Archives For Disaster Relief

The BriefingBaptists mobilize after weekend storms in Southeast
Southern Baptists throughout the Southeast have started responding to a deadly storm system that reportedly claimed the lives of at least 19 people from Georgia to Mississippi over a two-day period this past weekend. According to the Associated Press, 39 possible tornadoes were reported in the Southeast.

Ban reinstated on U.S. funds promoting abortion overseas
President Trump signed an executive order blocking foreign aid or federal funding for international nongovernmental organizations that provide or “promote” abortions. The order came Jan. 23, one day after the 44th anniversary of the Roe V. Wade Supreme Court ruling that made abortion legal, and days before the annual “March for Life” in Washington on Jan. 27.

U.S. abortion rate hits all-time low
The abortion rate in the United States declined to an all-time low, while the number of lethal procedures dropped below a million for the first time since 1975, according to a new report. The Guttmacher Institute reported the rate fell to 14.6 abortions per 1,000 women 15 to 44 years old in 2014, which is a decline of 14 percent since its most recent survey in 2011.

Divinity schools: Stop using ‘he’ or ‘him’ to refer to God
Guidelines at two top U.S. divinity schools have recommended professors use “inclusive” gender-neutral language—including for God, according to documents from both Duke and Vanderbilt. Vanderbilt’s 2016-2017 catalog says the divinity school “commits continuously and explicitly to include gender as an analyzed category and to mitigate sexism” in its teachings.

Vatican to issue stamp featuring Martin Luther
The Vatican office charged with issuing stamps confirmed that Martin Luther, who broke away from the Catholic Church in a schism 500 years ago, will be celebrated with a postage stamp in 2017. Honoring Luther and the anniversary of the Protestant Reformation is an unlikely choice for the Church. Luther, an Augustinian monk, was excommunicated in 1521.

Sources: Baptist Press, The Hill, Life Site News, Heat Street, Christianity Today

The BriefingStorm damage hampers relief efforts in Haiti, Carolinas
In the United States, the death toll from Hurricane Matthew reached 23. As floodwaters receded and Haitians could begin to count the bodies, the death toll in the Caribbean country soared to 1,000. Officials began to bury the dead in mass graves in Jeremie, one of the hardest-hit cities.

Trump’s pastor problem
A large number of Protestant pastors are undecided ahead of the election, and few of them have endorsed a candidate from the pulpit. Their indecision poses an issue for Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. In the past two elections, more of these pastors suggested they were firmly in the Republican camp.

InterVarsity stands for biblical marriage
InterVarsity Christian Fellowship USA, one of the largest evangelical organizations on college campuses nationwide has told its 1,300 staff members they will be fired if they personally support gay marriage or otherwise disagree with its newly detailed positions on sexuality starting on Nov. 11.

Justice Ginsburg calls Kaepernick protests ‘dumb and disrespectful’
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, never shy to weigh in on the controversies of the day, said she thinks “it’s really dumb” for San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick and others to refuse to stand for the national anthem.

Illinois marijuana sales top $20 million
Medical marijuana sales reached more than $3.8 million last month at licensed dispensaries throughout Illinois. September’s sales figures bring the total retail sales in Illinois to $23.5 million since purchasing began in November last year, topping the $20 million mark for the first time.

Sources: World Magazine, Washington Post, Time, CNN, NowDecatur

Disaster_Relief_logo_ILSix teams of Illinois Baptist Disaster Relief volunteers are scheduled to go to flood-ravaged southern Louisiana over the next month. The first team, from Harrisburg First Baptist Church in Saline Baptist Association, will serve from August 28-September 3. It will include flood recovery and chaplaincy volunteers.

According to Baptist Press, over 65,000 homes and 60 churches in southern Louisiana have been affected by the recent flooding. IBSA is offering a one-day Disaster Relief Training event Saturday, August 27 at Living Faith Baptist Church in Sherman. Potential volunteers will have the opportunity to train in flood recovery or food preparation. To learn how you can participate, visit IBSA.org.

Dwayne Doyle, State Disaster Relief Coordinator, shared, “Disaster Relief teams will be traveling through flood zones with recovery trailers and heavy equipment. Please pray for their safety. Pray for open doors in affected communities as volunteers offer physical assistance and spiritual comfort. Our chaplains often report salvation decisions from their work sites as people suffering after disaster turn to Christ.”

Doyle said he has received phone calls and e-mails asking, “if we will be accepting practical supplies like buckets, mops, and the such for the response. At this point, we will not be receiving practical supplies like these, but are needing funds to help mobilize our many volunteers and equipment. Your sacrificial giving helps Illinois Disaster Relief meet the many needs of those who are suffering.”

