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About SBC of Virginia Disaster Relief

Disaster Relief Ministry

It is the goal of SBCV Disaster Relief to assist churches in preparing for disaster by developing a strategy to minister to their communities during crisis through readying their facilities, training their members, securing supplies, and developing protocols that will activate their disaster response plans. Our ultimate goal is to be able to share the love of Christ through sharing the Gospel.

Training is held several times a year across the Commonwealth.  Christian individuals who are active members of an SBC of Virginia church, in good physical condition, and at least 18 years of age, may attend one of the sessions and join the Disaster Relief team.

Partnership with NAMB

The SBCV partners with the North American Mission Board in Disaster Relief efforts. Check out the NAMB Disaster Relief Website.

When a request for assistance comes to our office, individual team members will be contacted to check on their availability for service during the specific response. Length of service could be one day to a week or more.

Volunteers assist wherever needed, in the US and beyond, in the following areas of service:

Preparing and serving hot meals is the backbone of Southern Baptist Disaster Relief ministry.  With this in mind, every SBCV volunteer is trained to work on the feeding team.  Specific training is provided in maintenance, warehouse, sanitation, cooking and line serving.

After completing feeding team training, volunteers may train in other areas of Disaster Relief service.  Assessment team members must have previous training in our Disaster Relief chain saw and flood recovery work.

Damage Assessment
Team members go ahead of chain saw and flood recovery teams to evaluate damage and inform follow-up teams on scope of each job, including equipment that will be needed.

The chain saw team removes damaged trees and other debris blocking doorways and/or driveways, trees leaning against homes, and limbs broken through roofs or causing a hazard in yards.  Experience in operating a chain saw  is desirable, but not mandatory.

Members must be willing to attend training sessions in chain saw operation and safety and must be able to endure strenuous outdoor work.

On the job, every volunteer must put safety first.  Team members are expected to be constantly on the alert for hazards and take the necessary precautions to protect both self and others.  Volunteers are required to use safety hear to protect hands, head, ears, and eyes, as will as wear the proper clothing including chaps.

This group of volunteers cleans out houses, garages, sheds, barns, yards, streets and community areas, helping people to have a safe environment after a disaster has occurred.  Often the job is to gut-out a flooded building, preparing it for repair.

Flood Recovery
Members must be in good physical condition and willing to work in unpleasant, dirty situations.  Volunteers need to be conscious of health and safety hazards, taking necessary measures in order to keep themselves and others out of harm’s way.

Showers and Laundry
This team gives aid to relief workers and others who are in need by providing showers and laundry support in the disaster area.  The trailers have private shower stalls as well as washing machines, dryers, storage and folding areas.  Volunteers receive and assist those requesting their services, do laundry, sanitize showers, empty trash, replace needed supplies, and keep the trailer area neat.

Child Care
Child care volunteers provide a calm atmosphere and competent, loving care for children.  Care is provided to give parents the opportunity to salvage remains of belongings, meet with helping agencies and insurance representatives, and take care of other business.

Response as a Witness

There seems to be no area of mission action that requires more rapid response than a time of disaster. The disaster comes unexpectedly, as does the opportunity for immediate ministry. If we are unprepared when it strikes and delay action, the opportunity passes with the urgent need.

We believe that Southern Baptists are under scriptural and moral obligation to all mankind to provide a positive witness of the love of Jesus Christ. Disasters affect many people. Christians naturally respond to the hurts of those around them and feel an obligation to minister in the name of Jesus Christ. He calls for His people to demonstrate love in the relief of victims in disasters through the efficient and immediate use of the resources, time, and talents entrusted to us by our Lord. Christians working together can accomplish much for the glory of God.

Serving those whose lives have been disrupted is the very act that Jesus commanded in the parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37). Jesus ministered to people He met each day. The miracles He performed were answers to the needs of those with whom He came in contact. There were times when He ministered to the masses with miracles (feeding the 5,000 and 4,000), but most of His miracles were performed for individuals with specific needs.

Churches should plan for and train their members to work with individuals caught in crisis. They also should plan and prepare for disasters that may affect their communities. As you become involved in Southern Baptist Disaster Relief, you will see how you can lead your church to becoming involved in planning and serving the world we live in.