Relief efforts in several Georgia communities hit by an April 5 tornado will be aided by a grant from the WMU Foundation.
Woman’s Missionary Union and the WMU Foundation gave a $4,500 HEART Fund grant to Georgia WMU to help people in Bryan County who were affected by the EF3 tornado that killed one and left 12 injured, according to a preliminary damage report by the National Weather Service.
“On Tuesday, April 5, a tornado touched down over nine miles devastating the community of Black Creek and the towns of Ellabell and Pembroke, Georgia,” said Lauren Sullens, Georgia Baptist WMU president. “Located between Savannah and Statesboro, it is a rural community. Municipal buildings and the recreation department were destroyed, but, more heartbreaking, at least 60 homes were impacted with at least 45 in the category of significant damage to total destruction. Several were just completely wiped off their foundation.”
Sullens said three Southern Baptist churches in the affected area have been ministering to local residents.
“Pembroke First Baptist Church is offering shelter. Christ Baptist Church is on the road with the two subdivisions that were greatly affected. Thankfully, the church sustained no damage despite being only a quarter mile from the worst of the storm and is trying to remain open to be available for the community. Olive Branch Baptist is just across the creek from the worst, and they are feeding first responders and providing shelter for volunteers,” Sullens said.
The HEART Fund grant will be used to provide gift cards for the churches’ WMU groups to distribute to those they know in the community who will have to be relocated for a time and will need to begin again, Sullens said.
“The gospel will go with the gift!”
The HEART Fund (Humanitarian Emergency Aid for Rebuilding Tomorrow) was created by WMU and WMU Foundation following the events of 9/11 to respond to requests from WMU leaders in humanitarian emergencies. Grants from the HEART Fund are used to provide direct relief and rebuilding assistance to disaster relief victims in the United States and around the world.