Tag Archives: DRC

Outages, Shortages Plague Puerto Rico Post-Hurricane Maria

Tree and structural damage in Puerto Rico (credit: Caleb Garcia).

The following is a disaster relief update provided by Mary Ann Martinez-Garcia of the Church of God in Puerto Rico. Hurricane Maria first made landfall in Puerto Rico on September 20 (click here for the original report).

Thank you so much for your support and the support of our Church of God family. We really appreciate your prayers! Continue reading

Disaster Relief Update: Hurricane Maria ‘Decimates’ Puerto Rico

Street flooding in Puerto Rico (credit: Caleb Garcia).

By Carl Stagner

Puerto Rico, you are not forgotten. Politics and pop culture may have taken over the headlines in recent days, but the Church of God continues to pray for you and assess widespread destruction left behind by Hurricane Maria. The reports from the ground are sobering; decimated accurately describes the landscape, as an estimated 90 percent of structures sustained serious damage (especially those made of wood), including 80 percent of the electrical transmission infrastructure. Some estimates paint a grim picture, as power may not be restored for several months for the more than three million Americans who call Puerto Rico home. Puerto Rico is also home to three Church of God congregations, now desperately trying to clean up, while continuing fervently to represent the hope of Christ amid the humanitarian crisis of a lifetime. Early this week, the Church of God in Puerto Rico provided an update. Continue reading

UPDATE 9-12: Hurricane Irma Disaster Assessment Begins

Warner University students safe in their shelter (credit: David Hoag).

By Carl Stagner

UPDATE, Tuesday, September 12: The following report came from Warner University president, David Hoag, this afternoon:

As you may know, over one million Floridians do not have power. Warner University is one of the institutions still without power. We are working with Duke Energy to get that restored as soon as possible. We are canceling classes for the remainder of this week (on campus and online). Pending power being restored, we are planning to resume classes beginning Monday morning and allowing students to return Sunday after 6:00 PM. Students are not permitted to return to campus until power is restored.

Our campus was very fortunate, however we did have damage from the hurricane. Insurance will cover some of the damages, but not all. If you would like to help with a gift towards the restoration of the campus you may make a gift online.

Thank you for your patience as we await more damage reports and a disaster assessment from our churches and area organizations. You can support Church of God Disaster Relief anytime at give.jesusisthesubject.org/disasterrelief.
Continue reading

Hurricane Irma Disaster Assessment Begins

Warner University students safe in their shelter (credit: David Hoag).

By Carl Stagner

More than six million people in Florida remain without power today as the remnants of Hurricane Irma batter much of the southeastern United States. What once was a Category Five storm has been downgraded to tropical storm status, but not without leaving behind damage across much of the state of Florida and utter devastation on some Caribbean islands. Residents in much of Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina are not yet out of the woods. At last count, Irma’s wrath has claimed nearly forty lives across the Caribbean and some reports suggest up to 95 percent of buildings on the island of Barbuda. As of Monday, September 11, assessment is ongoing. Continue reading

Disaster Relief Urgent Request

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” —Isaiah 41:10 NIV

In light of what has been classified as truly extraordinary need, the Church of God Disaster Relief Committee is highlighting an urgent request. The current scope of devastation from natural disasters around the world is beyond our scale of imagining. The Disaster Relief Committee is working with national leaders and regional pastors in the affected regions to meet needs. Would you help? Donate now to Disaster Relief. Continue reading

Hurricane Harvey: Hope for Texas in the Aftermath of a Monster

Houston street sign warns, “Road may flood” (courtesy June Sherman).

By Carl Stagner

Church of God, it’s time. It’s time to be the hands and feet of Jesus to our brothers and sisters in Texas. It’s time to be hope to the people who have lost loved ones, homes, businesses, and churches. It’s time to make a difference. Whether God is leading you to give generously, donate supplies, or assemble work teams for upcoming opportunities to rebuild homes, now is the time to act. While this nightmare is far from over for tens of thousands of people, the outpouring of support for the Lone Star State is proving that they are not alone. The latest updates to the Church of God Ministries Disaster Relief Team are both sobering and encouraging. Continue reading

UPDATE 8-29: SE Texas Underwater as Disaster Relief Prep Underway

Houston First Church of God flooding (courtesy Tim Gould).

