Church partnerships available to assist Hurricane Matthew victimsby By Chad Austin, BSCNC Communications
Although months have passed since Hurricane Matthew left a path of devastation and destruction in its wake, many individuals and churches in eastern North Carolina still have significant needs.
N.C. Baptist Men (NCBM), also known as Baptists on Mission, is providing churches across the state a chance to lend a helping hand to those families and congregations impacted by the storm.
As part of its long-term relief and recovery efforts in eastern North Carolina, NCBM is coordinating church-to-family partnerships and church-to-church partnerships. The partnerships allow a congregation to be matched with a family or church to offer prayer, volunteers, construction or other assistance to those impacted by the storm.
The initiative is being called “Baptists CARE,” short for Churches Assisting Recovery Efforts.
NCMB and its team of volunteers plan to engage in relief and recovery efforts in the months and years ahead in eastern North Carolina, but the needs are so great that NCBM officials want to involve as many people as possible to help meet those needs and minister to others. The program is designed so that even a group with a church, such as a Sunday School class or small group, can participate.
“We’re aiming to help as many people as possible, and the only way to do that is to ask churches and church groups to partner with a specific family or church to meet as many needs as possible,” said Tom Beam, student mission mobilization consultant with NCMB. Beam is helping coordinate the efforts for church-to-family partnerships, alongside Paul Langston, NCBM’s missions mobilization consultant, who is coordinating church-to-church partnerships.
Baptists on Mission have been working with pastors, directors of missions and disaster relief coordinators to develop a list of needs from families and churches in affected areas. Churches that want to provide assistance will be matched with a family or church to work with directly.
Thanks to the generosity of N.C. Baptist churches, church members, businesses and others, NCBM will provide partner churches up to $2,000 to assist families rebuild their homes and up to $10,000 to assist affected churches. Partner churches will consult with the assigned family or church to decide what the partner church will be able to accomplish with the available funds and resources.
“The main goal of these partnerships is build a relationship between the partner church and the affected family or church,” Langston said. “Whatever your church can do will be greatly appreciated by the congregation.”
Beam and Langston said these partnership opportunities are a great way to show the love of Christ and share the gospel.
“Our hope is that people will come to know the Lord or develop a better relationship with Him through these partnerships,” Beam said.
For more information or to participate in a church-to-church or church-to-family partnership, contact the Baptists on Mission offices at (800) 395-5102 ext. 5596.