It is almost impossible for a person who has never been through a major disaster to imagine the personal devastation and havoc such an event causes. Whatever the daily routine - no more; church gone, school gone, house and most possessions gone, friends moving, what will the insurance company pay, federal assistance takes forever (and there are many immediate needs), if you rebuild will others join you...
In 2013, the EF5 tornado that struck Moore, Oklahoma, was over a mile wide and destroyed or did serious damage to 12,500 homes and completely destroyed 4,000 homes - entire communities were gone in a heartbeat and many lost their lives, including nine people in one elementary school. The school would be bulldozed within days, and then the questions started -would the community rebuild this school? A little over a week later, a similar EF5 tornado struck within miles of the first, in El Reno, Oklahoma.
Katrina was like that and worse, with over 1,400 killed. Ike was devastating for Houston and southeast Texas; and Superstorm Sandy and the devastation all along the northeast Atlantic coast, but especially on Staten Island, were horrendous.
YOUR CHURCH WAS THERE! We are there after the mass murders (Newtown, CT); we are there locally with police - the shootings on DART, the murders at the skating rink - within minutes we were there to comfort, pray, encourage and support. We were there in the Texas wildfires of 2011-2012.
We have two different groups that may respond. First, Victim Relief Ministries, a ministry started by Gene Grounds, Prestonwood member, to powerfully and practically meet the spiritual needs of victims of crimes and disasters. VRM has trained counselors who offer spiritual comfort and prayer, share the gospel and provide practical advice for people after these horrific events. We also provide Disaster Relief-our trained "yellow shirt" DRM volunteers help with anything and everything from feeding units to cleanup, debris removal and more.
Don't wait for the storm to decide you want to help - get prepared now! Contact our City Missions office at 972-820-5216 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Training dates are available through
Victim Relief Ministries at victimrelief.org;
Texas Baptist Men at texasbaptistmen.org.