Disaster relief teams pull out of Albany, resting for next ministry opportunity

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The news camera crews have long gone, having moved on to other stories across the state. But for Cory Davenport, the memory of flipping over and over in his Adel mobile home the night of Feb. 22 is as fresh as the moment it began. Davenport clung to his mattress and rode it as his mobile home flipped several times and was reduced to rubble. Shown with his mattress and mobile home in the background, he emerged with only seven stitches. He was ministered to by Disaster Relief chaplains on the scene. BOB SPRINKLE/Special

ALBANY — Georgia Baptist Disaster Relief teams have pulled out of Albany and are enjoying a break from violent early Spring weather before the state enters its traditional tornado season.

The stormy season usually runs from March through April but January brought an unusually early start to tornados rampaging across the southern parts of the state. State Missionary and Disaster Relief Coordinator Stuart Lang said no teams are on the field, with the final units returning from Albany in late January.

“We completed about 200 jobs in Albany after the last round of storms that rolled through on Jan. 22. Our teams placed a lot of tarps on roofs and removed downed trees and limbs throughout the area,” he noted.

“That was a pretty typical response for a tornado cleanup. I’m not saying every downed tree was removed or yard was cleaned up, but we left the area in far better shape than when we arrived. We never get a 100 percent return to normal.”

Teams were based out of Lakeside Baptist Church, which provided both feeding and lodging for the volunteers. The church was extremely accommodating, Lang added, noting that it insisted on providing all meals and insisted that feeding units not be dispatched for the teams.

“We had a good response to the Albany storms and there was a Disaster Relief presence within 48 hours of when the storm hit,” he stated.

Adel, unlike Albany, only saw chaplains dispatched. Chainsaw crews were not requested by local authorities due to the damage being cleaned up by local sources. Feeding was also provided by an outpouring of resources from grocery stores and a mobile feeding unit from Outback Steakhouse from the Florida Panhandle.

Albany saw seven Georgia Disaster Relief teams ministering onsite with assistance from two others from out of state – Alabama and Florida.

Georgia Baptists who are interested in learning more about serving through future disasters can attend three upcoming clinics.

  • An entry level cleanup and recovery workshop will be held on March 11 at Laurens Baptist Association office in Dublin. Registration deadline is March 3. Visit here to register.
  • A chainsaw school will be held April 7-8 at Southland Complex in Sylvester.
  • A Phase 1 overview, an entry level into Disaster Relief ministry, will be held April 21-22 in Brunswick.

For more information on these and other workshops visit Georgia Baptist Disaster Relief.

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