ALL WORTHWHILE: SBTC disaster relief volunteers served more than 500 meals from First Baptist Church, Rio Grande City, on July 26, while another 500 meals went out on emergency response vehicleswith the American Red Cross. Serving are (L-R): Chuck Gifford, Judy Ryder, Tommy Hardin, Shirley Carter, and John Hardin. Photo by Lee Garcia
BROWNSVILLE?Disaster relief volunteers from the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention are providing meals and assisting in cleanup in the Rio Grande Valley after Hurricane Dolly hit the far South Texas coast July 23. Also, Baptist volunteers are working in the Mexican border town of Matamoros, across the Rio Grande from Brownsville.
SBTC feeding units have been serving in Rio Grande City and McAllen, about 70 miles inland, while assessment and cleanup teams are working in the coastal town of Port Isabel. First Baptist Church of Brownsville is housing the cleanup and assessment teams, with assistance from First Baptist Church of Port Isabel, said Jim Richardson, SBTC Disaster Relief director.
Meanwhile, the SBTC’s Operation GO Mexico ministry, First Baptist Church of Brownsville, and Baptist Global Response are working together in Matamoros.
“Hurricane Dolly brought torrential rains and devastating winds to the area,” Richardson wrote in an e-mail. “Many of the families in Matamoros have been affected. First Baptist Church, Brownsville, and Operation GO are distributing rice and beans to those affected by Hurricane Dolly and sharing the hope of our Lord Jesus in the process.”
SBTC volunteers are cooking 10,000 meals a day for the Salvation Army canteens in McAllen, Richardson said. At First Baptist Church, Rio Grande City, volunteers prepared meals for the American Red Cross through the weekend.
Churches from the Gulf Coast westward toward McAllen assessed damage from the storm to their buildings and communities the day after the storm. The 200,000 people without electricity July 24 had lessened to about 125,000 by the weekend, according to news reports.
The cleanup and recovery work in Port Isabel, across the bridge from the South Padre Island resort community, yielded professions of faith from a husband and wife, said Julian Moreno, who is leading the assessment work there.