marla bearden

NAMB SEND Relief Encouraging Texas Baptists Churches to Send Volunteers to Louisiana

The North American Mission Board “SEND Relief” is operating a Volunteer Housing/Reception Center in Gonzales, LA to assist families affected by the September flooding in the Southeast part of the state. Over 40,000 homes flooded leaving a path of destruction across 14 different Parishes (Counties).

Volunteers are needed to repair homes in the Greater Baton Rouge area.

“No Yellow Cap training is needed for this long term disaster recovery project,” said Cathy Miller of NAMB, who is coordinating this... [continue]

Deweyville church helps encourage similar congregation in Louisiana

On August 30, I had the privilege of spending the afternoon with Pastor John Fortenberry and his wife Sybil, of Calvary Baptist Church of Deweyville, along with three of their church members. The church building flooded in March 2016, along with the homes of many of their church members. Flood waters rose to the ceiling of their entire church.

Calvary Baptist collected $700 in Walmart gift cards to help church members and residents affected by flooding in Louisiana last month. John asked Henrietta Gentry, of Texas... [continue]

When disaster strikes: Five steps to ensure your church is prepared to minister to the community

2015 was a record year for disasters in Texas. Flooding and tornadoes damaged thousands of homes. Currently, there are 24 active Long Term Recovery groups meeting regularly to rebuild homes and lives of people affected by these disasters in Texas.

When communities are struck by disasters, a well-run leadership structure within that local government keeps citizens from being caught off guard and scrambling to react. The same is true of our churches and associations. Those who educate... [continue]

Donating in times of disaster: what to and what not to donate

Hearts are moved when disaster has strikes a community. Earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, fires and other types of disasters can suddenly change the lifestyle of a family, community or country. Churches and civic organizations desire to get involved. Below are the top five donations most often needed following any disaster:

  1. Financial donations are the best kind of donation to make, which is explained further below. Funds (cash donations to Texas Baptists Disaster Recovery) can be given online here.
  2. Gift cards to
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Texas Baptists Disaster Recovery Offers Church to Family Partnerships

Texas Baptists Disaster Recovery will launch a new initiative for churches in response to the recent onslaught of severe weather across the state. Through the new Church to Family Partnerships, the opportunity is available to partner with a family affected by flooding or tornadoes to help rebuild or repair their home.

In May, many homes were damaged and/or destroyed through tornadoes and flooding in the towns of Van (East, TX), and Donna (South, TX). In Van alone, over 60 homes were completely destroyed and declared... [continue]

Machseh Orphanage & Academy

Texas Baptists Disaster Recovery is partnering with the Haiti Orphanage Project which sponsors Machseh Orphanage and Academy in Pernier, Haiti. The academy currently has 60 children enrolled. The tuition is free as most children in the area would not be able to go to school if it were not for the academy. In addition to the academy there is an orphanage with 14 children. This is not an orphanage like we would think, where children can be adopted. It is a group home, where the children are cared for and have family nearby who visit them on a regular bases.

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Social Media Success

Last week Texas Baptists Disaster Recovery experienced an example of Social Media making a huge impact on people's lives, real time. Gerald Davis and I were in Eagle Pass, TX on a vision trip for our March 2015, Spring Break TBDR Mission Trip. We had seen several really great projects when Miguel Omana, of "Mission Border Hope, Eagle Pass" asks us to visit a special case that had been close to his heart.

He took us to the home of a 75 year old Grandmother named Guadeloupe, raising five grandchildren. This family was first discovered by Mission Border Hope living... [continue]

Texas Baptists responds to the ebola crisis in West Africa

Texas Baptists Disaster Recovery has been in communication with the Baptist World Aid Alliance, Liberia Baptist Missionary and Education Convention and the Virginia Baptist Convention regarding the Ebola crisis situation in West Africa. All of these organizations are working with ground personnel in the West African countries of Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea, who have reported that the situation is dire.

Due to the persistent fear of the spread of the disease, there has been a shutdown of schools, government offices, worship... [continue]

North American Baptist Fellowship Disaster Response Network meets in Louisiana

On August 26-27, the NABF Disaster Response Network met in Lake Charles, LA, the site of major responses to various hurricanes such as Katrina, Rita and others. Marla Bearden, Texas Baptists Disaster Recovery specialist represented the Texas Baptists. The group was joined by local Baptists from Louisiana for this semi-annual gathering. Additionally, the mayor of Lake Charles and a representative of the Louisiana VOAD (Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster) were present for part of the gathering.

Agenda... [continue]

For the Children

Our Texas borders are being flooded with unaccompanied children coming from Central America, with an estimated 47,000 coming across since October 2013. The majority of the children are from Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras. Find out how you can help...

Texas Baptists Disaster Recovery begins response to the Central-Southeast Tornadoes and Floods

This week, we have experienced multi-state and location tornados and storms resulting in various types damage. We have heard that these storms are compared to a large hurricane event. When an event is multi-faceted like this, we must wait, assess and seek the Lord's guidance on when and where to mobilize volunteers. It is times like this when good relationships with other disaster response organizations are so important.

Chris Liebrum, director of Church Ministry Resources, spent the day yesterday with... [continue]

We Care Haiti

Partnership with Texas Baptist Disaster Recovery and Texas Baptist Men

How did it Begin? James Cundiff, a McKinney businessman and volunteer with Texas Baptist Men, was among the first responders to the Haitian earthquake in January 2010.

"We began to pray that God would provide food," recalled Cundiff, "And God was faithful. At first it was a few meals, then a few hundred meals, then thousands, then tens of thousands of meals. I realized then that God had a much bigger plan here than I did." James Cundiff founded We Care Haiti the next day.

What's Happening Now? We Care... [continue]

Eagle Pass: Rebuilding Houses, Rebuilding Lives

What Happened? Eagle Pass is a South Texas city located on the Rio Grande border, linked via bridge to the Mexican city of Piedras Negras. In June, this community suffered a bought of extreme flooding. No deaths were reported, but many people had to be evacuated from their houses during the disaster. More than 300 homes were damaged or even destroyed, and two months after the disaster, this community is only beginning to recover.

What is Being Done?

The Del Rio-Uvalde Baptist Association (DRUBA) is partnering with local churches to... [continue]