Archive for the ‘Texas Baptist Men’ Category

Texas Baptist Men receive World Hunger Offering Care Grant

January 15, 2010

By John Hall

Texas Baptist Men was allocated a $10,000 Texas Hope 2010 Care Grant Jan. 14 for disaster relief.

The money comes from gifts to the Texas Baptist Offering for World Hunger, one of the emphases of Texas Hope 2010, an initiative that encourages Texas Baptists to pray for others, care for people in need and share the hope of Christ with every Texan by Easter 2010.

The grant comes in the wake of an earthquake in Haiti Jan. 12 that affected roughly 3 million people, according to Red Cross estimates. Texas Baptist Men already is responding to the disaster, sending thousands of family water filters to the country at the request of Cooperative Baptist Fellowship missionaries. 

“We’re trying to respond along with the rest of the world to the earthquake in Haiti,” said Joe Haag, who helps coordinate the offering for the Texas Baptist Christian Life Commission. “Texas Baptist Men in their usual way have a role to play in terms of quick response. We’re trying to be a part of helping them fund their response.”

World hunger care grants help support more immediate action for acute needs around the globe. For more information about the hunger offering and how to support it, visit www.bgct.org/worldhunger

Loss of possessions but increase of faith

October 14, 2009

Below is a blog post by Rand Jenkins who has been serving with the disaster relief team in Manila since Oct. 7.

Felicisimo and Marieta Cables and their neighbors have fewer possessions but greater faith in the wake of the flooding in Marikina City. Felicisimo is the bi-vocational pastor of Hope Baptist Church there and lives just a few blocks from the church.
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Pastor Cables got a text message from his daughter that was intended for his wife. The text read, “Waters rising. Get on the roof. You’ll be safe.” After receiving this, Felicisimo rushed out of work and started home. By the time he got close to home, all routes had been blocked.

So he swam. He swam across 800 meters of raging flood water along with cars, bits of houses and countless possessions from hundreds and thousands of homes. He made it home, only to find their house full of water.

Marieta noticed the waters rising and was quite the resourceful and determined Philippine lady. First, she went to the second floor of their house. There the flood waters rose to her chest, and she began thinking of options. She sloshed her way to the upstairs front window and yelled to her neighbor on their third-story roof.

marieta cables and sonMarieta does not know how to swim. She climbed out of her window and onto the telephone pole that, at this point, still had live wires and then grabbed a rope thrown by the neighbor. Once on her own roof, she walked in water while holding tight to the rope until reaching the safety of her neighbor’s taller roof where they held a worship service praising God.

“I still have my family and my faith, which is what matters and what got me through this time,” said Pastor Cables. “One item I’d like to find is my favorite Bible,” he continued. “Missionary Bob Harwell, from Texas, gave me his in 1992 and it was filled with notes and encouragement. That Bible gave me the inspiration to finish seminary.

“The fact that people traveled so far to help us clean up is a great encouragement to me, our church and just simply reminds me of the salvation we have in Christ,” he added through tears.

One of the first projects of the Texas Baptist Men disaster response team sent through Baptist Global Response was to mud out the Cables’ house and a church across the street, not where he pastors.

“In talking with Felicisimo, I learned his story and that he lost a Bible that meant a great deal to him,” said Ernie Rice, Texas Baptist Men team leader. “So I gave him mine that Sunday when I preached in his church.”

While several of the volunteers led and attended area house churches in the area hit by flooding, four went with local missionaries to distribute food in some of the poorest of the poor areas. One of the stops on Oct. 11 was the first disaster relief the area had received since the September 26 typhoon. At this location seven people accepted the Lord.

Metro Manilla, made up of several cities, received a month’s worth of rain in one day of typhoon Ondoy after days of rain had already saturated the ground.

TBM is there serving at Baptist Global Response’s invitation and working with 20 other volunteers in mud out disaster relief alongside Southern Baptist of Texas Convention, Baptist Men of Kentucky and Baptist Men of Oklahoma. The TBM volunteers on the mission trip are Ernie Rice, Miguel Tello, Leo Vega, Harold Patterson, Bill Gresso, Jack Vawter, Russell Sheik, Rey Villanueva, Rand Jenkins and Stan Knight.

Texas Baptist Men to send a 10-person team to the Philippines for typhoon relief

October 6, 2009

Texas Baptist Men will deploy 10 men to the Philippines early in the morning on Wed., Oct. 7 to spend 10 days helping with relief work and teaching local people how to clean up the area in the aftermath of the flooding and landslides that took place in the last week.

Within the last week, the Philippine islands were hit by Typhoons Ketsana and Parma, causing water to rise more than 20 feet in some areas. At one point, 80 percent of Manila sat underwater. The National Disaster Coordinating Council reports that Ketsana caused 246 deaths in the Philippines and as well as 72 in Vietnam and nine in Cambodia. More than two million people have been affected by the storm.

 “Our mission is to equip and train local people in how to do the cleanup work,” said Dick Talley, Texas Baptist Men director of disaster relief.

