In my humble opinion, Disaster Relief for the year of 2020 will come as….2021! The whole year has seen numerous disasters….from wildfires and hurricanes and tornadoes; to Covid and canceled church services, camps, conferences; closed businesses, restaurants; zoom meeting after zoom meeting after zoom meeting……

But we do what Southern Baptist do and have done for decades: we meet the needs and rise to the challenge. This is my first year to be associated in an in-depth manner with Southern Baptist Disaster Relief (SBDR), serving as the interim Team Leader. I have been impressed and humbled by the manner in which SBDR responds, attends and communicates during the many crises that occur. At the time of this writing, SBDR has been a boots-on-the-ground ministry to those in need from hurricane to hurricane, wildfire to wildfire, flood to flood. I have heard first hand the stories of how the servant heart of the SBDR volunteers has been manifested through lives being fed and clothed; buildings, businesses, homes being cleaned; debris and waste being cleared in a coordinated manner….all leading to lives being changed, many changed for eternity! The opportunity to share the hope that we have within us to others, to be the comforter to others because we have been comforted has had eternal impact on numerous individuals as Christ is made known and shown.

Currently (again, as of this writing), Indiana Baptists are sending two chainsaw teams to respond to the crisis in Louisiana. White Hat Denny Smith, along with Blue Hat Regional Leaders Don Morris and Joe Fox are leading teams to help those in need. I stand in awe and respect to the men and women of Indiana and across the nation who so selflessly respond to use their time and talent to help improve the plight of complete strangers.

But that is who we are, right? We are Southern Baptists; we are brothers and sisters in Christ; we are better together and we are better because of Him, so we serve those who we can.

Jim Shields

Interim Team Leader, Indiana SBDR