By LBC Communications Staff
ALEXANDRIA, La. (LBC Comm) — A popular insurance jingle begins with “like a good neighbor …”
According to John Hebert, Director of Missions and Ministries for Louisiana Baptists, gifts through the Georgia Barnette State Missions Offering enable Louisiana Baptists to be good neighbors to people across the state, especially in times of disaster.
“The lady behind the yellow disaster relief shirts is Georgia Barnette,” Hebert explained. “Our state missions offering supports disaster relief training and relief efforts throughout the year.”
Likewise, Steve Horn, Executive Director for Louisiana Baptists, noted that Louisiana Baptists were ready for Hurricane Laura before she made landfall in southwest Louisiana.
“Every fall, Louisiana Baptist churches collect an offering designated for missions and ministries in Louisiana. These gifts provide the foundation of our relief efforts so when a storm such as Laura hits, we can immediately respond.”
In 2019, Louisiana Baptists not only responded to need within the borders of the state, but also in Cape Cod and the Bahamas.
“Hurricane Dorian decimated the Bahamas last year. Thanks to volunteers and assistance from the Georgia Barnette Offering, we’re helping rebuild St. Matthews Baptist Church at Pelican Point on East Bahama Island,” Hebert said.
Disaster Relief readiness begins each spring prior to the beginning of hurricane season with regional training events. Volunteers are trained in various tasks such as chainsaw operations/tree removal, mud out procedures, food preparation and feeding. There is even chaplaincy training.
“During disasters such as Hurricane Laura, people are looking for hope. Their world has been destroyed in many cases. Our Disaster Relief chaplains provide spiritual counseling and prayer and give them Bibles and tracts to encourage their spiritual development,” Hebert continued. “This would not be possible without the help of the Georgia Barnette Offering,”
Louisiana Baptists regularly partner with other organizations such as the North American Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention, The Red Cross and the United Way in meeting the challenge of natural disasters. This year’s partnership included responding to a pandemic.
“During the COVID quarantine in the spring, we partnered with the United Way of Lake Charles to prepare and serve more than 50,000 meals,” said Hebert.
The dawn of a new decade has brought many surprises, but Horn believes with the prayers and generosity of Louisiana Baptists through the Georgia Barnette State Missions Offering, God’s people will be ready to respond.
“I don’t think anyone wants a repeat of 2020 next year. But no matter what occurs, Louisiana Baptists will be ready as a direct result of gifts received this fall.”
For more information regarding the scope of the Georgia Barnette State Mission Offering or to donate, visit GeorgiaBarnette.org.