The group includes team leader Ernie Rice of Stockdale, Bill Gresso of Garland, Stan Knight of Dallas, Harold Patterson of Scoggins, Russell Schieck of Lubbock, Mike Tello of Elsa, Larry Vawter of Altair, Leo Vega of Odessa, Rey Villanueva of Kenedy and Rand Jenkins of Mansfield.

The band of men will join with Baptist Global Response, Kentucky Baptist Men, Oklahoma Baptist Men and the Southern Baptist Convention of Texas to carry out various clean-up activities within the next two weeks.

“Imagine standing in two or three inches of muck and having to dig it out, remove furniture, remove personal belongings, decide what to save and what to throw out and then rinse off and sanitize what is left,” Talley said. “It is quite emotional for those who are going through it.”

The men hope to bring physical, emotional and spiritual help and restoration to the flood victims who are sitting in such a vulnerable state, Talley said. 

Texas Baptist Men disaster relief efforts are made possible through donations given to Texas Baptist Men and the Texas Baptist Missions Foundation at the Baptist General Convention of Texas. To support the Philippine relief efforts through Texas Baptist Men, visit www.texasbaptistmen.org  and click on the Donations tab or mail a check marked for disaster response to Texas Baptist Men at 5351 Catron, Dallas, TX 75227. To give to the efforts through the Texas Baptist Missions Foundation, visit www.bgct.org/give and click on Disaster Response or send a check marked for disaster relief to the Texas Baptist Mission Foundation at 333 N. Washington, Dallas, TX 75246-1798.

Amazing and mysterious ways

June 14, 2007

Nearly two years ago this month, I went to Sri Lanka where I spent about a week with a team of Texas Baptist Men volunteers. The group was building a structure that would be used as a school to teach people new trades in the wake of the tsunami that devastated a fishing village. While there, I met Kenneth who volunteered with Texas Baptist Men. He introduced me to a family in Sri Lanka that he had gotten to know quite well, even to the point of being welcomed into their home for dinner. A relationship was formed, and he became friends with the family.

After Kenneth left Sri Lanka, he exchanged letters with the children in the family. They told him what they were doing. He would do the same. Each time he wrote a letter, he prayed that they would come to know Christ. He prayed that he would share Christ’s love to them in a way they would understand.

I was told today that those children are now involved in church.

God works in amazing and mysterious ways, bringing a Texan halfway around the globe so a pair of Sri Lankan children can come to know the gospel. I’m sure glad He does it.

Small actions can have a big impact

June 13, 2007

Rick Warren, who will be speaking during the BGCT annual meeting, believes churches should take on the significant issues of the world — poverty, lack of education, lack of freedom, etc. He believes God called Christians to such action and that congregations can have an impact on these large matters.

I like to call these topics God-sized issues. Without Him, they can never be resolved.

The genocide in Sudan is one of those God-sized issues. The only way the situation can get any better is if people follow God’s calling on their respective lives to make a difference there.

One of the groups of Texas Baptists who is following that call is the Texas Baptist Men Royal Ambassadors and Challengers. These elementary, middle school and high school young men took a small action they hope will have a significant impact on the country — they bought toolboxes so fathers can learn job skills to support their displaced families.

Here’s the official release, including how you can get involving in the toolboxes project:

Texas Baptist young men are sending more than 190 toolboxes to Sudan to help to men in the devastated nation learn carpentry skills so they can support their families.

Elementary, middle and high school boys across the state who are part of Texas Baptist Men’s Royal Ambassadors and Challengers missions education programs collected money and purchased toolboxes and tools to send to Sudan. Each toolkit is filled with about $150 of tools.

Sudan is the location of some of the worst human rights infractions in the world. More than 2 million people have fled their homes and 200,000 people have been killed. The United Nations has claimed the Sudanese government is supporting these efforts, but the government has denied the accusations.

The toolkits will be used to teach people skills so men can support their displaced families.

Keith Mack, TBM children and youth missions and ministry consultant, praised the boys’ commitment to helping people in Sudan. Each boy raised the money for the toolboxes and purchased the tools.

The experience helped the boys see how God is working around the globe, Mack said.

“This has been a great opportunity for men and boys,” he said. “While they are collecting the tools, they can also pray for the men that will be receiving the tools.”

Though TBM is through collecting toolboxes, individuals can donate money to send additional tools to Sudan. Checks can be designated “Toolboxes for Sudan” and sent to Texas Baptist Men, 5351 Catron, Dallas, 75227.

A view from Piedras Negras, Mexico

April 26, 2007

6.jpgI spent much of today with Texas Baptist men and women who are ministering in the wake of two tornadoes that struck Eagle Pass, Texas and Piedras Negras, Mexico.

The second storm devastated an 8-square block section of Piedras Negras. In the last few years, I’ve seen the aftermath of floods, tsunamis and hurricanes. I haven’t seen devastation like I saw in this part of Piedras Negras since I was walking along the shore of Sri Lanka where a tsunami left a village in rubble as far as the eye could see.

One BGCT employee ministering in Piedras Negras said the area looked “like a bomb exploded.” Another described it as looking like a “war zone.” Those descriptions are accurate. Trees are cut in two by sheet-metal. Cars have been flipped upside down and carried blocks over. Most of the houses have been destroyed. Days after the tornado hit, limbs still are strewn everywhere.

