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LifeWay, WMU commit to helping Houston-area churches recover

NASHVILLE (BP) — In response to the devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey to Houston-area churches, LifeWay Christian Resources and Woman’s Missionary Union (WMU) were among those this week offering support through the recovery process.

LifeWay announced Friday (Sept. 1) the organization is preparing to send Bibles and resources to the Houston area. And National Woman’s Missionary Union and the WMU Foundation have announced they will assist hurricane victims with a $5,000 HEART (Humanitarian Emergency Aid for Rebuilding Tomorrow) Fund grant.

LifeWay President and CEO Thom S. Rainer said the Southern Baptist entity is committed to serving churches affected by the storm and resulting flooding. Initially, he said, that means offering support and assistance to those on the ground now. “While we can’t begin to understand all that’s been lost, we are supporting the North American Mission Board and Southern Baptist Disaster Relief efforts in Texas,” he said.

“As churches begin to recover, we will provide resources and Bibles to impacted areas through our disaster assistance program.”

Southern Baptist pastors affected by the storm can receive replacement resources for their library, including a set of commentaries, study tools and access to numerous digital resources.

Churches can also apply for replacement of one quarter’s worth of LifeWay-published ongoing curriculum materials. In addition, specific discounts on pew Bibles and hymnals will be available for affected churches moving forward.

Impacted pastors and churches can email [email protected]. After collecting names and contact information, LifeWay will coordinate with the pastors to find the best way to provide them and their congregations with the needed resources.

The $5,000 HEART Fund grant will help WMU of Texas provide gift cards to those who have been impacted by the storm, according to National Woman’s Missionary Union and the WMU Foundation.

“There are thousands of people in Texas and surrounding areas who are hurting,” said David George, president of the WMU Foundation. “This grant will help storm victims with some of their immediate needs.”

Carolyn Porterfield, interim executive director of WMU of Texas, expressed appreciate for the grant. “We are so grateful that this grant will allow us to respond in Jesus’ name to the very real and urgent needs that are all around us right now,” she said.

National WMU and the WMU Foundation expect to make additional grants as relief efforts continue and rebuilding begins.

“Our prayer is this initial grant will provide some necessities for people who are hurting right now,” said Sandy Wisdom-Martin, executive director-treasurer of national WMU, an auxiliary of the Southern Baptist Convention. “We will continue to work with the WMU Foundation and WMU of Texas during clean-up and rebuilding, and we will pray for, support, and love our neighbors as they recover and rebuild.”

George noted, “It’s human nature to forget about the victims once the worst is over and it’s no longer on the news every day, but we will not forget.”

“In the days, weeks, and months ahead, we will continue to look for ways to help,” he said. “As the body of Christ, we will be there for our neighbors as they rebuild their homes and lives.”

The HEART Fund was created in response to the terrorist attack on Sept. 11, 2001. Since that time, the WMU Foundation has granted more than $473,000 from the HEART Fund to disaster victims in the United States and around the world.

For more information on how you can help can assist those impacted by Hurricane Harvey through the HEARTFund, go to wmufoundation.com or mail to WMU Foundation HEART Fund, 100 Missionary Ridge, Birmingham, AL, 35242.

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