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HURRICANE HARVEY

August 30, 2017

Dear ABMen Brothers in Christ;

ABMen USA endeavors to provide representation and communication to all ABC Regions and ABM USA Districts including making sure all regional and local men might be aware of mission and ministry needs. I wanted to update you on recent ministry communications in response to Hurricane Harvey.

American Baptists are members of the North American Baptist Fellowship (NABF) which includes most Baptist denominations across America and Canada including of course ABMen USA and the Texas Baptist Men. The Texas folks are the “big dogs”, well funded and well organized, and we thank God for their ministry. All of the participating NABF organizations have specific “specialties” in terms of what they bring to the recovery table and while there may be regional variations, ABMen USA Disaster Relief is typically a ministry resource for labor, chainsaw & debris removal teams, mud-out services and re-build support following such a disaster. A perfect example of that are the continuing efforts in Sellers, SC following Hurricane Matthew, where teams from West Virginia will make their 6th trip back to that community in just a few days. Our ministry responds wherever needed, tending to seek out the elderly, the poor or the uninsured.

As a men’s ministry we essentially provide clean up labor and re-construction skills. However, much like following Hurricane Katrina, the current response is focused on rescue and rescue support priorities at this time both in SE Texas and SW Louisiana and the call for our response is weeks or more away. A coordinated response is extremely critical to its effectiveness and our information is that it will be several weeks before waters will recede to the point where NABF teams, including ABMen USA Disaster Relief National Coordinator Jack Cobb, will travel to the Texas / Louisiana region to survey the area and identify needs and details of a coming national call for volunteers. For that national call work sites need to be identified and locations for housing & feeding responders need to be arranged. As in the past, ABMen USA and American Baptist Homes Mission Societies (ABHMS) are working together on our response.

Ironically just last week at our National Board meetings in Oregon, ABHMS informed us that approval had been received on a joint grant application (ABHMS / ABM USA) we had submitted for 2 mobile disaster shower trailers, something we have needed many times over the last 10 years. ABMen USA will man and maintain these trailers and one will be staged on the East Coast and the other in the Midwest once construction and delivery are complete - but it’s not known when they will be available to us if at all in regard to this response.

I also wanted to share that I was told yesterday that in anticipation of a national ABMen USA disaster response, our banking partner, Christian Community Credit Union has pledged to match every dollar raised for our relief efforts toward Hurricane Harvey, up to 5000.00.

The reality of this event indicates initially that this may well surpass the needs realized following Hurricane Katrina. This will be a long journey for that region and ABMen USA, along with ABHMS, are working to make sure those willing and able to respond can do so safely and directly to a needed community.

Please continue to pray for all of the first responders, volunteers and the hundreds of thousands of people displaced and affected by Hurricane Harvey. If you or your men’s groups wish to further support our mission at this time, you can send your monetary donations to:

ABMen USA
c/o Dave Cross – Treasurer
223 Maple Street
Athens, Pa 18810

Or donate through our website at www.abmen.org.

May we always be up to HIS challenge.

Bob Slechta
President
American Baptist Men, USA

KEY CONTRIBUTOR

An Update to11/16/12 Message from American Baptist Men NYS

We are confirmed for responding on Sunday, November 25th, leaving Penn Yan First Baptist Church and Clifton Park Center Baptist Church at 2 PM.  We will be traveling to Red Bank, NJ.  Lodging and food will be provided.  People should bring sleeping bags, pillows, towels and wash cloths, and personal items.  Those who wish to be picked up south of the departure points or meet somewhere in the southern tier should contact John Tharp (Penn Yan) at jtharpdisasterrelief@gmail.com  or 315-536-8490 (home)  or 315-694-1108 (cell),  or Art Sabourin (Clifton Park) at deerslyr@nycap.rr.com or 518-371-0412.  (Note:  Art will only be available by phone between Wednesday and Saturday.) We will need people who are willing to drive their own cars with the possibility that we can car pool at the departure sites.  We will be doing mostly chainsaw work, although it is possible that some removal of mud will be needed.  People may bring their own saws but will be required to wear chaps and helmets.  These items will be provided.  Also each person will be asked to sign a waiver form.  The churches at the departure sites will provide box lunches for the traveling teams.  Those interested in going need to contact us early so we can give an accurate count for the lunches and for our lodging and accommodations.  We seek your prayers for safe travel and safe work in a difficult time.

 

John R. Tharp

Director of Disaster Relief

ABMen NYS.

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