Illinois Baptist Disaster Relief is funded through individual and church donations. When you give, 100% of your offering will assist storm victims as disaster relief volunteers assist in recovery efforts. Ask your pastor to take up a special offering for Illinois Disaster Relief this Sunday. You may also give individually by mail or online. Mail a check payable to Illinois Disaster Relief to: Illinois Baptist State Association, P.O. Box 19247, Springfield, IL 62703.

Denham-Springs,-La.-from-blackhawk

The city of Denham Springs is among the hardest-hit in flooding across south Louisiana. Baptist Press/Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness

This isn’t Illinois Disaster Relief volunteers first time to serve in the state this year. Volunteers participated in Louisiana flood recovery efforts in March and April. It was during that call-out that volunteer Don Fulkerson, a member of First Baptist Church of Galatia, IL., died of a heart attack while serving flood victims in Leesville, LA. His team returned to Louisiana to finish the work it began later in the spring.

IBSA has over 1,600 trained volunteers who serve as part of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Disaster Relief ministry, the third largest relief agency in the United States. Disaster Relief often responds to natural disasters by providing feeding stations, mobile kitchens, child care and chaplains. In the case of flooding, volunteers in their signature yellow shirts help homeowners with “mudout,” clearing flooded properties of debris and contaminated building materials, so they can begin rebuilding and recovery.

If you are already a trained volunteer and want to go to Louisiana, contact one of the team leaders below.

Team Leader: Joe Jackson – Region 6
Date: August 28-September 3, 2016
Location: Southern Louisiana
Needed: Mud-out/Flood Recovery and Chaplaincy
Contact: joeluj@frontier.com

Team Leader: Don Kragness – Region 4
Date: September 4-12, 2016
Location: Southern Louisiana
Needed: Mud-out/Flood Recovery and Chaplaincy
Contact: donjank1@gmail.com

Team Leader: Dennis Felix – Region 4
Date: September 4-12, 2016
Location: Southern Louisiana
Needed: Mud-out/Flood Recovery and Chaplaincy
Contact: crossconnect2u@hotmail.com

Team Leader: Don Ile – Region 3
Date: September 11-18, 2016
Location: Southern Louisiana
Needed: Mud-out/Flood Recovery and Chaplaincy
Contact: donruthsawdust@gmail.com

Team Leader: Butch Porter – Region 6
Date: September 14-21, 2016
Location: Southern Louisiana
Needed: Mud-out/Flood Recovery and Chaplaincy
Contact: bp.dp@hotmail.com

Team Leader: David Howard – Region 2
Date: September 17-24, 2016
Location: Southern Louisiana
Needed: Mud-out/Flood Recovery and Chaplaincy
Contact: david@capcity.org

Media contact:
Lisa Sergent, IBSA Director of Communications
(217) 391-3119
LisaSergent@IBSA.org
Springfield, IL

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Fulkerson and Porter group photo web

Disaster Relief volunteers Bob Fulkerson and his wife Margie (left) and Butch and Debbie Porter (right) rest for a moment during a call out a few years ago in New York. Fulkerson passed away Tuesday, March 29 while serving on a call out in Leesville, La. Both couples are members of First Baptist Church of Galatia, Ill. Photo courtesy Butch and Debbie Porter.

Funeral arrangements have been made for Southern Baptist Disaster Relief (DR) volunteer Don Fulkerson, who died of a heart attack Tuesday, March 29, while serving flood victims in Leesville, Louisiana. Fulkerson, 77, was with a group of trained DR workers from First Baptist Church of Galatia, IL, and volunteers from other Illinois Baptist churches.

Visitation will take place Friday, April 1 from 6-9 p.m.  and Saturday, April 2 from 9-11 a.m. at First Baptist Church of Galatia, 108 E. Church St., Galatia, IL 62935. His funeral will be Saturday, April 2 at 11 a.m. also at First Baptist Church of Galatia. Fulkerson was a member of the church.

Rex Alexander, Disaster Relief coordinator for the Illinois Baptist State Association (IBSA), suggested DR volunteers attending the funeral, “wear your yellow shirts in honor of Don’s faithful service to the Lord through Disaster Relief Ministry.” Southern Baptist DR volunteers are easily identified at disaster recovery scenes by the bright yellow shirts they wear.

“The callout to Louisiana was Don’s 15th response over a period of only four years and his wife, Margie, was almost always by his side serving whenever the opportunity arose,” shared Alexander. “Their faithful service to Christ brought great joy to both of them as they served side by side in the ministry of Disaster Relief.”

Cards of condolence may be mailed to his widow Margie Fulkerson, P.O. Box 5, Galatia, IL 62935.

The DR team from First Baptist Church of Galatia were first responders in what is expected to be a series of callouts to aid victims of spring floods in Louisiana. IIBSA teams will serve alongside teams from around the country.

