Baptists in the United States and elsewhere are responding to the disasters caused by the passage of Hurricane Isaac through sections of the Caribbean and the United States.
Churches in Haiti provided shelter and other forms of assistance to those affected by the storm. “Source of Light,” a new complex of school, orphanage and other facilities in the Delmas 19 community in Port-au-Prince, Haiti’s capital, built largely through funding provided by the Baptist World Alliance® (BWA), sheltered a number of families. Haitian churches were also used as shelters during the storm.
Isaac left at least 19 dead and at least six missing in the Caribbean nation, while many farms were destroyed and livestock killed. A number of Haitian churches and other property were damaged, while some Baptist members were left homeless.
Heavy wind and rain caused by the storm also affected other Caribbean countries, including Antigua, Jamaica, Cuba, and the Dominican Republic, but there were no reports of loss of life or widespread damage.
The North American Baptist Fellowship (NABF), one of six regional fellowships of the BWA, has activated its Disaster Response Network to assist Americans who suffered from the effects of the storm. The network comprises a diverse group of Baptist conventions and unions that cooperate with each other in disaster response.
Isaac dumped enormous amounts of water along the US Gulf Coast. Reports were that some 864,000 residents in the state of Louisiana were without electricity, while Mississippi also experienced outages. Heavy rain and possible tornados were expected in Arkansas. At least five other states were under tornado watch. Blocked roads and high winds had hampered initial response efforts.
The Cooperative Baptist Fellowship (CBF) held conference calls with its state disaster response coordinators, national coordinators and partners to determine the most appropriate response. CBF is a partner in the NABF’s response network. The CBF’s Harry Rowland is the network’s coordinator.
The BWA response is being coordinated by Baptist World Aid, which works closely with the NABF Disaster Response Network. Donations may be made online at www.bwanet.org or sent to:
Baptist World Aid
405 North Washington Street
Falls Church, VA 22046, USA
Baptist World Alliance®
© August 31, 2012