When disaster strikes, Oklahoma Baptist Disaster Relief (DR) will be there “to bring help, hope and healing to our neighbors and friends,” according to Jason Yarbrough, Oklahoma Baptist DR state director.

The late spring tornadoes that devastated areas of the state have created significant needs and a large amount of requests for DR assistance.

DR ministry includes command center work, damage assessors, chaplains, meal preparation and feeding, as well as chainsaw and debris removal. In the aftermath of the tornadoes, Oklahoma Baptist DR team members have been busy meeting needs and sharing the love of Jesus.

The late April tornadoes led to various parts of Oklahoma were in need of assistance. In Sulphur and Ardmore, volunteers have already helped 70 work requests. In Morris, DR volunteers completed 90 work requests. On average, there have been approximately 170 DR volunteers working each day for these affected areas. To date, there have been three professions of faith.

The May tornadoes led to a response in Barnsdall and Bartlesville, where approximately 100 are volunteers serving each day, with operation based out of the Bartlesville, First Family Life Center and the Washington-Osage Disaster Relief Barn on the church property.

To date, Oklahoma Baptist DR has received 150 plus requests for assistance. The DR mass feeding team prepared approx. 4,000 meals for the Barnsdall and Bartlesville communities last week. They will continue this week to prepare 400 meals a day for the Barnsdall community. To date, there has been one profession of faith in these communities, directly connected to Oklahoma Baptist DR.

Yarbrough shared the following story of ministry impact. “Our feeding volunteers do not often have much of an opportunity to interact with the public as their work is behind the scenes preparing the food that is served by other agencies,” he said. “This current response in Bartlesville/Barnsdall allowed us the opportunity to set up one of our Quick Response Units in a parking lot in an area of Bartlesville impacted by the storms. Several of our feeding volunteers were able to interact with homeowners as they came to our QRU to receive a free meal. The smiles on their faces and the reports of the conversations they were able to have with residents made my heart happy that we were asked and were able to provide this service to the community. For four days our feeding volunteers made 40-60 ministry contacts each day, had many gospel conversations and were able to see one person pray to receive Christ as their Savior and Lord!!!

Yarbrough thanked people for their prayer and financial support.

“Thank you, Oklahoma Baptists, for your prayers and financial support of the disaster relief ministry. Your support allows us to say ‘yes’ when asked by city leadership to provide meals to residents. It is through meeting the physical need that the door is open for spiritual needs to be met,” he said.

For more information, or to make a tax-deductible donation to Oklahoma Baptist DR, visit www.okdisasterhelp.org.