By Carl Stagner

UPDATE, August 29: “It feels like we are stuck living in a long, dirty shower that never stops.” The words of Jim Feirtag late Monday express what countless Texans are feeling as rains from Tropical Storm Harvey persist. The church Jim pastors, Parkgate Church of God in Pasadena, Texas, has already helped some people displaced by the storm and has made preparations to do much more in the coming weeks.

Houston First Church of God reported late Monday that the water had receded from their building with no visible damage. They thank everyone for their prayers. Unfortunately, the Church of God in Texas reports that an estimated forty-two Church of God congregations were affected by this disaster. Assessment is ongoing, but Tim Gould, pastor of Houston First Church, is now receiving e-mail inquiries about work teams and the need for physical labor. When assessment is complete, inquirers will be notified with specific opportunities. Churches and individuals may contact him at pastortim@hfcog.org. Thank you for your continued prayers, support, patience, and willingness to serve!

The average annual rainfall for Houston, Texas, is 49.76 inches. Forecasters suggest parts of southeast Texas could surpass that amount of rain before Hurricane Harvey—now a tropical storm—moves out. As the Church of God assesses the developing situation on the ground, the need for disaster relief is imminent. While reports of loss may not be complete for several weeks, experts predict that an estimated 30 thousand people will need temporary shelter in the wake of widespread flood damage. Opportunities to give time, supplies, and resources will become more clear in the coming days. Until then, the Church of God Disaster Relief Team is urging you to pray and give. Continue reading

Southeast Texas Underwater as Disaster Relief Prep Underway

Houston First Church of God flooding (courtesy Tim Gould).

By Carl Stagner

The average annual rainfall for Houston, Texas, is 49.76 inches. Forecasters suggest parts of southeast Texas could surpass that amount of rain before Hurricane Harvey—now a tropical storm—moves out. As the Church of God assesses the developing situation on the ground, the need for disaster relief is imminent. While reports of loss may not be complete for several weeks, experts predict that an estimated 30 thousand people will need temporary shelter in the wake of widespread flood damage. Opportunities to give time, supplies, and resources will become more clear in the coming days. Until then, the Church of God Disaster Relief Team is urging you to pray and give. Continue reading

India, Bangladesh Ravaged by Monsoon Floods

Devastating flooding in India.

By Carl Stagner

According to AccuWeather, 24 million people across India, Bangladesh, and Nepal have been affected by “the worst flooding in more than a decade.” While annual monsoon rains are nothing new to the region, the situation is compounded by unusually persistent rains and, in some locations, the release of water from local dams. Homes have been swept away, businesses and schools have been damaged, and families have been displaced. As the floodwaters rise, so does the incredible need. Another disaster abroad once again serves as a reminder that a swift disaster relief response requires the generosity of people like you. Continue reading

Before Disaster Strikes

Photo: Earthquake damage in Ecuador last year.

By Christy Anderson

Homes are lost, illnesses are spreading, and lives are shaken. These are the effects of disaster. When a hurricane strikes or when people are displaced by terrorism, help is always needed. It is easy to collect donations and say thank you, but what happens once those donations are given? Where do they go? What are they used for? In places like Haiti, where hurricanes and earthquakes strike, the funds are used to provide immediate relief and to rebuild homes. While it’s sometimes easy to forget to support Church of God Disaster Relief in relatively “quiet” seasons, the Church of God must be ready to provide relief before disaster strikes. Continue reading

When God’s People Respond to Disaster

Photo: Rebuilding after the 2010 Haiti earthquake.

