Texas Baptist disaster relief shifts to recovery in Valley

After Tropical Storm Edouard proved less dangerous than originally feared, Texas Baptists are shifting to the recovery phase of ministry in the wake of Hurricane Dolly.

Texas Baptist Men teams initially were placed on alert to serve following Tropical Storm Edouard, but were instructed to stand down as it became apparent assistance will not be needed. The move allowed the group to continue focusing on needs in the Rio Grande Valley.

TBM feeding teams wrapped up their service in the wake of Hurricane Dolly Aug. 5 after preparing more than 375,000 meals. Ten recovery teams are helping people sort through and box their items and remove debris and damaged walls.

“The Edouard response preparation did not affect our ministry following Valley,” said Gary Smith, TBM volunteer disaster relief coordinator. “And Edouard was not as ugly his sister Dolly, so we’re not having to respond to his needs. We’re going to continue to respond to the needs of recovery related to Dolly.”

Buckner International also has moved into helping people rebuild in the wake of the hurricane. The group is providing building supplies such as shingles and black tar paper, as well as clothes and canned goods.

As many as 100,000 families in 700 colonias were affected by Hurricane Dolly. Some families lost their homes, while others sustained significant damage to their living quarters.

Baptist General Convention of Texas staff has distributed $15,000 for immediate family assistance. An additional $4,600 went Primera Iglesia Baustista in Santa Maria to help the congregation meet hunger needs in the area.

“Texas Baptists are responding again in significant ways following the onslaught of Hurricanes Dolly,” said Wayne Shuffield, director of the BGCT Missions, Evangelism and Ministry Team.

“Every time disaster strikes, Texas Baptists respond with relief and recovery. Dolly has left hurting people and families in her wake, but Christians in Baptist churches throughout the state continue to demonstrate compassion by offering hope through volunteerism contributions, and prayer. I am filled with gratitude and appreciation for our BGCT family for their generosity and concern.”

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