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WMU provides help, hope amid Jackson water crisis

Cindy Townsend, minister to WMU/Women’s Enrichment Ministries at First Baptist Church in Jackson, Miss., stands with pallets of bottled water provided through WMU’s Pure Water, Pure Love ministry. Photo from WMU

BIRMINGHAM (BP) — Woman’s Missionary Union is responding with help and the hope of the Gospel in the midst of a water emergency that has built for years before exploding into a crisis this summer after flooding and failing water systems.

Through its Pure Water, Pure Love ministry, the WMU endowment committee has approved emergency grants to provide three tractor-trailer loads of bottled water. In addition, the WMU Foundation executive committee approved a grant of $25,000 from the HEART Fund to help First Baptist Church of Jackson in providing meals to seniors, food distribution and other crisis response efforts.

“We are so grateful to national WMU and the WMU Foundation for responding so quickly to join with First Baptist Jackson by providing semi-trucks of water and monetary gifts for our ministry partners to purchase food and more water to effectively minister in the city,” said Chip Stevens, senior pastor of First Baptist Church of Jackson. “You have helped us be the hands and feet of Jesus to our neighbors and community.”

Tammy Anderson, executive director-treasurer of Mississippi Women’s Ministries/WMU, applied for the WMU HEART Fund grant on behalf of her state.

“We don’t want to miss the moment of great need because it is a sacred opportunity to share the love of Christ,” Anderson said. “People are receptive in the moment of their need and they are open to hearing about Christ then.” 

Mississippi WMU is working to support additional Disaster Relief efforts of their state convention.

Cindy Townsend, minister of WMU/Women’s Enrichment Ministries at First Baptist Church, and Linda Scafidel, church WMU president, said they “continue to be amazed as the WMU family comes together to glorify the Lord in times of celebration and crisis. We are so glad to be a member of a family of Christ Followers who are always ready to meet needs of all of God’s children, in Jerusalem, Judea and the uttermost parts of the world.”

WMU and the WMU Foundation established the HEART (Humanitarian Emergency Aid for Rebuilding Tomorrow) Fund in response to the events of Sept. 11, 2001. Grants from the HEART Fund allow Southern Baptists to provide direct relief and rebuilding assistance to disaster victims in the United States and around the world.

WMU’s Pure Water, Pure Love provides water filters to missionaries, grants for wells and water projects to provide clean water to those they serve, and water filters and supplies to mission teams.

“It is so beautiful to see what God does when local churches, associations, state conventions and national SBC partners work together to bring help and hope to those who are hurting,” said Sandy Wisdom-Martin, executive director-treasurer of national WMU. “We are at our best as Southern Baptists when we multiply our efforts cooperatively. The breadth and depth of the impact for the kingdom is magnified for His glory.”

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