Baptist World Aid (BWAid), the relief and development arm of the Baptist World Alliance, is appealing for funds to assist in flood relief efforts in Europe.
BWAid has already sent $5,000 to Russian Baptists and $5,000 to Hungarian Baptist Aid. BWAid is receiving other requests for funds, so a European Flood Relief appeal is being launched.
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Floods throughout many parts of central <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags” />Europe have caused much devastation and suffering. A number of Baptist churches and their members’ homes have been flooded in both the CzechRepublic and Germany. Parts of Romania, Hungary, Slovakia and Russia have been badly affected as well.
The International Baptist Theological Seminary in Prague was not affected, and its staff assisted in the rescue work.
The European Baptist Press Service summarized the situation:
- Approximately 100 people may have died as a result of the floods in Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Romania, Hungary and Russia over the past week.
- Russia leads the death count with 59 reported. Many of these were vacationers on the Black Sea coast who were caught off-guard by the torrential floods.
- Damage estimates are expected to surpass €20 billion for all affected areas, with Germany expected to be the highest at between €12 and € 15 billion.
- Three Baptist churches in Germany have been flooded: Eilenburg, Pirna and Doblen.
“We want to help our brothers and sisters who have been struck by this disaster,” said Siegfried Grossman, president of the German Baptist Union. “We don’t want to leave them alone.”
Many Baptist churches are helping the local community by working with those who have lost all of their property.
Baptist congregations in all countries worked to provide clothing, food, shelter and other support for those affected by the floodwaters. Baptist young people at a camp in Russia assisted in the rescue operations, and Hungarian Baptist Aid assisted in four locations in Hungary.
Jan Titera, general secretary of the Czech Baptist Union, reported: “We are coordinating nationwide efforts on behalf of the Czech Baptist Union to help send relief to Prague and South Bohemia. We are crying with the homeless, praying for them and intent on working to help them. We are opening some Baptist Churches to take refugees, and coordinating a national collection to send to the worst affected areas.”
For further information on Baptist World Aid, and on making a donation, check out www.bwanet.org/bwaid.