Home Christian News Cooperative Program Helps Fuel Disaster Relief Ministry

Cooperative Program Helps Fuel Disaster Relief Ministry

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Flooding and wind damage in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian. PCHS-NJROTC, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

NASHVILLE (BP) – As Southern Baptists across the country prepare and mobilize to provide relief to hurricane victims on the East Coast, the importance of the Cooperative Program is seen in action.

As the unified missions offering of Southern Baptists, the Cooperative Program directly supports SBC ministries like seminary education, church planting, international missions and disaster relief, including recent efforts related to Hurricane Ian.

Coy Webb, crisis response director for Send Relief, said CP is essential to their work.

“The Cooperative Program is part of the lifeblood of disaster relief and our work in crisis response through Send Relief,” Webb said.

“We’re not only able to bring practical help in times of disaster, but the hope of Christ to people who are hurting and devastated after crisis events. We recognize that every person’s greatest need is not even food – it’s their lostness and that they need Jesus Christ.

“As we’re giving that cup of cold water in Jesus’ name, we’re also sharing how they might know the hope of Christ that can change their lives eternally.”

Send Relief is a joint effort of the International Mission Board and the North American Mission Board and is equipped to respond to disasters across the U.S. and around the world because of CP support.

At least one decision for Christ is made for every six or seven contacts made by disaster relief workers, Webb said, adding: “That wouldn’t be possible if it wasn’t for those people in the pews giving to the Cooperative Program.”

Webb said this DR work that is enabled by the Cooperative Program should not be understood only on the national level, but at the state level and personal level as well.

CP supplies funding for DR programs in every state convention, which then in turn train and send our volunteer teams.

Shawn Ames is a regional strategist for the SBC of Virginia and has been serving as the state’s DR coordinator since 2021.

His role is not only to help mobilize DR volunteers in Virginia, but also to work with other state leaders to synchronize relief.

“The coolest thing that I have learned about Disaster Relief is the coordination between the state leaders,” Ames said. “… I think that’s one of the greatest strengths of Southern Baptist Disaster Relief.”