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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

Disaster Relief

Disaster Relief related information

Massachusetts Disaster Relief Tip January 2017

Hi Everyone,
The work is done, and the LONG trip home is finally over. It’s time to reflect on and critique the time we spent in Baton Rouge. I can’t begin to thank each and every one of you for all the hard work you did on this trip. I feel that ALL of you went above and beyond on everything that was expected of you. Not only did you do excellent work, you presented yourselves as the true Christians that you are. When doing mission work we are looked at differently than other workers, and we are expected to act and perform at a different level. You not only met that level……….You exceeded it. You truly worked as the Hands and Feet of Our Lord Jesus Christ. I’m very proud of the work you performed, but I’m even more proud of who you are.

For me these disaster relief trips are a life changing experience, and I hope that you have felt that same experience. We have been so blessed with the lives we live that sometimes we can take it all for granted and forget that not everyone is as blessed as we are. I think that these trips wake us up to reality. While we were in Baton Rouge I’m sure all of you saw the thousands of businesses that were closed. This was caused not only because of the water damage they received, but because the community as a whole was so devastated that they could not afford to buy the products the businesses were selling. This created a domino effect. Now, not only have people lost their homes and belongings, they have also lost their jobs because the companies they worked for have gone out of business. How well do you think we would cope if faced with the same scenario? I would like to think we would be able to do the same thing they did, and that is place our faith in God knowing that He will not give us any burden that we can not handle. It was amazing to watch the congregation of True Light Baptist Church during their Sunday service. They rejoiced and praised with everything they had. I felt blessed and humbled to be a part of it, and I hope you did also.

To summarize what we accomplished in one short week:
Complete taping and mudding (3 coats) at both Delaware St. and Shelly St.
Installed dry wall in house and garage at Maple St.
Repaired electrical at Maple St.
Pulled down bathroom ceiling, installed new electrical, replaced ceiling and installed light and ceiling blower at Maple St.
Installed new dry wall at Sugar Bowl St.
Taped and mudded first coat at Sugar Bowl
Replaced almost entire electrical system on first floor of Michael Vick’s house
Installed dry wall on 80% of Michael Vick’s house
Repaired electrical problem at Pastor Chandler’s home.
Repaired electrical problem at Betty Holmes house.

That is an astronomical amount of work to be accomplished in only one week by only 17 volunteers. Although some of you are new to construction work I felt like I was a part of a well oiled machine. Not only was the work done fast, it was done right. My sincere thanks to all of you. You did it right, and there were no problems or complaints. Team leaders, you did an outstanding job, and are to be commended not only for you leadership, but also for your ability to make a hard job enjoyable and educational. I heard nothing but praises from the men that were on your teams. Well done!

On behalf of myself and the entire American Baptist Mens Disaster Relief program I want you to know how very much we appreciate your work and dedication. We know that volunteering requires considerable expense and loss of a weeks vacation. We hope that you feel that it was all worth the effort, and will consider joining us again on future trips. Thank you ALL again.

Keep LOOKING UP!!!

Dave Tetreault

Baton Rouge Disaster Relief Trip – January 8-14

On January 8, 8 men from GRR Disaster Relief Teams, Everett Meister & Gordon Frobish from Area III, Don Rogers from Area IV, Mark Nelson from Area V and Richard Ruyle, Tim Johnson, George Labadie and Terry Maurizio from Area II, traveled to Baton Rouge to help with the installation of insulation and drywall in homes affected by the flooding of August 2016.  We were joined by 4 men and 1 woman from West Virginia and 1 woman and 2 men from Indiana.  The picture below shows the full team with members from True Light Baptist Church.

Our team from GRR was assigned the home of Donna Rogers to insulate and drywall.  Pictured here are our team members with Donna and John, a Deacon from the church who delivered supplies to us.

 

Installing insulation and drywall in her home.

We then split up and Tim, George and I stayed at Donna’s home to finish the drywall while the rest of the team when to Donna’s mother’s home.

Following pictures of water mark and team working on this home.

Mark had knowledge of furnaces and was able to work on those in 2 homes and he got them working again.  Here he is shown coming down from the attic of one home after working on furnace.

One evening we visited Geraldine Terry’s home.  When the team of Richard Ruyle, George Labadie and myself went to Baton Rouge in November of 2016, we installed the insulation in her home.  When the GRR Team led by Brian Romanowski went down a week later, they completed the drywall installation.  The pictures below show the same room in her home in November and currently.  The walls have been mudded, taped and painted and she is having flooring people come in this week.

 On Thursday evening, the whole group went our to Parain’s Seafood Restaurant for supper.  Vicky Goff, American Baptist Churhes National Volunteer Coordinator joined us and stayed over to work with us the next day.

On our way home, we drove through a winter wonderland of ice on the trees and grass but the road was clear.

 

We were able to complete the installation of insulation and drywall in 2 homes and insulation in a 3rd.  An ABM Disaster Relief Team from Massachusetts was flying in to work this week.  They will continue where we left off.  Jack Cobb was talking about trying to get more teams to come down sometime in March.  There is probably enough work left to keep teams busy most of this year.

 In His Service,

Terry Maurizio

Lodge Grass, Montana Crow Indian community needs help with new church–interior construction

I am sending out a national call for volunteers to assist the Lodge Grass, MT Crow Indian community in the rebuild of their church which was destroyed by flood in 2011.  They have reconstructed a new wood frame building but need help finishing it,  The priority is to get heat in the structure before winter. HVAC installation is the primary project. All HVAC material is scheduled for delivery to the site prior to the dates of the work party.  Design/layout sketches will be available  Plumbing and electrical are secondary projects.

