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Gulf Coast & Southeast United States
By Bob Larson
At the end of August 2017, Hurricane
Harvey hit the United States Gulf Coast area
with a vengeance. The damage was extensive,
and catastrophic flooding in the Houston area
created an enormous restoration project across
a large area.

Just days later, Hurricane Irma battered Florida.

Though the damage in Florida was less than
expected, there was flooding and extensive
wind damage, especially in the Florida Keys.

During these storms, Baptist International
Missions, Inc. (BIMI), was contacted by
churches and individuals and asked to
implement a Disaster Relief Fund to help the
people and independent Baptist ministries
in the areas of the storms. Initial disaster
relief funding was sent to independent
Baptist churches that were directly involved
in providing immediate help and assistance
to the people of the storm hit regions. Next,
donations were used to clean, rebuild, and
repair independent Baptist church buildings
and ministries.

As we talked with pastors in the storm hit
regions, they were concerned about their
facilities and how their buildings could be
restored, and they were also concerned about
the rebuilding of their congregations. When
people return to their homes after storms of
this magnitude, some find nothing to come
back to. Almost everything has been destroyed.

At that point people will pack up what little is
left and move away. Others return, having gone
through several storms, and decide it is best to
move to a place where hurricanes are not as
frequent or nonexistent.

At BIMI and Reseeding America, plans are
now being made to go back into some of
the storm hit areas of Texas and Florida and
organize Gospel literature distributions for
churches that have experienced changes in
their congregations because of people moving
out due to the storms. If your church is in one
of the areas where the Hurricanes of 2017
occurred and you are interested in an outreach
to build back your congregation, please contact
me at BIMI.

We rejoice in the generosity of churches and
individuals who sent contributions so people
in the storm hit areas could receive immediate
assistance and repairs could be made to
churches. Many of the churches and pastors
we were able to assist wanted to make sure we
thanked those who sacrificed and gave to help
them in a great time of need. W
Number 1, 2018