Baptist agencies offer several avenues to aid tsunami victims - Word&Way

Baptist agencies offer several avenues to aid tsunami victims

As groups from around the world continue to minister to survivors of the Dec. 26 South Asian tsunami disaster, Missouri Baptists have several avenues to help.

The death toll has risen to more than 150,000 since an earthquake triggered the giant wave that hit much of Southeast Asia.


Several Baptist agencies will forward or use monetary donations for the relief effort.

— International Mission Board: The Southern Baptist Convention's overseas mission organization will use funds initially to focus on coastal villages in Southern Thailand and Malaysia to provide food, water, medical supplies and other items to survivors in areas most relief agencies and local governments have not yet reached.

Individuals can donate by credit card by logging onto the IMB's Web site at, or by calling 1-800-999-3113 from 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. (EST) or 7:30 a.m.-4 p.m. (CST) Monday through Friday.

Donations also can be made by mail by sending checks to Asia Earthquake Disaster Relief, International Mission Board, P.O. Box 6767, Richmond, VA 23230.

— Baptist World Alliance: The day after the disaster, BWA began helping victims through Baptist World Aid, its relief and development arm.

Forms are available online at to donate funds by check or credit card. Groups and individuals can print out the forms, fill in the appropriate information and send them to Baptist World Aid, Dept. WWW, Baptist World Alliance, 405 N. Washington St., Falls Church, VA 22046.

Credit card donations also can be made by phone at 1-703-790-8980.

— Cooperative Baptist Fellowship: National CBF provides online donation by credit card at

Those who wish to donate by check should write "#17016 Asian Response" on the memo line and send it to Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, P.O. Box 101699, Atlanta, GA 30392.

According to the Web site, CBF will send relief funds through its missions staff and field personnel, working through partnerships with World Vision, Habitat for Humanity, Buckner Orphan Care International, Christian Churches of Thailand, Baptist World Aid, Baptist Medical Dental Fellowship and others.

— CBF Missouri: CBF Missouri will accept donations and forward them to the national body. Donations should be sent to Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of Missouri, 101 N. Clayview Dr., Suite C, Liberty, MO 64068.

— Baptist General Convention of Missouri: The BGCM will accept donations from churches, groups and individuals. Funds will be distributed through Baptist World Aid.

— Missouri Baptist Convention: Donations made through the MBC will be forwarded to the International Mission Board.


At least two Baptist agencies are calling for hands-on volunteers to assist with relief efforts.

— IMB: The International Mission Board needs trained disaster relief volunteers immediately. MBC disaster relief coordinator Gary Morrow said some Missouri Baptists already have contacted him about going. Morrow said he anticipates putting a team together but is uncertain how quickly it will leave. He said he is waiting on additional information from the IMB.

Trained Missouri Baptists who are interested in participating should contact Gwen Martin at the Baptist Building in Jefferson City at 573-636-0400 or 1-800-736-6227, ext. 631, or by e-mail at

The IMB Web site noted additional volunteers would be needed later. Interested individuals can keep track of needs by logging onto the "Volunteers in Missions" Web site at

— CBF: National CBF is looking for medical, dental and construction volunteers. People also are needed to assist with debris removal. Individuals and groups can contact CBF volunteer missions program manager Timothy Wood at 1-800-782-2451 or by e-mail at for more information.


All the agencies have asked Baptists to pray for victims, their families, relief efforts and for opportunities to share a verbal witness with those touched by the disaster.

CBF has called its affiliated churches to pray specifically on Sunday, Jan. 9, or to set aside a future Sunday for a special prayer emphasis. Worship helps, including litanies, are available on the Web site. (01-05-05)