DR teams offering ‘a hot meal and a prayer’ for those affected by Uvalde tragedy

SBTC DR chaplain April Flanagan (left) prays with a mourner near the school memorial at Robb Elementary. SUBMITTED PHOTO

UVALDE—In the face of unspeakable tragedy, a prayer and a hot meal provide a measure of comfort and normalcy. For this reason, in addition to pastors and Southern Baptists of Texas Convention Disaster Relief chaplains, an SBTC DR quick response kitchen was immediately deployed to Uvalde in the wake of the May 24 shootings that claimed the lives of 19 students and two teachers at Robb Elementary School.

Veteran Quick Response Unit (QRU) feeding volunteers Ronnie and Connie Roark left San Antonio around 5 a.m. on May 25, transporting the mobile food truck to Uvalde where they set up at the civic center and prepared brunch for first responders.

In cooperation with emergency management, they moved locations to the Uvalde County Fairplex, where various federal, state, and local government agencies and law enforcement have established a base of operations.

On May 26, the Roarks began preparing breakfast and lunch for the volunteers and personnel working out of the center, with the Red Cross supplying dinner. The area at the back of the complex where the QRU is set up has become a place of respite where weary agency representatives, government workers, first responders, and volunteers can take a break.

“This is where we need to be,” Ronnie Roark said, noting that they’ve been feeding 85-100 at each meal, sometimes taking bottled water and a hot lunch or breakfast to law enforcement personnel around the Fairplex stationed at their posts.

“A meal and a prayer, that’s what we bring,” Connie Roark said, her voice cracking with emotion.

The Roarks added that SBTC DR chaplains are available at the QRU site to talk and pray with visitors as needed. They have already prayed with many. As a law enforcement officer who approached the QRU one morning announced, “I want breakfast, but I need my prayer.”

Christina Mitchell Busbee, 38th Judicial District Attorney who serves in the Uvalde area, expressed her gratitude and thanks to the SBTC “for being here for the Uvalde community in our time of need.

“Please continue to pray for us,” she said.


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