A tornado destroyed Henryville, Indiana last Friday. It was one example of the devastation that was seen over several days last week as 74 tornadoes in 10 states killed at least 39 people. These same storms did their sudden and destructive work across our beloved state of Tennessee. While many areas of Tennessee were affected, as with last spring, Southeast Tennessee was the hardest hit.
It is the very fabric and DNA for the SBC and TBC Disaster Relief army of volunteers to show up fast, work tirelessly, and stay until the ministry assignment is completed.
As the “High Alert” warnings were coming in, our appropriate Disaster Relief teams were placed on standby and being mobilized. These deployments of DR teams have taken place already and plans are being formulated as to how we will continue to help our own state, as well as neighboring states.
These great DR brothers and sisters do not show up for the photo op and then pack their bags. They understand the incredible benefit of long-term commitment. Homes are still being rebuilt by Baptists along the Gulf Coast that were destroyed by Katrina. Remember the earthquake and tsunami in Japan? Southern Baptists are still there helping Japanese Baptists. Recall the tornadoes in Alabama, Tennessee, and across the South from last spring? We are still there. Remember the devastating earthquake in Haiti? We are still there. And we will respond where we can with all of our hearts and stay as long as we need to stay.
Here is the bottom line: Lives are being transformed and eternal destinies altered by the exemplary compassion and verbal witness to the Gospel by Southern Baptists and Tennessee Baptists to hurting people at home and around the world. The compassionate work and the Great Commission witness of DR teams continue. After all, it’s their DNA.
It is a joy to be with you on this journey.
(It you want to help with Disaster Relief you may give online at www.tnbaptist.org or send a check to TN Baptist Disaster Relief, P.O. Box 728, Brentwood, TN 37024.)