Southern Baptist Disaster Relief (SBDR) is Christian love in action. This ministry meets the urgent needs of hurting humanity in crisis situations. Christ calls for believers to demonstrate His love to those affected by disasters through our use of resources, talents and time. As volunteers respond to disasters, their faith and commitment are used by the Holy Spirit to draw others to Him. When we care for others, we become people who don’t just talk of missions but put words into action.
On March 24 and 25 nineteen Iowans trained to be ready to respond to disasters in Iowa and across the country at a training event at New Bridge Church, Winterset. David Wedekind shared, “Volunteers that attended this Disaster Relief training were excited to share their enthusiasm and expertise in ministering to others. It was a blessing to see the volunteers cooperating together in preparing themselves to respond when needed. We encourage volunteers to see ways they could respond to local events and needs. You don’t have to go a great distance to help someone.” David and Jeanne Wedekind are Co-Directors of the Disaster Relief programs in Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota, and South Dakota. As part of the muti-state cooperation, two individuals from Wisconsin took the opportunity to update their Disaster Relief credentials.
Six instructors taught courses during the training weekend. Jeanne Wedekind of MN taught the course “Involving Southern Baptists in Disaster Relief.” Mike Carlson of New Bridge Church taught the Chaplaincy and Operational Stress First Aid with Phil Gaddis of MN assisting. Dave Wedekind taught the Disaster Relief Damage Assessment course. Jim and Sharon Lee of WI taught a course on running a Shower/Laundry unit.
“We met some of the most enthusiastic and committed people who want to minister to others during a crisis time in their lives” shared Jeanne Wedekind. “Through each of these that attended, a great deal of experience and knowledge was brought to the table. We felt so welcomed coming to Iowa and we certainly look forward to ministering together.”
Southern Baptist Disaster Relief has gained national and international recognition for service in crisis situations across the nation and the globe. SBDR volunteers stand ready at a moment’s notice to help the hurting and bring hope during a catastrophe.
Our world continues to experience devastation and destruction. Every incident brings new challenges and new opportunities. Disaster Relief is an intentional way to bring hope to what can quickly become a hopeless situation. People and churches are coming together in a unified body to help care for those in crisis through focused effort and coordination.
Learn more about Iowa Disaster Relief at bciowa.org/disaster-relief.