MNA Disaster Response TAG Region Newsletter
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Taming of the Swamp: The photo on the left shows how the swamp was against the building when we first started. As we brought in load after load of gravel, we were able to fill in the swampy area next to the building. The photo on the right shows David Lanier moving large gravel to fill in the swamp.

Dominion Over the Earth

"thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you"

Genesis 3:18

In Genesis 1, God gave mankind dominion over the earth. But the fall made thorns and thistles spring forth, turning the garden from a delight to a chore.

If you have ever visited the MNA Disaster Response Warehouse in Rome, Georgia and peeked around to the north end of the building, you have likely seen what we somewhat affectionately refer to as "the swamp". Although a river runs through it, rest assured, it is no garden of Eden.

When we first purchased the building, the swamp consumed the strip of property between the warehouse and the garden center section of the hardware store. The runoff from the irrigation of plants resulted in a strip of land that was waterlogged and laden with cattails, weeds, and critters.

Over the past few years we have embarked on a mission to (as they say in Washington DC, but never actually do) drain the swamp. We started by placing load upon load of gravel in the area closest to the building, building a base upon which we could drive a mini skid steer loader, and then topping it with crusher run. This significantly lessened the width of the swamp and diverted the water away from the building. Our next task will be to remove the vegetation from the ditch, lay down landscaping fabric to impede growth, and top with rip rap, giving us what we hope will be a clean drainage ditch without the vegetation and mosquitoes.

We have a team coming in late August to continue this project and hope to have it completed by the end of this year. If this project sounds like one you'd like to tackle, let Mike Kennamer know, as he is scheduling teams and workdays to complete this project.

July Work Day - While I neglected to get photos of our July 17 work day, we had a good turnout and got a great deal done. The only photo I took was of our work list at the end of the day. As you can see, much was accomplished. Thanks to volunteers from Seven Hills Fellowship (Rome, GA), Grace Community PCA (Trenton, GA), First Presbyterian Church (Crossville, TN), and North Shore Fellowship (Chattanooga, TN). In addition, our lawn care team found a break in the rain and made the grounds look great! Thanks to all who attended!

Quick Notes

  • Cleaning Rain Gutters  - We are looking for a team of 3-4 people who would be willing to visit the warehouse about twice a year to clean out the gutters. If interested, contact Mike Kennamer.
  • Future Work Days - Mark your calendars for upcoming work days at the warehouse:
    • August 14
    • September 11
    • October 9
  • Skid Steer Loader Training - The July skid steer loader training is full, but let Mike Kennamer know if you'd like to take a class. We hope to schedule another class soon.
  • Financial Update - During the first six months of 2021 we had received about $2,000 less than we received during the same time period in 2020. And, due to two tornado responses this spring, we have had about $2,000 more in expenses than we had last year during the same time period.
  • Training Calendar - Now is the time to get on our calendar for training and church visits this fall and winter. We love to visit churches to share about the ministry. Please contact Mike Kennamer to schedule a visit.

Ways to Serve
by Mike Kennamer

The most popular training session I do is entitled, "16 Ways to Get Involved in Disaster Response Ministry". Last month we discussed connecting with the ministry. This month, we will discuss how to develop a disaster response plan for your family and church.

Develop a Disaster Response Plan

My family and I started volunteering with MNA Disaster Response after Hurricane Katrina ravaged the Gulf Coast in 2005. We returned to the Gulf Coast to continue ministering to the people there and went other places, including tornado responses in Alabama and a flood response in Iowa. We felt that we had become pretty good at responding to disasters.

But on April 27, 2011 things changed. That was the day that the storms came to our neighborhood. One might think that having experienced the previous disasters we would have been well prepared to manage a disaster in our own neighborhood. But we weren't. Being the "home team" is different than being the visiting team.

While my background as a paramedic provided some measure of preparation for disaster, we really had not considered our plan for when a disaster would strike home. Having previously lived in a town where the power went out whenever the wind blew, we were somewhat prepared by having enough food to eat. However, we didn't have a real plan for how to assure that our family had everything we needed to make it through the disaster or to systematically reach out to our neighbors and church members during this time.

That's why one of the courses I teach is entitled, "How to Prepare Your Family and Your Church for Disaster". In it, we talk about how to prepare for disaster and then what to do when a disaster strikes. What items do you need to have readily available? What phone numbers do you need? Where will your family meet and who will your out-of-town contact be? These are good items to include in your preparation for disaster.

Rick Lenz, MNA Disaster Response Specialist for the South Central Region, has put together a sample response and recovery plan that churches may use to prepare for disaster. Feel free to access it and reach out to me if you have questions or need further guidance. If you'd like to host the How to Prepare Your Family and Your Church for Disaster training at your church, please let me know. I'd be happy to provide that training to your church or community.  

I pray that your community does not get hit by a disaster. But if it does, I pray that both your family and your church will be prepared to weather the storm and show Christ's love by ministering to your neighbors.


Connect with Us!

Please feel free to reach out if we may be of service.

Mike Kennamer
MNA Disaster Response Warehouse
4063 Martha Berry Highway
Rome, GA 30165

Online giving:

or mail a check designated to TAG Region/Warehouse Manager to:
Mission to North America
TAG Region/Warehouse Manager - Mike Kennamer
PO Box 890233
Charlotte, NC 28289-0233

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