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Commentary: Cooperative Program giving makes Disaster Relief possible

Georgia Baptist Disaster Relief workers remove soggy drywall from a home in eastern Kentucky on Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2022. (Photo/Georgia Baptist Disaster Relief)
Georgia Baptist Disaster Relief workers remove soggy drywall from a home in eastern Kentucky on Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2022. (Photo/Georgia Baptist Disaster Relief)
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The Georgia Baptist Mission Board has a mission. That mission is to support pastors, strengthen churches, and reach the lost with the Gospel.

There are many ways in which the board uses contributions to the Cooperative Program to further those goals. One of the most visible is the Georgia Baptist Disaster Relief program.

Georgia Baptist volunteers stand ready to deploy in the wake of natural disasters, to be the helping hand of Christ physically and spiritually in times of need.

Dwain Carter, the state Mission Board’s Disaster Relief director, says the ministry “allows Georgia Baptists to truly bring help, hope and healing to the hurting.” In addition to helping victims rebuild their homes and their lives, members of the Disaster Relief team look for ways to share eternal hope in the form of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ.

Since last year, Georgia Baptist Disaster Relief volunteers have led more than 50 people to Christ during deployments.

That would not have been possible without contributions to the Cooperative Program. The words, “We are better together,” are not just a slogan, they are truth.

Churches across Georgia routinely reach out to help in times of trouble. Many show the love of Christ by sending their own teams to disaster-stricken areas. Others make generous donations of food, water, clothing and other necessities in the wake of calamity.

But the ability of a single church to assist can be magnified by combining its gifts with those of others, allowing Georgia Baptists to have a much greater impact.

Not every church is able to send volunteers overseas, for example. But that is just what happened when a team of Georgia Baptist Disaster Relief members went to Poland earlier this year to assist Ukrainian refugees fleeing the war. Those volunteers don’t just represent the Georgia Baptist Mission Board. They represent the love of all contributing Georgia Baptist churches. Without the Cooperative Program, that could not have happened.

From international deployments to nearer missions in neighboring states and even within Georgia, disaster relief folks represent Georgia Baptists’ efforts to collaborate in the face of overwhelming needs.

At this moment, Georgia Baptists are in our state's northwestern region where heavy rain caused flash flooding that damaged homes and property.

“These volunteers are making a difference in the lives of disaster victims, all the while shining the light of Christ,” Carter said. “The Lord uses them in significant ways, and the door is open to anyone who would like to be a part of this important ministry. The first step is getting the necessary training.”

That training is provided by the ministry for those willing to learn the skills necessary to respond to future crises.

Through Cooperative Program donations, your state mission board can fund this and other programs that help people in the name of Christ. Programs that not only meet physical needs but also have an eternal Kingdom impact. Programs that couldn’t happen without your contributions.

That is a cause well worth giving to.

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