We’ll spend those months hosting and sending folks day by day.”
Disaster Response this weekend in rural communities
CBF is partnering with CBF Texas, Fellowship Southwest and the Hispanic Baptist Convention of Texas in the first phase of work in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.
Over the weekend, Jesse Rincones, executive director of the Hispanic Baptist Convention of Texas and Jorge Zapata, coordinator of missions and Hispanic ministries for CBF Texas, are traveling to rural communities facing devastation. Ten students from Baptist University of the Americas in San Antonio and members of three Hispanic congregations will also travel with them to the Texas cities of Port Aransas and Rockport to assist in relief efforts and to assess needs in those communities.
Rincones said it will take strong cooperation and resources to bring the kind of relief that these communities need.
“No one group can do it alone,” Rincones said. “I am grateful for the opportunity to partner with Jorge Zapata, CBF and Fellowship Southwest to meet needs in Texas in such a way that could only be possible through our cooperative work.
“In the wake of Hurricane Harvey’s devastation, a brilliant light of hope shone as people re-discovered the gift of cooperation,” he said. “Our Hispanic congregations will be blessed with Convencion’s work with CBF, CBF Texas and Fellowship Southwest.”
CBF has already received dozens of requests from individuals and congregations seeking information about forming volunteer teams to help out in the region. To request information visit: http://www.cbf.net/harveyvolunteer/.
A volunteer coordinator will assist disaster response teams wanting to work along the Texas Gulf Coast. In the short-term, these groups will be muck-out teams, removing mud and debris from flooded homes. In the future, these teams will help rebuilding efforts.
CBF Disaster Response News and Notes:
- CBF field personnel Butch and Nell Green, who serve refugees and human trafficking victims in Houston, will be working alongside volunteer groups and partners. Diann Berry, who is a CBF field personnel working in Texas along the U.S.-Mexico Border, will assist in rural communities affected by the storm consistent with her field assignment with Together for Hope, CBF’s rural development coalition.
- CBF field personnel Nell Green has written a prayer and litany for the aftermath of the storm. It’s available here.
Here are some other ways you can pray for the Texas Gulf Coast
- For families who have lost everything
- For God’s peace in a time of devastation for victims, first responders and government leaders in cities and towns, large and small
- For church communities that face challenges to repair or rebuild their houses of worship
- For churches who are asking “how can we help” and are preparing to send volunteer teams to assist storm victims
- For partnership to flourish as people help people and churches help churches to build not just physical structures but the Kingdom of God
CBF is accepting disaster response funds on behalf of CBF Texas and Fellowship Southwest. Churches and individuals wanting to contribute to Hurricane Harvey Disaster Response can give online at www.cbf.net/harvey. If you prefer, you may also give by mailing a check payable to “CBF” to:
Cooperative Baptist Fellowship
PO Box 102972
Atlanta, GA 30368-2972
*be sure to include “Hurricane Harvey Response” in the memo line
CBF is not accepting donations of items for those affected by the flooding in Texas. CBF has learned from experience with other disasters that it is much more efficient and cost-effective to provide funds that allow CBF Disaster Response personnel to procure needed supplies as needed.
In keeping with CBF’s focus on long-term impact, CBF Disaster Response participates in networks seeking to help communities after a devastating event, but employs most of its resources on the long-term recovery, rehabilitation and resiliency of a community after first-responders have finished their work.
CBF is a Christian network that helps people put their faith to practice through ministry efforts, global missions and a broad community of support. The Fellowship’s mission is to serve Christians and churches as they discover and fulfill their God-given mission.