Hubert Yates, disaster relief director for the Mississippi Baptist Convention Board, remains thankful for churches and volunteers who have responded and assisted in water deliveries and warehouse operations during the Jackson water crisis.
While there is an abundance of bottled water available at the public distribution points, he noted, “very little of it reaches the elderly, homebound, infirm, [and others], who cannot make it to those distribution points.” In those cases, he said, Mississippi Baptist Disaster Relief is working to meet the need.
“We currently have a well-stocked supply of water for delivery,” Yates said. “Thank you also to the Mississippi Baptist churches and individual donors that have contributed the funds needed to obtain the bottled water and to those ministries and organizations that have made bulk donations.”
Since Sept. 3, he noted, approximately 73 pallets of water — roughly 5,300 cases or 127,200 bottles — have been distributed through the combined response of MBDR, Metro Baptist Association, First Baptist Church Jackson and a number of associated ministries. The recipients, Yates noted, have primarily been the elderly, shut-ins, homebound, disabled populations in individual residences, senior living apartments, assisted living facilities and homeless shelters.
“In addition, we have supported several Jackson area churches with water for their members, public distribution ministries, and a couple of schools/colleges with needs for their students and faculty while attending class,” he said.
He noted, “Volunteers are reporting very good experiences with most of the deliveries as they have opportunities to pray and share the gospel with those in need. Please share that with your congregations.”
More volunteers needed
“As we enter into the coming week, we will begin our second round of deliveries to individuals and locations as well as new individuals added,” Yates said. “Most Jackson water system users have been under a boil water notice for almost two months, so the ability to have clean water available is a critical need for them.”
As many organizations and volunteers continue to help distribute water, Yates said he is concerned that “compassion fatigue” will begin to affect volunteers and groups, resulting in fewer volunteers and people reached with the needed water.
“Volunteers are greatly needed in order to sustain the distribution,” he said. “We ask for your prayers and continued support in the days ahead.”
How to pray
“Please pray for city and state leaders for wisdom and knowledge to quickly resolve the issues; for those who are being affected that they will realize and know the fullness of the hope of Jesus in troubling times; and for the congregations/volunteers responding to the needs of others,” Yates said.
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For more information on how to help, contact Mississippi Baptist Disaster Relief at firstname.lastname@example.org or 601-292-3334. Or, check with your church, association or state Baptist convention to find out how they are contributing to this or similar relief efforts. To contact your state convention for more information, click here.
EDITOR’S NOTE — This story was written by Hubert Yates and originally published by The Baptist Record.