September 12, 2017
By Jeff Huett
DECATUR, Ga. — As CBF Disaster Response and Florida CBF continue to assess the damage Hurricane Irma inflicted on the Bahamas, Cuba and Puerto Rico, plans are already underway for volunteer staging areas in Miami, Fort Myers and Jacksonville.
Jacksonville, which suffered record-setting storm surge, will be the location of staging sites at Island View Baptist Church and Hendricks Avenue Baptist Church. Plans are forming on the other sites
Individuals and congregations seeking information about forming volunteer teams to help out should visit www.cbf.net/dr-volunteer to sign up for more information. Volunteer groups will be needed as people return to their homes.
CBF International Disaster Response Coordinator David Harding stressed the long-term nature of CBF’s response to the storm.
“CBF is mobilizing by obtaining first assessments and establishing staging areas for our response,” Harding said. “We are sensitive to give people the time and space to grieve while we provide pathways of meaningful service to those who are hurting from the devastation. This will be a long road to recovery.”
Ray Johnson, coordinator of Florida CBF, said partner churches in Florida have inspired him in the way that they have cared for their people and their neighbors.
“I can’t remember a disaster in Florida that has impacted the state from one coast to the other and from the Keys to Jacksonville,” he said. “Irma is stretching our resources but not our resolve nor our response. It’s encouraging to hear from so many followers of Christ who are putting hands and feet to their thoughts and prayers.
“Many of our churches and communities are still without power, but I continue to read and hear from individuals whose power has returned volunteering their homes for a place to cool down and to clean up. Neighbors are helping neighbors clear fallen trees. Many pastors held services online as the storm approached. Confidence and faith have radiated from our people. “
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 will work with state and regional organizations, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters (VOAD), as well as other local and national partners, in any response.
As CBF helps get people and communities back on their feet over the long-term, financial resources will be necessary. Please consider a gift to the CBF Hurricane Disaster Relief Fund.
Donations in support of CBF’s hurricane disaster response efforts may be made online here or by mailing a check payable to “CBF” with Hurricane Relief in the memo line to:
Cooperative Baptist Fellowship
P.O. Box 102972
Atlanta, GA 30368-2972
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.