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Volunteers join relief efforts in Indonesia

FRESNO, Calif. (BP)–A six-member team of California Southern Baptist disaster relief volunteers has traveled to Indonesia to assist in food distribution and other ministries following the May 27 earthquake.

The team departed June 2 and was scheduled to arrive in the island nation June 4 to work with local churches in distributing food and possibly working with medical teams until mid-June, Don Hargis, California Southern Baptist Convention disaster relief coordinator, reported.

The CSBC team is the only Southern Baptist volunteer group from the United States to be deployed at this time. The potential need for additional volunteers is being assessed as relief efforts continue.

The California Baptist volunteers will be working in Yogyakarta on Indonesia’s central island of Java, where the death toll topped 6,000 and estimates of homeless survivors ranged into the hundreds of thousands. Soon after the temblor struck, Southern Baptist relief specialists joined other aid workers on the scene. They immediately began feeding 500 survivors while assessing needs and meeting with other relief groups.

Hargis said Baptists can support those going to relieve human suffering and provide spiritual hope through prayer and financial gifts.

He encourages Baptists to pray for the team during their deployment, adding it is important to pray for those to whom the team will minister. “Pray their hearts and minds will be open to the Gospel as our workers respond to physical needs,” he said.

Southern Baptists can help relief efforts in Indonesia by sending financial gifts designated “General Relief-Java Earthquake” to the International Mission Board, P.O. Box 6767, Richmond, VA 23230. Give online at http://resources.imb.org/index.cfm/fa/donation.worldhunger.cfm. All funds given will go to relief efforts; none will be used for administrative costs.

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