Coffee Creek Association helped to organize a mission trip to Bremen, KY, to assist survivors of the December 2021 tornados in that area. Twenty-four volunteers from ABC-IN/KY, including several from ABC of Greater Indianapolis (our Sister Region) took part in providing disaster relief as directed by Allen Miller, Disaster Relief Coordinator and Mayor of Bremen. Kindly hosted by Second Baptist Church of Greenville (KY), and working alongside volunteers from ABC of West Virginia, trip participants did such tasks as picking up trash and tornado debris, back filling dirt, helping to plumb a new house, tearing out drywall, cabinets, flooring, etc. They even helped to relocate a distribution warehouse to another building, no small feat!

The group was able to provide direct (financial) assistance to a survivor family with verifiably extreme needs, made gifts to the area’s disaster relief fund, and supported a few other specific projects, assisting additional individuals/families, businesses and organizations. For example, they helped purchase some much-needed shelving units for the relocated warehouse.

The mission trip was financed by donations from AB Men, ABC churches and individuals from across Indiana, including some of the trip participants themselves. (For example, several who drove from Indiana to Kentucky– transporting other volunteers and supplies in nine vehicles– turned down the offer to be reimbursed for gas.) One of the key “tools” of the trip was the trailer belonging to American Baptist Men of IN/KY. –A special thank you goes to all churches and individuals who contributed money and goods for this life-changing mission outreach!

The group listened to the personal stories of those they were there to help and prayed with them. Each night, the volunteers were led in vespers and a meaningful time of sharing and debriefing by Pastor Bruce Bridgewater of Bethel BC of Leota (Scottsburg, IN). Brenda Darmelio, pastor of Church of the Master in Indianapolis, organized crafts and other activities for the teen volunteers. In other words, this experience was about people working together on all levels to make the lives of others better– and in the name of Christ!

Special gratitude goes to Patty Short, American Baptist woman of the Coffee Creek Association and coordinator of the trip, along with the members of her registration and planning team, and those who participated as volunteers.

If your church would like to hear more about this mission experience by scheduling a presentation at your church, please email Patty HERE.

We intend to make additional trips to Western KY, with the next being this fall (as mentioned in header above). These ongoing mission efforts will be financed in part by funds received not only through direct ABC-IN/KY church and individual gifts, but also through support received from the American Baptist Home Mission Societies and One Great Hour of Sharing. Look for details to be announced through the e-newsletter and other communication avenues in the near future!

You might also find this document helpful for how to assist Eastern KY Flood Survivors… Click HERE!