When the waters rose, compassion rose, too

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A trio of Cooperative Baptist Fellowship organizations are teaming up to help four churches whose properties received damage in flash floods late last month. 

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Parts of the Rio Grande Valley of Texas flooded June 24, when 15 inches of rain fell in four hours. Several churches that collaborate with Jorge Zapata, associate coordinator of CBF Texas and director of Fellowship Southwest’s Immigrant Relief Ministry, sustained damage in the deluge, Zapata reported. The congregations do not have flood insurance.

CBF Disaster Response allocated $10,000 to support the churches, and CBF Texas added $1,000. Fellowship Southwest hopes to raise $25,000, which would cover the churches’ damage and restore CBF Disaster Response’s emergency fund.

  • Iglesia Bautista Avondale in Harlingen (sanctuary pictured above) received the most damage, Zapata said, estimating supplies to replace sheetrock and paint and replace carpet with tile would cost $6,500.

  • Iglesia Bautista Emanuel in Harlingen sustained damage to the roofs of both its church building and parsonage, also causing internal damage in both buildings, he reported.

  • Two other congregations also received similar damage and need support, he said. They are Iglesia Bautista Getsemane in Elsa and Iglesia Bautista Sublime Gracia in Progreso.

The storm also damaged First Baptist Church in Donna, but it has insurance and does not need outside support, he added. 

In addition to financial support, Zapata is recruiting volunteer teams to help make the repairs. “These are small churches. Their members are willing to work on their own buildings, but they need our help,” he said. 

After the flood, a group from FBC Murfreesboro, Tenn., came to Harlingen on a mission trip and worked at IB Avondale. They removed all the carpet and other water damaged furniture and supplies. 

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To donate to this effort, click here.

If you or your church would like to travel to the Valley to help with repairs, contact Jorge Zapata. 

Jay Pritchard