Texas Baptist Men is responding to a water crisis in an Arkansas town of about 9,500 people on the banks of the Mississippi River.
TBM is delivering 24,000 gallons of water to the consolidated city of Helena-West Helena, Arkansas, where half its residents are without drinking water.
The missions organization also connected Texas pastor Michael Evans with city leaders. Evans is pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Mansfield and mayor of the Texas city with a population of 77,000. He has come alongside Helena-West Helena Mayor Christopher Franklin.
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Evans and Rand Jenkins, TBM’s chief strategy officer, met with community leaders in Helena-West Helena last week.
‘It is a disaster’
“It is a disaster when you don’t have drinking water. It’s probably going to take a couple of weeks” before the city’s water system gets back online. Evans said.
“They had a terrible snow and ice weather event that busted the pipes. The infrastructure in the city was in need of repair” before the freezing weather, he added.
After the meeting, Evans said Franklin felt he had a better understanding of what the city needed to do. Also, he indicated TBM’s presence could be a catalyst for the city to unify and take care of some underlying issues.
TBM is setting up the water tanks at the Eliza Miller School in West Helena.
“The Eliza Miller location is important, because this is the more depressed side of town,” Evans said. “These good people in this area are doing some great things, some positive things, but they don’t quite get the help or the resources they need.
“There are other parts of town that are being pretty well taken care of regarding their immediate needs as it concerns water, healthy water, but this part of the city, they don’t have that.”
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EDITOR’S NOTE — This story was written by Ferrell Foster and originally published by Baptist Standard.