IBSA has 1,600 trained volunteers who serve as part of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Disaster Relief ministry (SBDR), the third largest relief agency in the United States. Disaster Relief often responds to natural disasters by providing feeding stations, mobile kitchens, child care, and chaplains. In the case of flooding, volunteers in their signature yellow shirts help homeowners with “mudout,” clearing flooded properties of debris and contaminated building materials, so they can begin rebuilding and recovery.

Don Fulkerson

Don Fulkerson

Leesville, Louisiana | A volunteer with a Southern Baptist Disaster Relief (DR) team from Illinois died of a heart attack Tuesday, March 29, while serving flood victims in Leesville, Louisiana. Don Fulkerson, 77, was a member of First Baptist Church of Galatia, Illinois. He was serving with a group of trained relief workers from the church and others from churches around Illinois.

“The callout to Louisiana was Don’s 15th response over a period of only four years and his wife, Margie, was almost always by his side serving whenever the opportunity arose,” said Rex Alexander, Disaster Relief coordinator for the Illinois Baptist State Association (IBSA). “Their faithful service to Christ brought great joy to both of them as they served side by side in the ministry of Disaster Relief,” Alexander said.

The DR team from First Baptist Church of Galatia were first responders in what is expected to be a series of callouts to aid victims of spring floods in Louisiana. Illinois teams will serve alongside teams from around the country.

“Our Illinois Baptist family certainly grieves with and is in prayer for the Fulkerson family, and the entire church family at First Baptist in Galatia,” said IBSA Executive Director Nate Adams. “We appreciate so much Don’s and Margie’s service, along with so many other devoted disaster relief volunteers, and we are confident that Don’s life and sacrifice will bring eternal rewards, both to him and to the lives he touched.”

The North American Mission Board (NAMB) coordinates Southern Baptist Disaster Relief on the national level. NAMB president and former Illinois Baptist pastor Kevin Ezell extended his condolences to the family of Fulkerson as they mourn his passing. “Don is a great example of someone who chose to stay active into his later years and to contribute in a way that truly made a difference in the lives of others,” said Ezell. “I pray that his wife Margie and his entire family will feel God’s love and comfort during these days and that they will also be aware of the gratitude and appreciation for them from their entire Southern Baptist family.”

IBSA has 1,600 trained volunteers who serve as part of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Disaster Relief ministry (SBDR), the third largest relief agency in the United States. Disaster Relief often responds to natural disasters by providing feeding stations, mobile kitchens, child care, and chaplains. In the case of flooding, volunteers in their signature yellow shirts  help homeowners with “mudout,” clearing flooded properties of debris and contaminated building materials, so they can begin rebuilding and recovery.

Contact:
Illinois Baptist State Association
Lisa Sergent, Director of Communications
3085 Stevenson Drive
Springfield, Illinois 62703
LisaSergent@IBSA.org
(217) 391-3119

 

Illinois flood callout complete, Missouri recovery ongoing

Kincaid_flood_recovery

Illinois Disaster Relief teams, including one from Capital City Baptist Association, dismantled destroyed houses in Kincaid.

Illinois Disaster Relief volunteers were busy with flood recovery efforts in two states throughout the month of January. They came to the aid of flood victims after holiday storms dumped 10 or more inches of rain across Illinois and Missouri.

Flooding in the states killed at least two dozen people, affected roughly 5,000 homes and temporarily closed portions of Interstate 44 and Interstate 70. The flooding was particularly bad in Missouri where in some areas along the Mississippi, floodwaters rose to 48.9 feet, surpassing the 1993 record by nearly half a foot. “It’s bigger than people realize,” said Joe Banderman, leader of the Missouri Baptist Convention’s collegiate relief team. “Unless you’re here, it’s hard to get an idea of the scope of the flooding.”

Arnold flood recovery

It’s dirty work mudding out flooded homes in the Mississippi River region. Members of Genesis Church suited up to dig out in Missouri.

Illinois DR teams were kept busy in the rural Illinois town of Kincaid, extreme Southern Illinois in Alexander County, and in the suburban St. Louis town of Arnold, Missouri.
Flood recovery work includes helping homeowners dispose of flood-soaked belongings, ripping out floors and walls, spraying mold repellent on the remaining wall studs and floor joists. The process is very emotional for the victims.

Missouri was hit particularly hard by the flooding, said Dwain Carter, the Missouri Baptist Convention’s disaster relief director. He hopes Southern Baptists can continue to help families by deploying volunteer teams to assist in flood recovery, following the departure of teams in late January who prepared meals and engaged in various facets of outreach to flood victims.

“Our Disaster Relief teams had a great impact in Kincaid and also in several small communities in Southern Illinois,” said Rex Alexander, IBSA’s DR coordinator. “These smaller towns are often ignored during times of disaster and the residents were especially grateful for our ministry.”

