News

Hurricane Katrina Relief Efforts

Many of you have seen the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina and might be wondering how you can help. Because the WFBC churches are independent, it can be difficult to find an organized way to help through the auspices of a Baptist organization. I would encourage you to challenge your congregations to step up and help other like minded churches not only meet the physical needs of this devastated area, but to reach out and provide a reason for the hope that we have in Christ.

“For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.” -2 Cor. 5:1

“Operation Renewed Hope”, a ministry affiliated with the FBF international, and operated under Tri-City Baptist Church in Kansas City Missouri, is mounting a campaign to provide help and supplies directly to Baptist Churches in the path of Katrina, and to help them reach out with the physical and spiritual help their communities need.

ORH needs your help! In consolidating the efforts of many different churches, they can provide much needed supplies, funds, and assistance to those in the devastated areas of the gulf coast. They are looking for many different types of help, including:

– Working capital so that we can begin to place workers into the area to assess and help the people.
– Churches interested in involvement to prepare teams of clean-up people ready to move into the areas to help with clean-up efforts.
– Churches interested in producing “Hope Boxes” for those in need to eMail us immediately with the following information:

* Church name & address
* Contact name, telephone and/or cell number
* Contact eMail address

For Detailed information on exactly what you can do to help, click here.
Or email the organizers at info@operationrenewedhope.org

As Paul encouraged the Corinthians, “For I mean not that other men be eased, and ye burdened: But by an equality, that now at this time your abundance may be a supply for their want, that their abundance also may be a supply for your want: that there may be equality:” – 2 Cor. 8:13-14. Please pray for these efforts, and encourage your churches to put their skills and resources to use in the relief of fellow believers.

Here is a report from Todd Sasek of Southland Camp in LA, which is cooperating with ORH in the relief efforts.

The destruction from Gulfport to the Mississippi border is impossible to put into words. Pictures and aerial views do not even come close to capturing the amount of COMPLETE devastation and loss of life and buildings. Temple Baptist Church, pastor Steven Crane has lost the whole front of their building. They recently lost their building from a tornado. Bible Baptist Church, Pastor Harold Payne Lost the Front of their 4 year old building. I visited Central Baptist Church in Hattiesburg on Monday, 9/5. Although their power is out, they are set up as a distribution site. I provided them with 2 generators. Hattiesburg suffered severe wind damage. Central has no external damage but they did have moderate flooding. I instructed them to remove the carpet from their offices immediately as it sat in water for over 3 days with no attention. They are waiting for insurance adjuster. They are able to store and distribute very large quantities of food and water. Central had their power restored Tuesday afternoon. I instructed them to let church and school staff members use the generators until Thursday or Friday when I will pick them up and deliver them farther south.

Bob Simpson with First Baptist of Arcola is still without power (as of Tuesday night 9/6). Bob is still willing to store and distribute goods (he is an hour NW of Slidell) but he is not set up to handle people yet.

We will be staging work groups from Lighthouse Baptist Church, Pastor Denny Winborne in Slidell. His power was restored Tuesday afternoon. He has moderate roof damage and flooded offices. We are taking a work group from Tri-City to Lighthouse on Thursday morning. They will be staying at the church and taking care of their own meals. They will be assessing the roof damage and necessary materials to repair, tearing out all carpet in the flooded areas, clearing downed trees and trash on the church property, and clearing trees from the pastors home property and helping to repair or secure his damaged shed. They will also be going to Community Baptist Church, Slidell, pastor Mike Harrigan and helping to assess his needs. His church was flooded and they have no flood insurance. They were removing the carpet on Wednesday 9/7 and trying to remove the mold and mildew throughout their building. Part of the sanctuary floor needs to be rebuilt and raised. The pastor’s home has minimal roof damage and several trees that will be removed.

The destruction from Gulfport to the Mississippi border is impossible to put into words. Pictures and aerial views do not even come close to capturing the amount of COMPLETE devastation and loss of life and buildings. Temple Baptist Church, pastor Steven Crane has lost the whole front of their building. They recently lost their building from a tornado. Bible Baptist Church, Pastor Harold Payne Lost the Front of their 4 year old building.

Pastor Dan Carr, Faith Baptist Church is doing a great work. They are still without power but they have been providing goods to people for several days already. He will take and distribute anything we can get to him. He will house any groups coming to work. I am planning to set the shower trailer up at his place and we will hook his well up to a generator to make showers available. The cots will be set up in Sunday School rooms, and we will set up the kitchen If we can find a tent sufficient enough to house it and if we can find a cook. Brother Carr has a man in his church who is a cook and out of work. He is talking to him about the possibility of hiring him to cook two meals a day for all workers. I am also going to try and check with the national guard to see if I can get any of the storage containers that are littering the cost to haul them to Faith for storage.

The Bay of St. Louis area is the most devastated area. The only like minded church in the area does not have a pastor and their building was flooded by 6-8’ of water. We desperately need to get set up in this area before the cults flock in. Bros. Carr is willing to allow us to set up under the auspices of his church to reach out to folks in the area. If we could find someone with a pastor’s heart and a go get ‘em attitude, I would like have them set up to reach into this community. I think we could have a tremendous door to door outreach. I will be checking into a possible building to use.

I have many areas yet to visit. We desperately need to get people on the ground out visiting with people in their homes. They are very open to talking to people right now.

– Todd Sasek