Missouri Baptist relief efforts hampered
February 22, 2005
JEFFERSON CITY – Missouri Baptists have donated approximately $60,000 through the Southern Baptist Convention’s International Mission Board (IMB) to relief efforts in tsunami-battered southeast Asia and untold numbers have called the Missouri Baptist Convention’s men’s missions office to volunteer to go to the region to assist in relief efforts.
“Right now we’ve got two mission relief teams ready to go, but we are in a holding pattern for more than a month because countries are not letting anyone in other than medical personnel and engineers,” said Danny Decker, MBC men’s missions and ministry specialist. “Most of these countries are Islamic and if there is any hint of anyone being faith-based they don’t want them.”
Decker said 100 percent of the money sent through the IMB goes directly to relief efforts, as opposed to giving through an organization like the Red Cross which must keep some of the money to cover its administrative costs.
“My gut feeling is we won’t get to go unless something dramatically changes,” Decker said. “We’ve heard reports of food sitting on docks waiting to be delivered, but the governments won’t allow them to be distributed because they intend to sell the goods on the black market. Transportation is a problem, too and even the countries that are not Islamic have groups that make it very dangerous for faith-based people to get into their country to help.
We’ve had a lot of people call in and volunteer to go, but we couldn’t get them in the country,” he said.
To contribute to the relief efforts Missouri Baptists may visit www.imb.org and click on “Give Now” to give using a MasterCard or Visa credit card. Anyone may also give by phone by calling 1-800-999-3113 between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m., eastern time Monday through Friday to give using a MasterCard or Visa credit card. Contributors are asked to have their credit card handy. People may also give via mail by sending checks to: Asia Earthquake Disaster Relief, International Mission Board, P.O. Box 6767, Richmond, Va. 23230.