June 27th, 2011 at 5:13 pm
DALLAS – The headlines of the tornados that struck Joplin, Mo. and Tuscaloosa, Ala. are gone, but the needs of residents there remains. As well as the need for Texas Baptists to help.
In response, Texas Baptists Disaster Response is attempting to recruit 100 people for a mission trip July 25-30 to Joplin and another 100 people who will serve in Tuscaloosa Aug. 1-6. The need for new volunteers is particularly acute now as the people who have been serving are now suffering from fatigue as long hours are catching up to them, said Marla Bearden, Texas Baptists Church2Church Partnerships coordinator.
“Our hope is that Texas Baptists can come together, at least 100 strong, in both of these areas and make a real difference in the lives of those who have been hurt so badly,” she said. “While in Joplin, I met Mary, a church administrator, working to house and feed volunteers. She was tired and worn down. I prayed for her. She said with tears in her eyes, ‘I have to go on. There is no one else to do this work, and it has to be done.’ She went on to say, ‘Most of us have a nice home, with a comfortable chair and a good TV to go home to at night. These people in Joplin, affected by the tornadoes have nothing. I have to do it, and God will see me through.’ Join us as we try and make a real difference in the name of Jesus in Joplin and Tuscaloosa.”
Individuals who participate in the trips will be involved in a variety of ministries, including construction projects, working in a distribution center and clean-up efforts.
Bearden said the opportunities to serve in Joplin and Tuscaloosa give Christians a chance to be part of Hope 1:8, a Texas Baptists-initiative that encourages believers to follow the Acts 1:8 mandate to serve locally, statewide, nationally and across the globe.
“The people of Joplin, Mo. and Tuscaloosa, Ala. need our brotherly love,” she said. “They need our fervent spirit and they need the Hope of Jesus. Please join with other Texas Baptists to volunteer for one week to share your devotion with those who have been affected by this tragedy.”
Cost for the trip to Joplin is $100. Cost for the trip to Tuscaloosa is $50, and participants are asked to pay another $50 to the church where they stay in Tuscaloosa. The latter funds will cover their food during the trip. Participants will stay and be hosted by churches in each location. For more information and to register, visit www.texasbaptists.org/disaster. Individuals also can call Bearden at 888-244-9400.
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