It’s great to have friends

The TEXAN is full of stories and churches and individuals in Texas that are showing up for their brethren. I love stories of energetic churches that opened to their communities, hosted disaster relief teams, mobilized disaster relief teams and adopted churches wounded by Hurricane Harvey. I love stories of ministry partners like Criswell College, Jacksonville College and Southwestern Seminary who facilitated training and deployment of their students to help with Harvey restoration efforts. We pray that this energy will continue for the coming months.

But I’d like to highlight here the hundreds of folks who came from sister state conventions as they mobilized their own disaster relief units to come to Texas. They crossed the Mississippi, the Missouri, the Red and even the Pacific to help Texas. We are grateful for our brothers and sisters from Arkansas, Arizona, Alabama, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas and Nebraska, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Oregon and Washington, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and New Jersey, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, and both the Southern Baptist Conservatives of Virginia and the Baptist General Association of Virginia. It’s humbling to note that some of these states were also deploying units to other states and or even to their own storm damage. Friends, this is a high point of cooperation between autonomous churches and fellowships of churches, and it is enabled by the Cooperative Program. The overwhelming number of shower, chainsaw, feeding, mud out, laundry, childcare and bunkhouse units, as well as training and expenses for volunteers were paid for by state conventions using Cooperative Program funds from their churches. 

Additionally, we note that we have received financial help for Harvey relief from 48 states since late August. Individuals, state conventions and the North American Mission Board have opened their hearts and wallets for the sake of the enormous need faced by our churches and church families. God has blessed Texas through you. Thank you. 

Gary Ledbetter
Southern Baptist Texan
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