Southern Baptist volunteers are assessing needs in Matador, Texas, after a tornado killed four people and injured several others June 21.
A chaplain with Southern Baptists of Texas Convention (SBTC) Disaster Relief was in Matador Thursday (June 22) to see what needs volunteers can meet, said director Scottie Stice.
Also in Matador, Texas Baptist Men (TBM) have assessors on the ground and have provided a large generator to help supply power to the area.
‘It’s a very personal one’
The volunteer response in Matador comes after several days of activity across Texas.
“It’s been a week,” said John Hall, TBM communications director for Texas Baptist Men. After a tornado hit Perryton, Texas, on June 15, TBM sent in a generator, a shower/laundry unit, and two “box units” to help homeowners located their possessions in the wake of the storm. At least three people died and dozens were injured, local officials reported.
TBM recovery teams walked through debris with residents, providing hugs and prayer, Hall said.
“It’s a very simple ministry, but it’s a very personal one,” he said.
The same line of storms last week knocked out power to parts of East Texas, Hall said. TBM provided a generator, chainsaw teams, feeding teams, shower/laundry units and chaplains.
“Every chainsaw team we have is currently being scheduled to come in on a rotating basis to East Texas,” he said.
SBTC Disaster Relief volunteers are working in seven locations across the state, Stice said.
SBTC is wrapping up its response in Bloomburg following a tornado there June 14, and in Amarillo, where they deployed a shower unit to aid residents after flooding there. The unit will now be sent to Perryton, where recovery teams are helping with debris cleanup, and a Quick Response Unit is providing hundreds of meals from a food truck-style trailer.
SBTC is also deployed in the East Texas communities of Winnsboro and Hawkins with shower/laundry units equipped to serve residents there, Stice said. And at Spring Baptist Church south of Houston, chainsaw teams are responding after high winds swept through the area Wednesday night.
“We can’t get ahead,” he said of the multiple responses currently ongoing. “We can’t get one finished before we have two more come in right now.”
Meanwhile in Mississippi, volunteers responded after tornadoes earlier this week touched down in three parts of the state.
Mississippi Baptist Disaster Relief (MBDR) reported on its Facebook page that teams helped homeowners with tarping, chainsaw and debris cleanup in Rankin County, Moss Point and Louin.
“Many of our local association/church teams are working to meet the needs of their neighbors,” MBDR posted. “Bringing help, hope and healing in Jesus’ name!”
In addition to those sites, volunteers have responded to single requests for help in other locations, said Hubert Yates, disaster relief director for the Mississippi Baptist Convention Board. Yates asked for prayer for residents of Louin, who are mourning a local church music leader killed by the storm.