He expressed his gratitude for all the volunteers who served during the coldest month of the year. “Their commitment and service to the Lord is an example for all of us to follow!”
Carter said the sacrificial service of disaster relief volunteers from 21 state conventions painted a “perfect picture” of Southern Baptist cooperation. “We talk about cooperative giving a lot, but this was a cooperative effort to overcome a disaster,” he said.

“Southern Baptist Disaster Relief,” he added, “is a cooperation of thousands of Southern Baptists to bring hope, help and healing while transforming lives and communities through the Gospel.”

In all, 48 volunteers from Capitol City and Metro East Associations served in Kincaid, while 41 volunteers from Harrisburg First Baptist and Williamson Association served in Olive Branch. A team of 14 volunteers from First Baptist Galatia worked in Arnold.

If you would like to become a disaster relief volunteer, training events are scheduled for April 8-9 at Western Oaks Baptist in Springfield, April 22-23 at Streator Baptist Camp in Streator, and October 14-15 at Lake Sallateeska Baptist Camp in Pinckneyville. For more information visit www.IBSA.org/DR or call Rex Alexander at (217) 391-3134.

– With additional reporting by Baptist Press

The Rescuers

Lisa Sergent —  January 28, 2016

Massive cleanup is underway after December floods. Illinois teams put their backs—and hearts—into the work.

Disaster Relief mud-out work in Arnold, Missouri.

During their mud-out work in Missouri, a team from First Baptist Church of Galatia, IL, reporting leading five flood victims to faith in Christ.

 

When the Illinois Baptist Disaster Relief (DR) team arrived at the home of an elderly Missouri couple, they were initially received with some hesitancy.

“The couple was tormented with questions about why God did this to them,” said Debbie Porter, a member of First Baptist Church, Galatia, and a IBSA Disaster Relief volunteer for the last 11 years. “Also, other groups had already visited them and left much of the work unfinished. They thought we would be there for an hour and do the same, but we stayed until the job was done—nearly 24 work hours.”

The couple’s home was one of thousands impacted by Christmas floodwaters in communities like Arnold, located just south of St. Louis, as well as in Illinois and throughout the Midwest. Porter and her husband, Butch, were part of a team of 13 DR volunteers from Galatia, Carlyle, Eldorado, Carterville and Hamilton County who answered God’s call to help Missouri homeowners with flood damage.

DR garage

Volunteers from FBC Galatia were on the scene in Arnold, Mo., following winter rains that affected thousands of homeowners.

 

The team spent a week doing “mud-outs,” a process of debris removal, drywall removal, power washing and sanitizing homes. Equipped with a tractor and a homemade platform, Porter said the team was able to pull out even the heaviest and most water-soaked items.

“We went to the home of a retired Baptist minister who has diabetes,” she said. “The guys removed all of his Bibles and his entire ministerial library, as well as six or seven desks and big filing cabinets, all ruined.”

Along with Illinois, DR volunteers from Kansas, Kentucky, Tennessee, Texas, Michigan, New Mexico and Nebraska have joined the cleanup effort. Dwain Carter, director of Disaster Relief for the Missouri Baptist Convention, said though the floodwater has receded, the need is still great.

“Since Jan. 1 we’ve had 362 accepted work orders and we’ve completed 202,” Carter said. “We’ve had teams come from multiple states into two different areas of St. Louis, some doing mud-outs and some cooking for the Red Cross.”

But though the work has been messy and difficult, Porter said the Lord is working through the muck.

“We meet and pray with the homeowners, but we also come across people and we’re able to tell them about what we’re doing,” she said. “We are staying at First Baptist Church, Arnold, so we get to tell how the church is providing for us and how it’s a great church to get plugged into.”

Porter said working with DR is both an honor and a blessing and she prays that other Illinois Baptists would consider going through the training and join this important and powerful ministry.

“When we come back to our home church from a mission like this, we are enthusiastic and recharged and eager to recruit others to join with us the next time,” she said. “I want to encourage people to not let age or health restrictions stop them.

“Get the training and go where there is a need. It may be one of the greatest joys in your life. We work around medical issues, taking breaks when we need breaks and we don’t push beyond what we know we can do. There is power in numbers.”

As the work continues and more DR teams come to Missouri to help, Carter said all Southern Baptists are able join in the cleanup effort through prayer.

“We need prayers for safety,” he said. “People have been working here for weeks and are getting tired and they need energy and strength. Also, one of the greatest things is that we’ve had at least five people that I know of accept Christ during this time. Please pray for more opportunities to share God’s love.”

For more information about IBSA Disaster Relief, visit www.IBSA.org/dr or call Rex Alexander, IBSA Disaster Relief Coordinator, at (217) 391-3134.

Kayla Rinker is a reporter living in Missouri.