Disaster Relief in 4 Vignettes – California Southern Baptist Convention

Disaster Relief in 4 Vignettes

Published Apr 18, 2023

Vignette 1 “Never Canned”

People may not know this, but one thing Disaster Relief feeding teams strive to do is provide food that people will really enjoy. We try never to use canned or frozen foods that are designed to simply be reheated. Effort is put into every meal to show how much we care about the people impacted by a disaster. The Rapid Response Kitchens (RRK) have helped tremendously with this effort. A couple of years ago, in Seaside, we were asked to prepare breakfast for about 150 people. Using the RRK, we were able to prepare 300 pancakes, scrambled eggs, and sausage. All cooked, and served within 90 minutes! During typical deployments, the feeding team does not always have direct contact with the people we are serving, but we enjoy hearing the stories of how happy they are to receive hot and fresh meals and to see that we really do care about them. – Jane Roome, DR Volunteer

Vignette 2 “CRASH-ing into Partnership”

CSBC Disaster Relief has strong partnerships in the state, the nation, and around the world.

Mike Bivins, Dr. Naomi Paget, and Gary Floyd, (director of Northwest Baptist Convention) traveled to Japan in February to meet with IMB missionaries, local pastors, and Send Relief Area director, Pat Melancon to build relationships and discuss avenues of partnership to prepare and respond to disasters in East Asia and in the event of another significant disaster in or near Japan.

One full day was dedicated to meeting with “CRASH Japan” (Christian Relief, Assistance, Support, and Hope), a non-profit Christian disaster relief organization based in Tokyo, officially recognized by the Japanese government. The mission of CRASH is to “bring hope through volunteer work to those who have suffered through disaster.”

CSBC Disaster Relief has agreed to assist CRASH in the areas of Clean-up and Recovery and Chaplaincy by offering training materials and consultations. CSBC DR volunteers, Richard and Mickie Lee from Fresno live part-time in Japan and have agreed to be in-country representatives for CSBC DR. – Mike Bivins, Director, Disaster Relief

Vignette 3 “The Hot Sauce Matters”

Occasionally CSBC feeding teams are invited to join teams from other states to work in kitchens feeding thousands of meals per day. These deployments are always eye-opening! We make efforts to provide foods that are common to the regions impacted by the disaster. On my first deployment, after Hurricane Katrina, nearly everything we made had two ingredients added: the trinity of Louisiana cuisine (a combination of onion, bell pepper, and celery), and Louisiana Hot Sauce! We knew if we added those two items to any meal, everyone would be happy!

A couple of years ago, back in Louisiana, we were preparing up to 12,000 meals per day! In nearly every meal, we incorporated some type of sausage, popular for that region. We served up everything from Italian sausages, Kielbasa sausage, Brats, -and, on our final day, sausage-on-a-stick, which we learned is a favorite at Louisiana county fairs! Our meals were delivered to a variety of locations and shelters. We even had people standing out on street medians handing food to truck drivers as they went by. Some of these drivers said they hadn’t had ‘home cooked’ food in many days. That kind of feedback is what gives the feeding teams the motivation to keep getting up early each day to serve people in need. – Jane Roome, DR Volunteer

Vignette 4 “Mr. Sandbag, Bring me Relief”

Good morning, Mike,

Once again, thank you for your support and prayers during our efforts to help the mountain communities of Crestline and surrounding areas. The generous gifts the Inland Empire Southern Baptist Association and the California Southern Baptist Disaster Relief gave to Northpark were matched by our church. We were able to come along Operation Mountain Strong (OMS) to help get much-needed food and supplies up the mountain. We were able to help OMS by opening our facility as a donation center for the community, and we had many volunteers help organize the donations received for delivery.

We purchased a truckload of canned goods from Costco, Stater Brothers, and Amazon. We also helped Meals-On-Wheels prepare and deliver huge bags of food because they were not able to get up the mountain. Not only did we send canned goods but also packages of hamburger meat, butter, milk, eggs, and bread, all of which were a welcome treat to many residents in the snowed-in communities. Many of the residents refused to leave their homes because they couldn’t find homes for their pets. So, we were able to deliver bags of cat and dog food and cat litter.

As the threat of unprecedented rainstorms was in the news, our church announced, through the Nextdoor community App, that we were filling sandbags and distributing them to homes around our neighborhood. We received a huge response and were able to help many of our neighbors. – Sal Martinez, Pastor Northpark Baptist Church, San Bernardino