Oklahomans know that springtime, though a welcome reprieve from the cold, dark winter months, is the season for active weather patterns, namely tornadoes. Preparedness is key, so people clear spiders and bugs from storm shelters and stock up on bottled water, batteries and snacks. Weather radios are checked, and disaster plans are created. Those are things everyday people do to prepare and to help themselves before disaster strikes.

But what about after the disaster? Who helps those who have been impacted by the devastating effects of tornadoes, hurricanes, ice storms, fire or flood? Enter trained and experienced Oklahoma Baptist Disaster Relief volunteers who stand always ready to help clear debris and mud, provide a place to wash clothes and take a shower, offer hot meals and help to rebuild. Compassionate chaplains offer spiritual care, meeting people at their point of greatest need.

Because individuals and churches give through the Cooperative Program, disaster relief volunteers are trained to assess areas of greatest need and how to administer first aid and CPR. They learn best practices for setting up emergency services and feeding hundreds of people. Certification classes for operating equipment such as skid steers and forklifts are made available.

The work of Oklahoma Disaster Relief volunteers is not limited to Oklahoma. Workers travel wherever they are needed, such as to Dayton Beach, Fla., after Hurricane Ian moved through and to Kentucky to help flood victims. Disaster relief volunteers go wherever people need to know and experience the love of God. What better way than through the caring actions of His followers?

Please pray that as disaster relief volunteers go from Oklahoma to wherever they are needed across the country and around the world, they would be safe, and their ministry would be effective. Pray those impacted by disasters would have hearts that are soft toward Jesus and His Gospel of salvation.

To learn more about how to volunteer, receive training or credentialing, donate or ask for help, click okdisasterhelp.org.

Because of the generous giving of Oklahoma Baptists through the Cooperative Program, an amazing array of ministries are supported. This unified giving encourages fellowship with other believers all over the world. Collectively, Oklahoma Baptists are advancing the Gospel together.

Oklahoma Baptist Disaster Relief is featured in the 2023 Missionary Prayer Guide for Oklahoma Baptists. For more information about the Cooperative Program, visit oklahomabaptists.org/cp.