Tag Archives: earthquake

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

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

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

Your Help Needed to Continue Vital Disaster Relief Efforts

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By Carl Stagner

Deadly floods in West Virginia, South Carolina, and Malawi. Earthquakes in Ecuador, Myanmar, and Japan. A typhoon in the Philippines. Tornadoes in Oklahoma and parts of the Midwest. The European refugee crisis. Over just the past few years, Church of God Ministries has been hard at work, carefully distributing funds you’ve given to provide much-needed relief in the wake of disasters around the world. Church of God Ministries maintains the Disaster Relief Fund on behalf of the Church of God movement in order to be able to respond swiftly to disasters when they strike. Recently the need has proved greater than our capacity. We’re looking to God’s abundant grace and your generosity to continue disaster relief into the future. Continue reading

Ecuador Earthquake Relief Update: Thank You, Church of God!

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Photo: The Tonsupa church worship under a temporary structure.

By Jon and Karen Lambert

On Saturday, April 16, 2016, a 7.8-magnitude earthquake hit us here in Ecuador. The quake lasted 49 seconds. The weeks that followed seem like a dream—a bad dream. The death toll for the first weeks steadily rose to 655, and then the government decided not to share the final totals, so the actual death toll may never be known. We know 17,638 people were treated for injuries, and 25,091 were housed in temporary shelters. Cities and towns at the epicenter are 70- to 90-percent destroyed. The United Nations estimates that 350,000 people in Ecuador will need some type of assistance due to damage or loss of income. It is a blessing that none of our church family were killed or seriously injured in the quake. The mental anguish we still see on faces in the devastation zone is heartbreaking. Parents who searched for children buried under debris and small children who didn’t understand why “Mami” and “Papi” never came home have accepted the sad truth that their loved ones are gone. Cities along the coast from Manta to Tonsupa were without water and electricity for over a month. Some rural areas are still without basic services. Three of our congregations and one house church are in the areas heavily affected by the 7.8 earthquake and the severe aftershocks that continue to this day—nearly three months later. Continue reading

Church of God Offers Disaster Relief to Earthquake-Ravaged Ecuador

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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 Update: Earthquakes in Myanmar, Japan, and Ecuador

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Photo: Earthquake damage in Ecuador (photo posted by Jon Lambert).

The week of April 10 saw major earthquakes around the world, including three areas around where the Church of God has a presence: Myanmar, affecting much of the surrounding region, including Meghalaya, India, and Bangladesh; Kyushu, Japan’s southern island; and Ecuador.

Often, in the short term, there is little detailed information as news trickles in slowly, sometimes due to geographical isolation, and sometimes due to the destruction. You can contribute at any time to the Disaster Relief Fund at Church of God Ministries. Continue reading

Nepal Earthquake Update

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The isolation of Nepal and the sheer amount of destruction caused by the earthquake continue to make relief efforts a challenge in the tiny mountain kingdom. Nevertheless, Church of God organizations are on the ground.

From Germany, Kinderhilfswerk, a nongovernmental organization affiliated with the Church of God in Germany, is working through a local partner in Nepal, Bal Sewa, to assess the needs. From Shillong, Meghalaya, in India, the Church of God in Meghalaya is sending three leaders to assess the needs of the Church of God in Nepal, particularly in the remote villages. Among that group is Amos Moore, who helped pioneer the Church of God work in Nepal; Amos is focusing on Kathmandu, meeting with workers and pastors from congregations in central Nepal. The other two leaders are focusing their attention on eastern Nepal and assessing the effects of the earthquake in that sector. Continue reading

Earthquake Relief in Nepal

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Clouds of dust rising into the air, mountains of rubble, people unable to take cover in their homes. These are not the images of Nepal that we are accustomed to seeing. And yet, these are the very conditions that are the aftermath of the weekend earthquake that has killed 3,400 people so far and caused widespread damage to scores of historic building throughout the Kathmandu valley in central Nepal. The Church of God has forty-one congregations in Nepal, ten scattered throughout valley near the epicenter. Children of Promise also has a child sponsorship program in Nepal. Continue reading

Nepal Earthquake: Prayers Needed

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Our love and prayers go out to the people of Nepal. There are forty-one Church of God congregations in Nepal, the majority of them in the southeast. Ten or so are in the area where the earthquake hit. So far, the Global Missions regional coordinators for Asia and the Pacific have not yet been able to establish communication with leaders in the area.

We ask the Church of God to make this a matter of prayer today. Thank you!

CHOG Hospital in Haiti: A Miracle-Working Witness

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By Carl Stagner

Five years ago, life forever changed for more than a million Haitians. In January 2010, a catastrophic magnitude-7.0 earthquake claimed lives, property and, in many cases, hope itself. The Church of God was one of many faith groups and organizations to step in and offer hope and healing. The hospital in Saintard, completed in 2005, offered countless earthquake victims not only physical treatment, but also the Balm of Gilead. Under the leadership of Church of God missionaries Mark and Kathy Fulton, the hospital continues to serve the people of Haiti, many of whom are still displaced, five years post-quake. Continue reading

Earthquake Damage in Ecuador

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Photo: Earthquake damage in the wall and window at a Church of God building in Ecuador.

A 5.1-magnitude earthquake struck Ecuador on August 12, not far from the capital of Quito, followed by numerous aftershocks. A second quake, 4.7-magnitude, followed on August 16, again followed by aftershocks. Buildings were destroyed and several lives have been lost in their wake. While initial reports indicate that all area Church of God individuals are safe, at least one church building near the epicenter sustained serious damage. It will take some time to assess the full extent of the damage and determine any need for assistance. Continue reading