State goal set at $1.05M
This fall, Oklahoma Baptists are encouraged to give to the Edna McMillan Oklahoma State Missions Offering. The theme for the offering, “We are Oklahoma missions,” is based on Eph. 5:30: “Since we are members of His Body.”
The week of prayer for Oklahoma Missions is Sept. 2-5, and the offering supports more than 20 vital ministries that have a direct impact on Oklahoma, including youth evangelism, hunger relief, associational camps, chaplaincy and church planting. The state goal is $1.05 million. The previous year’s goal of $1 million was met and exceeded by Oklahoma Baptists and friends.
“The Oklahoma State Missions Offering is vital to Gospel impact on our state,” said Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma (BGCO) Executive Director-Treasurer Anthony L. Jordan. “Your gift makes a difference.”
One of the key ministry areas funded, in part, by the Oklahoma State Missions Offering is disaster relief.
“This year has been an especially active time for BGCO Disaster Relief,” said Sam Porter, BGCO Disaster Relief Director. “Oklahoma volunteers have responded to disasters in other states, such as wildfires in Colorado and New Mexico, only to turn around and now help Oklahoma in its hour of need.”
“Because of your gifts to the state missions offering, supplies and equipment are provided to offer help to those who find themselves in times of crisis,” added Porter. “The offering also offers direct and immediate relief to churches and members of Southern Baptist churches who have encountered natural disasters. These funds are not provided by the Cooperative Program, but directly from gifts to the Disaster Relief funds and the state missions offering.”
Disaster Relief Training/orientation sessions are held several times a year across the state. Christian individuals who are active members of a local Southern Baptist church, in good physical condition and at least 18 years of age, may attend one of the sessions and join the Disaster Relief team.
In addition to ash clean up related to the Oklahoma wildfires, volunteers are needed in the following areas of service:
Preparing and serving hot meals is the backbone of Southern Baptist Disaster Relief ministry. With this in mind, every Oklahoma volunteer is trained to work on the feeding team. Specific training is provided in maintenance, warehouse, sanitation, cooking and line serving.
Team members go ahead of chain saw and mud-out teams to evaluate damage and inform follow-up teams on scope of each job, including equipment that will be needed.
The chain saw team removes damaged trees and other debris blocking doorways and/or driveways, trees leaning against homes and limbs broken through roofs or causing a hazard in yards. Experience in operating a chain saw is desirable, but not mandatory.
Members must be willing to attend training sessions in chain saw operation and safety and must be able to endure strenuous outdoor work.
Members must be in good physical condition and willing to work in unpleasant, dirty situations. Volunteers need to be conscious of health and safety hazards, taking necessary measures to keep themselves and others out of harm’s way.
Showers and Laundry
This team gives aid to relief workers and others who are in need by providing showers and laundry support in the disaster area. The trailers have private shower stalls and washing machines, dryers, storage and folding areas. Volunteers receive and assist those requesting their services, do laundry, sanitize showers, empty trash, replace needed supplies and keep the trailer area neat.
Child care volunteers provide a calm atmosphere and competent, loving care for children. Care is provided to give parents the opportunity to salvage remains of belongings, meet with helping agencies and insurance representatives and take care of other business.
This group provides clean water after a disaster has occurred. Portable water purification units are used to sanitize available water on location, making it safe for drinking, cooking, bathing and other uses.
Medical Reserve Corps
The MRC is made up of DR trained volunteers prepared to give medical aid to disaster victims. They have been approved by Homeland Security for this service. Some are licensed or certified in some field of medical care, but others serve as secondary personnel to make the team’s effort more efficient and to care for more victims.
Contact the BGCO to volunteer or donate toward disaster relief at 405/942-3800.
Directing all aspects of the State Missions Offering outreach is BGCO Women’s Missions & Ministries Specialist Kelly King.
“Your church can be part of the Edna McMillan Oklahoma State Missions Offering. Promotional materials are now available through the Women’s Missions and Ministries Office at no cost to your church,” she said.
Promotional packets, including a DVD with videos, have been mailed to each church. You may watch this year’s videos or order offering supplies online at www.bgco.org/smo. You may also call 405/942-3000, ext. 4335, to place your order.
For frequent updates, and information on Twitter, follow @OKStateMissions.