TBM volunteers provide pure water and disaster relief globally

A Cuban Baptist pastor demonstrates how to use a bag water-filtration system. L.M. Dyson of Waco shipped 110 of the filter systems to a hard-hit area around Baracoa. Texas Baptist Men provided 50 of the filters, each capable of purifying about 50 gallons of water a day.

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Texas Baptist Men heard reports on far-flung water-purification and well-drilling projects and widespread involvement in disaster relief during their board of directors meeting and at the TBM annual convention in Dallas.

TBM also elected officers, adopted a $2.6 million budget and recognized several longtime staff members for their years of service.

Pure water and Living Water

In the last year, TBM volunteers drilled wells in India and Zambia and taught hygiene to more than 900 people in Nigeria, Peru and Venezuela, as well as training Youth with a Mission workers who serve in Mexico.

They also repaired 13 wells drilled by other international ministries in Iquitos, Peru.

Peru Water 300DeeDee Wint (center) and TBM Executive Director Mickey Lenamon (2nd from left) meet with a Peruvian pastor and several community leaders by a newly erected water tank.However, due to the depth of the wells and their proximity to latrines, future projects in Peru will follow a different model, said DeeDee Wint of Flower Mound, co-vice president of TBM water ministry. The new approach focuses on drilling wells, storing and treating water in a tank adjacent to a church, and allowing villagers to contribute toward the maintenance of the clean water sources for a fraction of what many of them spend on bottled water.

TBM’s partner in Peru, Camino de Vida Church in Lima, has identified five areas in the region around Iquitos to start churches and provide clean water sources, Wint said.

On Nov. 2, TBM will send a three-person team to Sierra Leone to drill wells for two schools and conduct hygiene training, working in cooperation with the Konoyima Educational fund. Local volunteers will drill an additional well at a third school after the TBM team leaves Nov. 18. Sierra Leone’s Kono District is experiencing an 80 percent infant mortality rate caused by water-borne diseases, Wint reported.

An assessment team also will travel to Vietnam to explore the possibility of water ministry there, and a trip to Nicaragua is scheduled in January. TBM also is evaluating the possibility of future water ministry projects in Ghana and India and finalizing details for a project in the Philippines.

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Disaster relief after Hurricane Matthew

Cuba Water 350Cuban Baptists and others gather around as an international team demonstrates how to operate a high-capacity water purification unit. Texas Baptist Men provided two units and North Carolina Baptists supplied a third one.As part of disaster relief, TBM helped L.M. Dyson, a layman at First Baptist Church of Woodway, secured large water purification units and individual water purification systems for churches in Eastern Cuba.

After the initial shipment in the immediate aftermath of the hurricane, Dyson worked with the Southern Baptist Convention’s International Mission Board, Baptist Global Response, East-West Ministries, Lake Pointe Church in Rockwall, Green Acres Baptist Church in Tyler and others to arrange to transport six additional containers filled with food, building materials and equipment, including two chainsaws and a generator from TBM.

Dyson is working on a seventh container that includes shoes from Buckner International, tarps from TBM and various agricultural tools.

Dyson Cuba 250L.M. Dyson (left), a layman from First Baptist Church of Woodway in Waco, inspects a water purification unit in Cuba.TBM, which trained and equipped the Western Baptist Convention of Cuba for disaster relief, is focused primarily on replenishing supplies that the western convention is using to assist its sister convention to the east, Executive Director Mickey Lenamon explained.

In the southeastern United States, TBM continues to be involved in a multistate disaster relief effort after Hurricane Matthew. Three chainsaw crews and a heavy-equipment operator are working in Palm Coast, Fla.; a mobile shower and laundry unit is being used in Lumberton, N.C.; an emergency food-service team and an incident management team is working in Whiteville, N.C.; and a mud-out team is scheduled to work in Fayetteville, N.C.

In other reports:

  • Church renewal teams conducted Experiencing God weekends in Texas, Vermont, Maine and Illinois.
  • Eight Couples on Mission participated in an evangelistic mission trip to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, that resulted in at least two-dozen professions of faith in Christ.
  • TBM Builders completed 56 projects in 12 months, including construction of a chapel for a prison in Plainview.
  • Royal Ambassadors and Challengers participated in 20 camps that involved 2,686 campers and led to at least 353 commitments to Christ.

TBM elected Gary Smith of McKinney as president, Tim Smith of Hempstead as vice president for finance, John Clayton of Houston as vice president for policy, Bryan Finley of Kerrville as vice president and Juan Alvarado of Donna as recording secretary. The group also re-elected 18 vice presidents for various ministry areas and 28 regional directors.

TBM adopted a $2,635,506 budget for 2017, down about 18 percent from 2016. Of the total, $634,499 is expected from the Baptist General Convention of Texas.

The missions organization recognized Ed Alvarado, former ethnic ministries director, and Rhonda Walden, accounting manager, who retired within the last year. They also presented service awards to four staff members: Tracie Bjorkgren, five years; Janice Clary, five years; Mickey Lenamon, 10 years; and Keith Mack, 15 years.

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