By Ellen Udovich
On Aug. 7, Tropical Storm Isaias produced a historic 29.2-mile tornado that tore through Delaware and caused thousands of dollars of property damage, several injuries and one death. New Castle County
Councilman David Carter reached out to the disaster response community and requested help for senior adults with limited resources who live in a rural part of the county and had been severely impacted by the storm.
Maryland/Delaware Baptists responded and took the lead in damage assessment and coordination of the efforts of volunteers from several organizations. Teams of trained Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware (BCM/D) Disaster Relief (DR) volunteers are working with local Methodist church members, Civil Air Patrol cadets, Lions Club volunteers, and others to do chainsaw work and damage cleanup in the vicinity of Townsend, Delaware.
DR volunteers understand that disasters create not just physical needs, but spiritual and emotional needs as well. A listening ear and a compassionate prayer can be as helpful as a patched roof or a removed tree. As they serve, volunteers respond to the leading of the Holy Spirit as they interact with survivors and pray, share the Gospel, or give a Bible. Whenever possible, teams will ask a local BCM/D congregation to follow up with survivors who need additional help or spiritual ministry.
Every morning, DR volunteers gather for prayer before heading out for the day’s work. They pray that their encouraging words, servant attitude, and diligent workmanship will influence neighbors and the larger community, as well as the homeowners they serve. They know that spiritual fruit may sprout up quickly or grow slowly over time — months … years … decades. But the Word of God will not return void.
“For just as rain and snowfall from heaven and do not return without watering the earth, making it bud and sprout, and providing seed to sow and food to eat, so My word that proceeds from My mouth will not return to Me empty, but it will accomplish what I please, and it will prosper where I send it.” Isaiah 55:10-11 (BSB)
DR teams plan to continue working in the area of Townsend, Delaware for the next several Saturdays through at least mid-October and more help is needed. Churches interested in assisting can contact Ellen Udovich, BCM/D’s community engagement consultant, for more information.
When you give to the annual State Missions Offering, your gift supports DR efforts in Maryland and Delaware.
Cover photo: Kerry Hinton, the pastor of Lynnhaven Baptist Church in Pocomoke City, Maryland, shakes hands with homeowners who experienced property damage as a result of Tropical Storm Isaias (photo by Ellen Udovich).