Graceland Baptist Church
Thursday, April 24, 2014
Hands of Hope
The Hands of Hope Disaster Relief Ministry of Graceland Baptist Church is part of the Indiana Southern Baptist Disaster Relief Ministry, under the direction of the North American Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention.
This valuable ministry serves across the street and around the nation - bringing comfort as well as valuable assistance to anyone affected by the disasters of life. Serving in the Disaster Relief Ministry can be one of the most rewarding experiences there is, as often when people are facing the trauma of a disaster they are open to receiving the love of Christ.
Although the ministry is based at Graceland Baptist Church, many of the team members are from a variety of other churches in the Southern Indiana area. Disaster relief teams have been called on to serve in many unique situations close to home and far away, serving in numerous cities in the Gulf region after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita; as well as serving during ice storms, flooding, and tornadoes/windstorms in Indiana, Kentucky, Illinois, New Jersey, Missouri and other locations. The Hands of Hope Disaster Relief Ministry is comprised of two basic components: Mud Out and Chain Saw Units. Each unit has its own distinct mission, training, and certification criteria and function. The following is a brief overview of each:
Mud Out, Clean Up Unit. . .
In disasters such as floods, hurricanes, and tornadoes, members of this unit provide much needed clean up and debris removal services to families devastated by these catastrophic occurrences. Team members are assigned to specific homes to tear out and clean areas affected by flood waters. Training in correct mud out procedures is necessary when working with this unit.
Chain Saw Unit. . .
In disasters such as tornadoes or ice storms, the well trained members of the Chain Saw Unit of the Hands of Hope Disaster Relief Ministry are some of the first to be called on, as many times roads and property have to be cleared before necessary aid can reach those in need. The members of the chain saw unit provide extremely valuable assistance and have traveled to a variety of states and locations to bring assistance to countless communities as they struggle to regain normalcy after a disaster.
In order to work with a chain saw unit with the Southern Baptist Disaster Relief, an individual must have completed the Southern Baptist Disaster Relief Chain Saw Course. The training is imperative because of the potential danger to those using chain saws, as well as those who are helping with the operation. All teams are well equipped with essential safety equipment such as hardhats, goggles, chaps, and gloves. Training opportunities take place several times each year and practice sessions are held frequently.
The above are just some of the opportunities that await you as a member of Hands of Hope Disaster Relief Ministry. Serving those affected by disasters is one of the most rewarding ways to minister God's love to people at some of the most vulnerable times of life. Whatever your unique skills and talents, there is a place for you to serve in disaster relief. If you would like more information regarding the work of any of the units of the Hands of Hope Disaster Relief Ministry or any other information regarding Disaster Relief, contact George Fox, Director of Hands of Hope at 812.944.6875.