The residents of Piedras Negras continue talking about where they were when the tornado touched down. They’re processing what has happened by sharing their stories. Many people still seem to be shock, spending significant portions of their day trying to make sense of what happened.

In the midst of all the tragedy, Texas Baptists are ministering to the hurting. Texas Baptist Menvolunteers are providing thousands of free meals and cutting tree limbs. BGCT staff members are coordinating relief efforts and are bringing in trained counselors. Buckner is bringing in a load of clothing and food. A group of Baptist University of the Americas students spent Thursday counseling victims, praying with them and serving them food.

The recovery process will be a long one. I have no doubt that Texas Baptists will be part of that process in whatever ways they can. Please pray for Piedras Negras and Eagle Pass. Pray for those who are ministering there and those who God already is calling to serve in the area.

For photos from Piedras Negras, you can click here or on the link on the right sidebar of this blog.

West Texas hit by tornadoes

April 24, 2007

Tornadoes earlier this week have forced more than 450 people out of their homes. Some families’ homes are in ruins and some areas still do not have electricity. A water tower also was wiped out.

Texas Baptist Men volunteers from around the state are in the region ministering to people. They are feeding victims of the tornadoes and helping clear debris. Please pray for the victims of the storm and those who are ministering to them.

More from the story on the BGCT web site:

One of the first responders on the scene was Gerald Cook, who directs the Disaster Relief unit at Paramount Baptist Church in Amarillo. Riding with police and fire officials, Cook helped assess the damage in both communities.

“Cactus was extremely devastated,” Cook said. “Some homes had walls down and roofs blown off and 63 homes were totally wiped out. People were trying to salvage what they could…though their homes were totally destroyed.”

Baptist men helping families victimized by flooding

April 6, 2007

For one mother and her paraplegic son, faith and muscle are working hand-in-hand to get them home by Easter.

Flooding caused by recent storms in Navarro County left Sherilon Lindsey’s home uninhabitable for her and her son, Andy. They are temporarily living with her daughter.

The Lindseys are one of more than 24 families who became victims when heavy rains caused creeks in the area to overflow. Floodwaters rose nearly one foot in many homes leaving damaged walls, doors, carpet and possessions.

Moving into the damaged homes are Texas Baptist Men volunteer disaster relief clean-out teams from across the state, including units from Collin Baptist Association, Central Texas Baptist Area, Ellis Baptist Association and Sabine Neches Baptist Area.

“Not all of our volunteers are trained to do clean-out, but we do have a group of volunteers who are experienced in clean-out who do know what to do,” said Gary Smith, director of TBM Disaster Relief.  “There is a narrow window of opportunity we have to get the clean-out done in. That’s the biggest challenge.”

Duane Bechtold, director of TBM’s Collin Baptist Association unit, arrived April 4 to help lead the operation. He delivered a trailer full of clean-out equipment including electric saws, wheelbarrows, shovels and carpet knives for volunteer efforts.

Sherilon’s home was one of the worst damaged so crews had to pack up furniture and other belongings, and move everything to a safe place before starting clean-out operations.

“We first go in and remove damaged sheetrock, wet carpets and other damaged items like wood floor segments,” said Steve Lamb, director of disaster relief of TBM’s Central Texas Baptist Area unit.

Trained TBM volunteers then move in to tackle the bacteria-laden environment.

“We pressure wash everything inside the house to remove dirt, mud and debris.” Bechtold said. “Then we use hand-operated hose sprayers to sanitize the house with a commercial grade disinfectant to kill bacteria, mold and mildew

Before clean-out began, Bechtold and Lamb assessed and prioritized damages. In some cases, they found that if water got into homes at any depth at all, residents lost furniture, appliances and other possessions, Lamb said. Most of the residents impacted are living with friends and family members until their homes can be cleaned out and repaired. With more rain in the forecast, there is concern more families could soon need help.

The group’s disaster relief operation is headquartered at Cornerstone Baptist Church in Corsicana where Red Cross is providing food for volunteers, Lamb noted.

The gift

March 22, 2007

My friend Dick Talley of Texas Baptist Men tells a terrific story of a time in Africa when after spending several days in one location it was necessary to travel a long distance to another place before coming home. A man who lived in the previous location carved from wood a gift for Dick and traveled the long distance to the second location to present it. Upon receiving and acknowledging the beautiful gift, Dick remarked concerning the great distance the man had traveled to present it. The man responded, “the journey is part of the gift”.

Ministry Winds Down for the Day

March 15, 2007

dsc_5209.jpg5:53 a.m. The night has wound down. The first shift of students has given way to the second. All the vans have retired for the night. Spiritual conversations have taken place. People have come to Christ. The night was good.

Traffic has just slowed and the Texas Baptist Men volunteers have begun stirring. Breakfast is a few hours away. I may not be a spring breaker or a college student, but I’m looking forward to some pancakes.

The schedule for today? Clean up the beach, breakfast, baptisms and evening service.

Please keep praying for Beach Reach. The students will tell you it makes a difference. And they’re right.


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