FLINT WATER CRISIS RESPONSE A 'BIG SUCCESS'
(Video Courtesy North American Mission Board)
FLINT, MI – Some important milestones have been reached as the Southern Baptists Disaster Relief (SBDR) and Michigan Baptist Disaster Relief (MBDR) conclude their response to the Flint Water Crisis. The joint response that began less than three months ago, has distributed more than 22,000 gallons of water, installed water filters in more than 500 homes, and made nearly 5000 ministry contacts.
This response represents a huge shift for Southern Baptist relief according to SBDR Response Coordinator, Eddie Blackmon. Blackmon says, “Traditionally, SBDR would be approached by families asking “can you come help us?’ But in this case, it was the local government, Genesee County, who was asking for the support of disaster relief volunteers.”
Volunteers came from states across the Southern Baptist Convention, as well as, many volunteers from Baptist churches across Michigan. They represented 916 volunteer days in just a few short months. Blackmon adds, “Everyday we would hear stories from the volunteers of how they were able to help and to serve the people of Flint, but also how those people being served would pray over our volunteers.”
More than 400 Bibles were distributed and there were at least 28 professions of faith. SBDR Project Manager, Bill Johnson said “That’s why we’re here, to meet people’s physical needs, but to meet
their spiritual needs. And that’s just opening doors for us to tell people that Jesus loves them, people love them, and we’re here to help.”
The City of Flint’s water contamination came to light last year. It has been a problem for three years since the city switched its water supply from Detroit to a new water authority which was getting its water supply from the Flint River. The contaminated water had elevated lead exposure. Children are the most endangered when exposed to lead.