By Christy Anderson

When tornadoes, floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, and fires strike, people want to know how they can help. Individuals try to find ways to contact their loved ones to let them know that they are safe. Others call for more help. When called, the Church of God activates the Disaster Relief Team. This team assesses the situation and sends funds to affected areas as needed. These funds make it possible for on-the-ground teams to provide food, medicine, and other resources where the need is the greatest. As said by Scottish philosopher Adam Smith, “To feel much for others and little for ourselves; to restrain our selfishness and exercise our benevolent affections, constitute the perfection of human nature.” Continue reading

Floods Devastate Churches, Communities in Missouri: Your Help Needed!

Photo: Flood waters at First Church of God in Doniphan, Missouri.

By Carl Stagner

UPDATE, May 9, 2017: Church of God Ministries Disaster Relief has just sent $5,000 for flood relief in Missouri as cleanup efforts have only just begun at First Church of God in Doniphan, Missouri. Initial assessments suggest repair costs could exceed hundreds of thousands of dollars. That’s why your help is still crucial. Donate today! Church facilities, including the parsonage, were insured, but indications are that as little as 15 percent of the total repair cost will be covered. Renovations are underway in the Family Life Center so the congregation can resume worship at the church property (currently, the congregation is meeting at another local church) before the sanctuary repair is complete.

WORK TEAMS: Missouri Ministries of the Church of God has reported that they will be helping to schedule groups in the next week or so. Supplies of water, gloves, and more are needed. Please contact Missouri Ministries for more information at 573-265-8545 or visit www.cogamo.org/contact/.

Some locals say they’ve never seen it this bad. Reports indicate that between six and twelve inches of rain fell across parts of Missouri over the past week, with several more inches expected. Homes and businesses have been destroyed during this ongoing disaster, which has already claimed two lives. Water levels rose to record highs at fourteen different locations along the state’s rivers, even breaking a few records held for more than a hundred years. A few hundred roads were shut down, and many remain closed. Unfortunately, Church of God congregations have not escaped the water’s wrath. Continue reading

UPDATE: Disaster Relief Following West Virginia Floods

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Photo: Teays Valley Church volunteers loading relief supplies.

By Carl Stagner

Sometimes the greatest ministry moments happen in the midst of the greatest tragedy. Bob Daniels, pastor of Highland First Church of God in Rainelle, West Virginia, says it’s their story. It’s also been true for Scott Beha, who serves as teaching pastor of Southridge Church in South Charleston, West Virginia. Though Highland First Church suffered some structural damage, they’re doing what they can to help others displaced and in great need. Though Southridge Church didn’t suffer structural damage, they’ve dropped everything to reach out to homeowners and churches—whether a part of the Church of God movement or not—and make a difference in the name of Jesus. Christ-followers in West Virginia are now rejoicing that, in addition to homeowners receiving help and hope, some are also receiving Christ as Savior and Lord. Continue reading

Church of God Offers Disaster Relief to Earthquake-Ravaged Ecuador

Tonsupa_church_Ecuador-earthquake_damage_crop_FORWEB

Photo: Crevice opening in the Tonsupa church.

By Carl Stagner

Ecuador has been suffering since the 7.8-magnitude earthquake hit the country on April 16, leaving more than 25,000 people displaced and more than 17,000 injured. As of late April, the death toll has risen to more than 650, a figure that is expected to increase. An estimated 350,000 people have been affected by damage to homes, businesses, and churches—including Church of God structures. We thank God that none of our Church of God brothers and sisters were killed or seriously injured in the quake. Continue reading

Disaster Relief: Europe’s Refugee Crisis

SyrianCrisis_graphic2016_FORWEB

By Stephen Lewis

Around our world today, 1 in every 122 humans is either a refugee, internally displaced, or seeking asylum. It may well be the greatest humanitarian crisis that the world has seen. The conflict in Syria alone has displaced 12,000,000 people, half of whom are children. Of these, 7,600,000 are displaced within Syria; more than 1,000,000 are in camps in Turkey; another 1,000,000 are in camps in Lebanon; and nearly 1,000,000 have made their way to Europe. Continue reading