DR teams, BGR responding to Mexico floods

BROWNSVILLE?Disaster relief volunteers from First Baptist Church of Brownsville were loading 9,000 gallons of drinking water labeled with the gospel message for distribution across the border into regions of northeastern Mexico flooded by rains from Hurricane Alex.

Meanwhile, those living along the Rio Grande in Texas and northern Mexico were bracing for perhaps more flooding as additional rains were expected through July 9.

“We are loading approximately 4,000 gallons of water in Brownsville on a truck for Monterrey Thursday morning. This load was donated and the truck donated as well. Based upon what Mexico customs told us today, we should be able to cross the load without financial difficulties if we do it correctly,” Steve Dorman, pastor of First Baptist Church of Brownsville, said in an e-mail on July 8 to SBTC Disaster Relief Director Jim Richardson.

“We also have a truck loading ? in Matamoros with another 5,000 gallons of water that will be in Monterrey by Thursday evening. We are having to hire this truck.”

Dorman told the Southern Baptist TEXAN later by phone that the cost of the second truck was being covered by Baptist Global Response, a human relief organization that works closely with Southern Baptists. All 9,000 gallons of water have come from anonymous donors, with 4,000 gallons of it offered unsolicited only a day after receiving the request from Monterrey.

Iglesia Bautista Filadelfia in Monterrey is the hub for distributing the water, bottled with labels that include the gospel message. Adolfo Villarreal, a member of the First Baptist Brownsville pastoral staff and a Monterrey native, will go to Monterrey to help with logistics in an area where water has been scarce for a week.

First Baptist Brownsville learned of the needs in Monterrey, Dorman said, from missionaries familiar with the Filadelfia church there.

“The price of water was exponentially high?if you could find it,” Dorman added. “So it’s just so exciting to see God putting all this together. We have nothing to do with it except we’ve been conveying information on the needs. God has been the provider.

“The good thing is that Iglesia Baptist Filadephia will be the ones passing out the water. We’re excited and praying that God will us that and strengthen that church’s ministry to bring people to the Lord and that the church would find itself in good favor in the city,” Dorman said.

Hurricane Alexbrought torrential rains to northeastern Mexico and the Rio Grande Valley along the Texas-Mexico border, causing thousands of people to evacuate to higher ground. Twelve people were reported dead in Nuevo Leon, Mexico and 130,000 were without drinking water, the Houston Chronicle reported.

One fatality included Jose Manuel Maldonado, mayor of Piedras Niegras, Mexico, who was touring the flooded areas in a small airplane near Eagle Pass, Texas when the plane crashed. Four others on board also died, according to news reports.

With the Rio Grande at its highest levels in decades, weather forecasters were calling for perhaps more rain. Flooding has forced two international bridges to close with water reportedly lapping the underside of the bridges. On July 7, Texas Gov. Rick Perry ordered National Guard troops and other state emergency personnel to the area to help.

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