The Iowa Disaster Relief Council met on Thursday, August 21, and with the impending retirement of Ty Berry, the council had much to discuss. Following the example of the early church (Acts 11:27-30), we agreed to actively move forward in recruiting and training volunteers to help meet the needs of Iowans in crisis. We created a part-time staff position to coordinate Iowa Baptists for disaster relief.
Frank McCrary was later hired to fill the position of Disaster Relief Coordinator. Frank is Interim Director of Missions of the Southwest Iowa Southern Baptist Association and interim pastor at Calvary Baptist Church in Glenwood. His responsibilities will include volunteer training and equipment coordination.
Iowa is prone to wind storms and occasional floods, so we will continue to develop volunteers and equipment to handle tree removal, flood restoration, food preparation, and chaplaincy. We want to develop a deep bench of volunteers that are motivated and trained for these likely emergencies in Iowa and surrounding states.
The group decided to make a slight directional shift in our disaster relief ministry. We want to invest in equipment that is suitable for disaster relief and at the same time consider making the equipment available for churches that are active in community ministry. For example, we agreed to purchase a trailer that has shower stalls and cloths washing facilities. This equipment is valuable to assist in natural disasters and for churches that have outreach projects with volunteer teams, community celebrations, or even county fairs. We expect the shower/washer trailer to be completed in around three months.