Oklahomans helping war-torn Georgia

Sunday, September 7th 2008, 11:06 pm
By: News 9

By Jennifer Pierce, NEWS 9

OKLAHOMA CITY - President Bush has sent $1 billion in aid to help Georgia recover from the Russian invasion and a group of Oklahomans is sending their own disaster assistance.

The Southern Baptist Disaster Relief team is sending 10 volunteers overseas to help in war-torn Georgia.

After some words of encouragement and a quick prayer, this team of Southern Baptist volunteers is ready for two weeks of mass feedings and rebuilding.

"About 20,000 people are homeless or have no place to stay, as well as minor home repair, especially for widows and elderly people that have no one else to help," volunteer Themsam Porter said.

They are responding to a request made from the Georgian government. The seasoned volunteers are heading to Gori, a city torn apart by violence.

"We have missionaries on the ground that have actually coordinated this effort and say it's safe to go in," said Sam Porter, part of the Southern Baptist Disaster Relief team.

For their safety, they were advised to not wear their logoed shirts on the trip.

"But we're still going to bring the same holy spirit and love to ‘em," volunteer Norman Wagoner said.

That's why safety is not a worry for Jerry Benson.

"I think the safest place to be is where God wants us to be," Benson said.

Benson is leaving behind a law practice to help those in a different kind of need. He specializes in disaster clean-up, but his goal for this trip is to touch lives.

"Just to make people feel like God loves them and cares for them and that God does send people like this to help them," Benson said. "That's what I hope to see when I'm there."