Disaster Relief 2019 training and service opportunities await



FENTON, MI – As Michigan Disaster Relief begins the New Year, there will be many opportunities to volunteer and serve, both in Michigan and across the country. We have the finest training available, and the best people to go out and share the love of Jesus in times of need. If you are looking to get trained, we have varied opportunities for you to take advantage of your talents.

The first Basic Training event will be Saturday, January 12th at The Valley Church in Saginaw from 10am to 1pm. If you are interested in hearing more about becoming a Disaster Relief volunteer, please call Judy Roy at 810-223-2465 and register for the training.

The next training is scheduled for May and will be held at Bambi Lake Baptist Retreat and Conference center. This training will be in conjunction with a week-long chainsaw opportunity to help Bambi trim and fell trees to enhance the visual appearance of the property. You may be surprised to learn qualified chainsaw operators are a huge need when disaster strikes. Besides, this particular week is always a great time of fellowship and worshipping at Bambi.

Even if you are not trained in the chainsaw discipline, please join us. There is always work that can be done while enjoying the time together. In addition to cutting trees there is always lots more to do, like brush removal and burning. Keep checking back as the exact dates and details will be shared in posts on the Baptist Beacon.

It may surprise you to learn, we have a massive opportunity each spring to work with college students. This year, there will be several opportunities to volunteer during college spring breaks. Crew chiefs are needed during the month of March to help supervise student teams. Our student volunteers chose to spend their spring break repairing or rebuilding damaged homes instead of vacationing. It is always a rewarding and refreshing experience to see the youth of our Michigan spend their time off sharing their faith and demonstrating the “good Samaritan” love to these families. This year’s opportunities are predominantly located in Puerto Rico, North Carolina and Florida as those areas continue to recover from hurricanes in 2018.

North Carolina was devastated by Hurricane Florence, and Southern Baptist Disaster Relief teams from all over the country, including Michigan, have been instrumental in the recovery and are continuing rebuild efforts. At one time, Southern Baptist Disaster Relief kitchens were operating at ten different sites providing food to survivors. You might not be aware that we offer training in the culinary arts specifically for large capacity cooking. A total of 1,057,623 HOT meals were prepared and served from ten sites! Michigan Disaster Relief sent a chainsaw team to assist in the initial response efforts. Since the hurricane, 4500 recovery jobs have been completed and now have moved into rebuild efforts. The goal for 2019 is to assist 2,000 families in returning to their residences. This is a long-term project (2 to 3 years) and will require thousands of volunteers to help, including you.

Hurricane Michael did extensive damage to the Florida panhandle and similar types of efforts have deployed to that area. Michigan DR responded by sending volunteers to help work in a kitchen, preparing 150 meals a day for the volunteer teams. This work is ongoing as we care for the volunteers, providing food, shelter and even laundry service for them.

As you can see, there are plenty of opportunities for volunteers whether it is feeding, chainsaw, flood recovery or chaplaincy. If your church or association wants to conduct Basic Training or training in any of the other areas, please call to schedule a time.

Encourage your church members to get involved so they can be blessed by blessing the victims of disasters. “And the King will answer them, I assure you: Whatever you did to the least of these brothers of Mine, you did for me.” Matthew 25:40

If you want to find out more information about sending a team from your church or association to help, you can go to https://baptistonmission.org/Mission-Projects/By-Mission-Type/Disaster-Relief/Hurricane-Florence/Get-Involved.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Bob Kiger is the state director for Michigan Disaster Relief efforts at the Baptist State Convention of Michigan.

#JANUARY19

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