Editor’s note: The IBSA Pastors’ Conference and Annual Meeting begins today, November 13, in Decatur, Ill. Check back here for updates, or follow along on Facebook.com/IBSA and Twitter.com/IBSA.
THE BRIEFING | Two teams of Illinois Baptist Disaster Relief volunteers are serving now in the hurricane-ravaged Northeast U.S. IBSA’s Rex Alexander reported that a flood recovery team from Three Rivers Association is serving in the hard-hit North Oyster Bay area of Long Island, where they’ll assist with mudout and chainsaw projects.
A feeding team of 31 people from Illinois also is in New York this week, serving on Staten Island. The team, representing 21 Illinois churches and 14 local associations, will replace a Kentucky Baptist team and use that state’s kitchen trailer already in place.
“I was very encouraged that we put together such a large team in about two days when we were asked to replace the Kentucky volunteers,” Alexander said. He’s already received a request to be ready to replace the team with more volunteers next week.
The Illinois workers join a strong Disaster Relief response that’s been at work in New York and New Jersey since immediately after Hurricane Sandy devastated the area. Southern Baptist volunteers have provided 670,000 meals so far, and leaders are preparing for an extended, multi-faceted response, said national DR coordinator Fritz Wilson.
“Although we’ve been told by New York officials that some of our kitchen operations may consolidate in the state, they told us to expect to continue providing meals into December,” Wilson told Baptist Press.
Close to 900 Southern Baptist volunteers from 27 states and Canada continued to provide ministry with shower trailers, mud-out and clean-up crews, and home repairs. Wilson is providing leadership from the New York and New Jersey incident command centers hosted by Raritan Valley Baptist Church in Edison, N.J. A second NAMB mobile incident command center is in transit to the church.
The Sandy response will also include childcare provided by Disaster Relief volunteers, with units en route from Ohio and South Carolina. Planning continues to allow college students to use their holiday breaks to voluntarily serve in the affected areas.
For more on the Disaster Relief response to Hurricane Sandy, go to NAMB.net/dr.
-With information from Baptist Press