MOORE, Okla. (BP) -- Disaster relief ministry is a marathon, a chief coordinator said, and Southern Baptists are in it for the long haul, scurrying to help in Moore, Okla., and other places where creation's groaning has left people in need.
"The immediate need is the focus, but we have to remember that we are still in a long-term response from Hurricane Sandy. Obviously there will be long-term rebuild needs in Moore. Southern Baptists are unique in approaching disaster relief ministry as a marathon," Fritz Wilson, executive director of disaster relief at the North American Mission Board, said.
Ongoing Southern Baptist Disaster Relief work spanned seven states as of May 23, including Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Missouri, New York, Oklahoma and Texas.
In Moore, where a historic EF5 tornado moved through an Oklahoma City suburb, Sam Porter of Oklahoma Baptist Disaster Relief said the response by the yellow-clad Southern Baptist workers was immediate.
"We're only 36 hours past the tornado touchdown here in Moore, Okla., but we have had an army of volunteers ready," Porter said in a video update as workers moved around behind him Wednesday morning, organizing a feeding unit at First Baptist Church.
Porter, disaster relief director for the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma, said workers have been on site from Carney to Prague to Shawnee and back to Norman where tornadoes carved a 60-mile track Sunday afternoon.
"We still have people working there. We need to always make sure we don't forget the smaller towns just because the city got hit," Porter said.
Porter expressed gratitude to all who have donated to Southern Baptist Disaster Relief to support the efforts, and he relayed the importance of prayer.
"We cherish your prayers more than anything else because it gets long, it gets hard, it gets pretty stressful," Porter said. ... Read More