Cody Pollington is the project leader.

We apologize for the lateness of this request, but there has been some difficultly coordinating with local professionals who are trying to get time off to assist in the project. If anyone is interested in joining me on this project let me know.  The sooner the better !

The scheduled dates are the last two weeks of September so my plan is to work the week of 9/17 at Green Lake and then proceed to Montana.  I can stay in Montana for either one or two weeks depending on the desires of the group.

The distance from Green Lake is ~1010 miles.  Distance from Scott Depot is 1668 miles.

Jack Cobb

American Baptist Men-USA

Disaster Relief Coordinator

disaster.relief@abmen.org

cobbjack@suddelink.net

ABMEN WV BRIDGE PROJECT MAY 2016

AMERICAN BAPTIST MEN-USA

Post Office Box 1019      Parkersburg, West Virginia  26102

 ABMEN WV BRIDGE PROJECT MAY 2016

The terrain of West Virginia includes many small valleys with steep hills on both sides. There is normally a creek along one side of the road with homes on the other side of the road. Access to those homes is usually by way of small bridges constructed by the home owners. Heavy rainstorms cause the creeks to overflow, which causes the high fast moving water to occasionally push the bridges off their foundations and destroys the homeowners access to their homes. Some homeowners have insurance to replace their bridges, but many do not. And some of those who do not have insurance, are elderly and do not have the funds nor family members who can help restore access to their homes. Government resources are not normally permitted to be used for these types of bridges. Consequently, some people are forced to move from their homes for long periods of time until their bridges are repaired or replaced.

An organization in WV called “VOAD”, Volunteer Organizations Assisting in Disasters, has established a list of nearly 300 homes needing private bridges repaired or replaced. American Baptist Men of WV of the ABMen-USA is associated with the North American Baptist Fellowship, NABF. ABMen of WV have partnered with the Mennonites Disaster Service and VOAD to provide funds and labor to replace many of these bridges.

 

The members of the Mennonites Disaster Service and men of the ABMen of WV completed such a bridge for two elderly ladies in Boone County, WV on May 20, 2016. The bridge met all government specifications for location, performance and safety. The ladies were very appreciative of the volunteers’ efforts, shedding tears of joy at the prayer of dedication at the end of the project. More bridges will be built soon.

Kenna Lucky Ray

Executive Director, ABMen-USA

luckyray1@suddenlink.net

2016 Volunteer Opportunities!

THE FOLLOWING NOTICE IS FOR DISASTER RELIEF  PEOPLE OR OTHERS  WHO MIGHT WANT  TO PARTICIPATE IN THESE PROJECTS

 

DR Logo
Texas has experienced 10 large disasters since May 2015, six of these disasters created enough damage to recieve FEMA declarations.  Thousands in Texas are hurting! Many of you are asking how you can help.  
 
1. Give a monetary donation – funds will be used to purchase building supplies to rebuild and repair homes.

 

 
 
2. Volunteer your time to clean up debris or assist in installing sheetrock.
TBDR 2016 Summer
Volunteer Opportunities  
Volunteer Teams are needed in the areas listed below.  
Lots of open dates, contact Marla Bearden at 214-537-7358 
or Gerald Davis at 214-924-6401 to schedule your group.
 
 
SOUTHEAST TEXAS FLOODING
DEWEYVILLE 
(NE of Beaumont)
 

                   

June 20-24, 2016 
            (All other dates are full)
                         Click Here 
Funds are needed to purchase sheetrock for flooded homes in Deweyville, Houston and other areas.  So many families are hurting!
 
HOUSTON FLOODING

Homes are being assessed who are without 

insurance. Contact 
Gerald Davis to schedule your team.
 

Calvary Baptist Church, Deweyville
Church Adoption 
Give funds to help replace their
gym floor!
Family Units continue to cross Texas Borders. Volunteers are needed to assist in McAllen!

Need: Ellis County LTRC Volunteer/Construction Coordinator

Texas Baptists Disaster Recovery and the Ellis County Long Term Recovery Committee are assisting those affected by the December 26th tornadoes.  We are seeking a Coordinator who lives in the area who can volunteer time to coordinate construction projects and volunteer teams.  Contact Marla Bearden if you are interest in this volunteer opportunity.

________________________________
Contact Marla Bearden, email marla.bearden@texasbaptists.org
or
Gerald Davis, email gerald.davis@texasbaptists.org
to schedule your team.
________________________________
Spring Break Videos
TBDR 2016 Spring Break 1
TBDR 2016 Spring Break 1

TBDR 2016 Spring Break 2
TBDR 2016 Spring Break 2


_________________________________________________________
Other Disaster Recovery Opportunities:
______________________________________________________________
Click here to discover Student DR opportunities!
____________________________________________________________
Texas Baptists Disaster Recovery operates on special gifts from Texas Baptists. To support recovery efforts click HERE
or mail checks to
Attn  Marla Bearden, Texas Baptists Disaster Recovery
7557 Rambler Rd, Suite 1100, Dallas, TX 75231-2310
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Marla Bearden, Disaster Recovery Specialist, 214-537-7358

Gerald Davis, Disaster Recovery & Development Specialist, 214-924-6401

David Scott, Director, Bounce Student DR, 281-851-1299

Baptist General Convention of Texas

Texas Baptists Disaster Recovery Website

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