Bob Kiger clearly remembers his first task as a member of the Southern Baptist Michigan Disaster Aid group. It was 2012 and simply earlier than Thanksgiving when he acquired The choice To assist in Ny Inside the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.
“Our feeding group went to Ny and we put out 15,000 meals a day,” said Kiger. “What an indoctrination.”
After An extaccomplished profession at Ford Motor Agency, Kiger retired 12 yrs in the past however needed to proceed his lively way of life and assist people Inside The tactic. He educated To Wind up to be a member of the Southern Baptist Michigan Disaster Aid group in 2009 and signed on to be An factor of its feeding group, which is Responsible for offering meals for volunteers As properly as to people left with out Electricity or houses after a pure disaster.
“As quickly as I started with this, I truly Did not Want a lot of obligation,” said Kiger. “I had been educated to be on the feeding group so I informed them To solely let me sit in a nook and open cans of inexperienced beans; that’s what I even Want to do.”
Kiger is now the State Director of Disaster Aid for the Southern Baptists. He organizes volunteers To assist people affected by numerous pure disasters collectively with flooding, twisters, wildfires, ice storms, and hurricanes. The groups work in Michigan, But in addition journey Throughout the nation wherever Help is required. Final week, they have been Understanding of Warren Woods Baptist Church, which is Kiger’s parish, serving to these affected by flooding.
The Southern Baptist Michigan Disaster Aid group has volunteers that assist with feeding people, offering entry to showers for volunteers, flood restoration and a “chainsaw unit” that assists reduce timber Inside the aftermath of a twister. In Michigan, It is the flood restoration group That is Most typically referred to as to movement.
“We did Shut to 500 houses over three months in 2014,” said Kiger. “Then we acquired here again The subsequent spring and stayed at Schofield Elementary School and did a rebuild at about 60 houses. If That they had drywall Inside the basement, we put it again up. We additionally do tile, paneling, and no matter Have to Get changed.”
Presently, the group Helps people in metro Detroit who have been affected by flooding over the previous two months. At this level, changing drywall and flooring, in some circumstances rebuilding partitions, power washing and spraying for mould prevention are the issues primarytaining the relief groups busy.
Most Southern Baptist Disaster Aid volunteers are retirees ,which typically makes the eradicating of damaged gadgets, slicing and eradicating drywall, sluggish going.Photograph courtesy of Bob Kiger
“Three weeks in the past we have been Engaged on houses in St. Clair Shores and Detroit,” said Kiger. “Right now I’m going To evaluate 5 houses and when the flood relief group comes again subsequent week we Shall be Engaged on houses in Eastlevele, Center Line, and Warren. We’re starting Shut to the church, then working our method into Wayne County.”
People who are most in need are The primary to acquire assist. Individuals with out insurance coverage, single mom and father, veterans, disabled people And completely different people with particular wants youngsters are given first precedence. You Do not have to be a Southern Baptist member So as to acquire assist.
“It Appears like we are getting a 100-yr flood Yearly,” said Kiger. “That Is Amongst The numerous factors we are Dealing with. In Detroit, Inside the Jefferson and Chalmers space, They’ve flooded 4 or 5 occasions Prior to now 10 yrs.”
Someoccasions, the Southern Baptist Michigan Disaster Aid group assists these with out insurance coverage as a Outcome of Extra typically than not, insurance coverage Pays a enterprise relief group To assist their consumers.
“We Try and assist these Who’ve not any completely different place,” said Kiger. “If we don’t do it, They are going to be dwelling in mould or sewage And people are Those we Try To assist.”
Bob Kiger is the State Director of Disaster Aid for the Southern Baptists in Michigan.Photograph Courtesy of Bob Kiger
And typically, Kiger says, God leads the group to somebody they Weren’t conscious even needed them. Whereas in Texas after Hurricane Harvey hit that state in 2017, Definitely one of many flood relief groups transposed quantitys in an tackle and accomplished up On The house Of somebody who had not requested for assistance.
“There was A woman there who didn’t converse any English,” said Kiger. “It was three days after the flood And she or he was simply sitting in her flooded house as a Outcome of she didn’t converse English And she or he didn’t know what to do.”
The Baptist Disaster Aid group that confirmed up at her house occurred to have a quantity of members who spoke her native language and have been In a place to assist her.
“What are The possibilities of that?” said Kiger. “It is not a coincidence. You understand what You are doing is what God has requested you to do.”
A lot of the 300 Michigan volunteers are retired individuals, however all by way of spring break, holidays And by way of the summer time many school college students are In a place to pitch in. All volunteers should bear a againground look at and should be a Southern Baptist. Volunteers Ought to have primary Medical insurance coverage, however Baptist Disaster Aid does current secondary insurance coverage when volunteers are lively. There is A necessity, Kiger says, for more youthful people as a Outcome of their power and power diploma Is important.
“They’re Full of power, so issues that our volunteers — Who’re principally retirees — can’t do, They will do simply,” said Kiger. “They will work all day, have dinner After which be out Inside the Parking lot throwing a Firsbee round As quickly as we are all In a place to go lay down. They Appear to be a blast to work with and It is so rewarding to see The biggest method forward for our group.”
Formally, The purpose of Southern Baptist Michigan Disaster Aid is To assist victims of pure disasters. But Kiger says The advantages for the volunteers are good.
“We Exit on these calls and We anticipate we are serving to The houseowner, We anticipate we are blessing them, however we On A daily basis Get back with a blessing,” said Kiger. “Each time I Get back modified And That is the half That is so rewarding.”
For more Particulars about Southern Baptist Michigan Disaster Aid, go to bscm.org or contact Kiger at [email protected]