Monday, April 05, 2010

Hurricane season can put churches on the front lines of ministry

I recently attended meeting last week with the Baptist Children and Family Services (BCFS) Medical Sheltering Operations Coordinator, Jon Bodie. Also at the meeting were Methodist, Presbyterian, non-denominational and Baptist churches who had agreed to use their gyms and fellowship halls to house hurricane evacuees who need special care.

BCFS is the principal medical needs shelter provider for the state of Texas, serving more than 1,700 evacuees in Katrina and Rita, and sheltering more than 2,800 evacuees during 2008 from Hurricane Ike, Dolly and Gustav.

Some hurricane evacuees are medically frail and cannot be adequately managed in a general population shelter. These individuals have breathing devices, walkers or need regular medication but are not sick enough for hospitalization. They are sent to specially prepared shelters provided by churches throughout San Antonio. The churches provide space and volunteers and BCFS provides medical staff, food, laundry, garbage removal, security and all other needs.

BCFS also provides training for general volunteers and shelter managers. Churches are needed to be shelter sites and provide volunteers. Even churches that cannot provide a site can provide volunteers to serve at other sites.

When disaster strikes everyone wants to be on the frontlines of ministry but the unprepared are left on the sidelines. Plan now to be a vital part of this ministry response. Contact Jon Bodie: JBodie(at)

“Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning…” Luke 12:35 (NIV)

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