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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

Hot off the Wire

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

Photo’s of Disaster Relief Effort in Baton Rouge Dec 2016

Update on Lodge Grass Work Party

The general contractor, plumber, and Electrician will be here this morning.  Should be able to have a better on site info.

The plumber is going to finish the drains and vents, electrician is going to mount the meter loop and connect up the breaker box.

Will also have kitchen info we need.  I started to do some wring on sat, most of two rooms done.  Big thing for electrical is lighting.

 

 

Cody

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 USA DISASTER RELIEF UPDATES

Good morning;

 

As the incoming President of ABMen USA I am continuing in my effort to connect with mens ministry contacts and region ministry contacts within my direct area.   I do apologize if these emails seem pestering to your office as I only want to find the best contact to get the word out quickly and to the correct people.  Any assistance or suggestions of who I should speak to and how we may communicate with your Region are always appreciated.

 

BACONE COLLEGE TORNADO RESPONSE #2

 

ABMen USA earlier this month at its Annual Meeting agreed to enter into a continuing relationship of support for Bacone College as we (ABMen USA) continue to re-affirm our ABC ministry and mission support throughout the country.

 

Recently Jack Cobb our National Disaster Relief Coordinator issued a call for help following a tornado event that directly hit the college campus in July 2016, the 2nd tornado to strike the campus since last Christmas.  A link to this story can be found using the following URL which can be pasted into your browser: http://ktul.com/news/local/bacone-college-suffers-considerable-storm-damage . I initially sent this information to most of my data base but realize many have been busy with end of summer and family obligations.

 

An initial team of 3-4 men from West Virginia has arrived on campus over the weekend to continue repairs that ABMen began in early June. I am hoping to get word out again ASAP to any that may have time or desire to assist in the current efforts and I would ask if there is any one you might suggest that I might speak with in the mens ministry’s of your Region that also might be willing or wanting to participate with this call.

 

LOUiSIANA FLOODING RESPONSE 

 

Currently the call for a ABM USA disaster relief in response to assist in the Louisiana flooding clean up is in a standby pattern as we wait for word from ABHMS, VOAD or other local entity who will work with ABMen USA to organize the call of our ministry.  We typically follow this protocol in order to make sure there are specific contacts in place for our teams when they travel in response to a disaster such as this and to insure the logistics of where and when we report.  This would also include insurance coverage, food and housing options if made available.   If we are activated for this disaster I will be sure to immediately assist Jack Cobb in getting the word out in our area.

 

If any teams from your area might be already planning a response independently or through connections they already have in place to the area please update me as well if you think about it so we can offer any resources ABMen might also have available to them, if possible.

 

First Crow Indian Baptist Church – Lodge Grass, Montana 

 

ABMen USA is working with the local pastor and ABHMS to coordinate help to install HVAC, Electrical and Plumbing services within the First Crow Indian Baptist Church new church building in Lodge Grass, Montana the end of September and first of October as noted on the attached flyer and bulletin insert.  Please consider whether any interest exists in responding to this ABMen request for help prior to the Montana winter sets in.  For information you may contact Cody Pollington directly or Luck Ray, ABMen USA Executive Director.

Thank you for all you do for all of our ABC ministries. 

Striving to be the hands and feet of Jesus,

ABMen USA

Bob Slechta

12736 Martha St

Omaha NE 68144

402-677-0618 (C)

Bob@RBSGroupco.com