Recognized as a leader in Southern Baptist disaster relief, the Florida Convention has carried out more than 100 relief efforts in the past two decades. “When Hurricane Andrew hit, Florida Baptists had 500 trained volunteers and one feeding unit. The Florida Baptist disaster relief and recovery ministry has grown to 6,500 active, trained volunteers,” utilizing feeding units, response ministries, clean-up equipment, child care units, and more. (gofbw.com/print.asp?ID=14332).
Many other churches and ministries have been on the frontline of disaster relief such as when Hurricane Sandy devastated the northeast back in 2012. Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale was one of the first of many churches to send support through prayer, supplies and manpower. Calvary Chapel has a specific budget and extensive strategy for hurricane response (calvaryftl.org/ministries/volunteer-ministry/hurricane-volunteer-opportunities/).
As hurricane season finds itself in our backyards, we prepare and plan as best as we are able, but may we also rest in the fact that our Heavenly Father is in control and we can trust in him.
“God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble. So we will not fear when earthquakes come and the mountains crumble into the sea. Let the oceans roar and foam. Let the mountains tremble as the waters surge” (Psalm 46:1-3 NLT).
Over the years, Finley has worked with different disaster relief organizations such as Samaritan’s Purse. He can be reached at [email protected].