Southern Baptists are helping victims of an unusual and disastrous winter storm in Texas, where nearly half a million residents are still without electricity or have no water because of frozen and burst pipes.
Churches have served as warming and feeding centers, and both of the states’ Baptist conventions have begun their response.
Send Relief, Southern Baptists’ national and international compassion ministry, is partnering with Feeding America, Southern Baptists of Texas Convention (SBTC) Disaster Relief and Texas Baptist Men to assess the situation and help meet the needs of those impacted by the storm.
After workers at a nursing home in McKinney, Texas, reached out to SBTC for emergency food rations, Scottie Stice, director of disaster relief, was able to mobilize a food truck team to provide meals to residents and caretakers. The city of McKinney then asked them to serve first responders.
“They were so busy responding that they had skipped or were unable to obtain meals,” Stice said. “We appreciate the partnership with Send Relief and all our fellow state coordinators who have reached out to offer support and prayer – it is an incredibly difficult situation, and we would not be able to do this without you.”
As food shortages continued to worsen across the state, Send Relief provided financial help to Feeding America food banks across Texas so they could avoid a larger food crisis.
“The help that Send Relief has provided through the food bank donations is assisting people across the most affected cities – it’s way more than a drop in the bucket,” said David Wells of Texas Baptist Men. “All three of our major cities – Dallas, San Antonio and Houston – have people in them who have never even seen snow before, and they’re depending on us and these food banks for help.”
Grocery stores are struggling to stock shelves as shipments are delayed. Homeowners have frozen and bursting pipes. As the ice melts, many homes are being flooded. Clean drinking water is in short supply. Accidents are frequent on snow-covered highways.
Following other natural disasters such as tornadoes or floods, residents often can travel to get water, food or supplies, but because all of Texas is experiencing water and power shortages, families have no extra resources to share. The state’s governor has declared a state of emergency.
Pray for SBTC Disaster Relief and Texas Baptist Men as they navigate the difficult logistics of delivering supplies, and pray for the emergency mud-out and chainsaw response teams as they attempt to help families rebuild and recover.
To donate to ongoing relief efforts in Texas, visit SendRelief.org.
This article was written by Natalie Sarrett and was originally published on baptistpress.com.