Local Volunteers Return From Israel

First group of volunteers from Texas Baptist Men | Image by TBM

Volunteers from Texas Baptist Men are finally returning home to North Texas from the war-torn state of Israel.

These volunteers had been providing humanitarian support by preparing food for Israelis as its war with Hamas rages on.

It has been nearly a month since a devastating attack in southern Israel on October 7 killed over 1,400 Israelis and foreign nationals, prompting the declaration of a new war between Israel and Hamas. The rising numbers of those injured, dead, or displaced has since created a humanitarian crisis in the region, as previously reported by The Dallas Express.

The House of Representatives recently approved a package totaling $14.5 billion in military aid for Israel. Yet one group in the United States has been providing support for the nation since the war began.

The first group of volunteers from Texas Baptist Men (TBM), a religious volunteer organization based out of DFW, have returned stateside after working to provide aid to the citizens of Israel amid the hostilities, according to the organizations. This is one of two teams sent by the organization and comprised a total of 29 volunteers, two of whom were from Mississippi, another duo from Missouri, and another individual from North Carolina via Baptists on Mission, while the rest were from Texas.

These volunteers had worked to provide some relief from the effects of the war by providing 30,000 meals to citizens since the war began, feeding “at least” 2,000 people every day. They worked alongside other volunteers and relief workers hailing from other organizations to deliver these meals to citizens.

“The people we served alongside and who dealt with us … could not comprehend that we were there to help without being Jewish or Israeli,” said Jackie Grey, a volunteer from 121 Church in Grapevine, per TBM.

“Being a witness was the main focus for us going there,” said Genia Macon, a volunteer from First Baptist Church in Lewisville. “Christians coming from halfway around the world is a huge witness for Jesus Christ. … It’s not our words; it’s our actions. We feel like we’re the hands and feet of Jesus Christ.”

Gary Finley, TBM’s volunteer coordinator, said that the organization has trained over 100 volunteers specifically for service in Israel. However, with time being of the essence, the organization intends to mobilize some volunteers first and account for those who have not been trained in the field as necessary.

Anyone interested in being trained to provide support to Israel may sign up via the Volunteer in Israel web page, while those who would like to serve immediately without this initial training can sign up via another site.

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