TBM provides disaster relief in South Texas

Texas Baptist Men volunteers (left to right) Alva Edwards, Bob Andrews and David Todd work from Austin Baptist Association’s box unit to deliver storage boxes to Weslaco-area residents affected by flooding. (TBM Photo)

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Multiple Texas Baptist Men disaster relief teams responded to the needs of flooded residents in the Lower Rio Grande Valley.

Two TBM flood-recovery crews and a team from Arkansas went to work in recent days removing damaged drywall and disinfecting surfaces of water-damaged homes in the Weslaco area.

Officials reported 2,240 flood-affected homes within the Weslaco city limits as of June 17. Complete counts for outlying areas were not in, but officials expected to add 900 homes in low-income colonias to the list.

An incident management team also was working in the Weslaco area to coordinate operations with assessors, chaplains and volunteer who delivered boxes to enable affected residents to gather and store their belongings.

Jerry Hall from Ellis Baptist Association removes damaged drywall from a flood-affected home in Weslaco. (Photo / Rand Jenkins / TBM)

A TBM shower and laundry unit is deployed at First Baptist Church in Weslaco, and another shower and laundry unit from New Mexico also is on site in the area.

Three years ago, TBM responded to a flood in Weslaco, and many recalled that as they began meeting the needs of families affected by recent flooding. While purchasing disaster relief supplies at a local store, Deborah Felder, TBM chaplain from West Conroe Baptist Church, encountered someone with fond memories of and a powerful testament to TBM’s work.

“My whole neighborhood became Christians after TBM’s disaster relief team helped repair my house for free three years ago,” the resident told her.

“You never know how many lives you’ll touch by meeting needs and sharing the Love of Christ,” Felder said.

The assessment and muck-out work TBM is providing is vital in helping families and communities.

“Some people don’t know the importance of mucking out. After the water recedes, we’ve known some to just wipe down the walls with bleach,” said Jaime Longoria, executive director of Hidalgo County’s Community Service Agency.

“The TBM assessors, box units and muck-out teams have started in Weslaco but are branching out as requests continue to come in,” said Terry Henderson, TBM disaster relief director said.

“First Baptist Church in Weslaco is serving as the clearinghouse for requests as well as housing over 80 people who were displaced. TBM has shower and laundry units from First Baptist Church of Comanche at the church to help accommodate the numbers of people staying there and are open to the public.”

To contribute financially, send a check designated “disaster relief” to Texas Baptist Men, 5351 Catron, Dallas, TX 75227, call (214) 275-1116 or click here.

Based on reporting by Rand Jenkins.

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