This disaster relief story would be a first for me, but unfortunately, it would not be the last. I joined the North American Mission Board expecting to write stories that focused mainly on church planting missionaries, but in 2017, I spent much of my time writing about Southern Baptist Disaster Relief and Send Relief’s disaster response efforts.
Honestly, I had never even written a hard and fast news story before––noon deadline, comments from people on the ground, and all while the rain from Hurricane Harvey was still falling on southeast Texas. It’s been encouraging to read and write stories of how Southern Baptists and others came together to serve Texans in the wake of the storm, but those good stories started here.
As of Monday morning, news outlets reported that Hurricane Harvey had already dropped 11 trillion gallons of rain over south Texas. More than 300,000 customers were without power. Officials have declared 62 counties disaster areas as the initial destruction caused by 132 mph wind gusts has been showered with unprecedented levels of rainfall.
In the immediate aftermath of the storm, Southern Baptist Disaster Relief (SBDR) expected some of the hardest-hit regions to be accessible only to search and rescue teams.