By Sharon Mager, BCM/D Correspondent
COLUMBIA, Md.—Ellen Udovich, Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware (BCM/D)’s missionary for disaster relief, lay mobilization and senior adults, said her phone rings throughout the day with calls from BCM/D churches anxious to go to Haiti to help the victims of the massive 7.0 magnitude earthquake on Jan 12. Though well meaning, Udovich said now is the time for praying and giving, but not quite the time to go, with the exception of medical teams which are currently on the ground.
“We’re trying to set up the infrastructure to facilitate teams going down to help,” Udovich said. Right now, Haiti’s government is requesting that no one come to assist unless they are affiliated with groups that already have a presence in Haiti, such as the International Mission Board (IMB), North American Mission Board, Global Response, the Red Cross, Samaritan’s Purse and other such organizations.
When the “go” is given, Udovich said they’ll need a wide variety of workers, including building assessors, construction crews and chaplains. Teams will work alongside Haitian churches to meet the needs and minister where needed.
According to the IMB, short-range plans will focus on providing relief supplies including food, water and medicine. Mid-range plans involve spiritual help and counseling of survivors and supporting Haitian Baptist congregations. Long-range plans will focus on a prayer emphasis and continued church planting.
Those interested in participating in relief and recovery efforts are encouraged to get disaster relief training. The upcoming training schedule will be posted on the BCM/D website.
Udovich said one of the most effective ways to help the people of Haiti is to donate relief money. For information about donating, see http://www.baptistglobalresponse.com.
Churches can also provide hands-on help by filling BGR buckets of hope. Each five-gallon bucket is packed with selected food that will provide enough for a Haitian family for a week. Filled buckets can be taken to the Baptist Mission Resource Center’s storage area no later than March 15. The buckets will be transported to Florida, then to Haiti.
For more information about BCM/D disaster relief efforts, see, http://www.bcmd.org.