Tag Archives: flood

Disaster Relief Update: Hurricane Dorian

By Carl Stagner

UPDATE, as of September 10: Church of God Ministries has reached out to a partner on the ground in New Providence, Bahamas in order to support relief efforts. As many are displaced from their homes, this ministry is ready to provide immediate relief to victims through food, water, and emergency shelter. Will you join us?

ORIGINAL article, September 5: As a Category Five storm, Hurricane Dorian reached the Bahamas on Monday night, bringing with it 185-mile-per-hour winds and torrential rainfall. Though Dorian weakened to a Category Two hurricane on Tuesday, it proved no less a monster for the residents of the Caribbean country. At times, the nearly stationary hurricane moved laterally at only one mile per hour, offering little relief to the hardest-hit areas. Storm surge and rising floodwaters claimed multiple lives and forced homeowners to upper floors, trapping some on rooftops. Regaining strength over the Atlantic, Hurricane Dorian is forecast to approach South Carolina through the day on Thursday before moving on or near the North Carolina coast. Meanwhile, as the hearts of people around the world break for the people of the Bahamas, Church of God Ministries has issued an update on disaster relief. Continue reading

South Dakota Church: Farmers, You’re Not Alone

Very few fields looks this good (at least this one’s been planted!).

By Carl Stagner

This has not been a good year for farmers. Actually, agricultural conditions have taken an economic and emotional toll on farmers for the past year-and-a-half, though much of the country is only beginning to take notice. While American routine often involves that indispensable weekly trip to the supermarket, requiring little to no thought of the origins of their convenient purchases, farmers bear the brunt of the material and mental cost. A May 29 article published in FarmWorld reported that the USDA’s assessments showed corn planting across the country was at its “slowest pace” since 1980. It’s no wonder, considering much of the country—from the Rocky Mountains to the Midwest and through the South—has been locked in a seemingly never-ending cycle of rain. With uncertain days upon farmers, as well as everyone connected to the agricultural industry, First Church of God in Marion, South Dakota, addressed the need early this month in the best way they knew how—prayer. Continue reading

Tornadoes, Flooding Wreak Havoc Across Plains, Midwest

Dayton-area home damaged by tornado (photo courtesy Chris Hall).

By Carl Stagner

UPDATE, as of May 31, 11:15 AM EDT: As floodwaters continue to devastate parts of Oklahoma, Church of God Ministries has authorized $5,000 in relief funds to be sent to aid relief efforts in coordination with Crossings Community Church (Oklahoma City) and First Church of God (Nowata, Oklahoma). Wendell Abbott, pastor in Nowata, reports that the need is great and most homeowners do not have flood insurance. The emergency manager for the county is also a part of the Nowata congregation and the church has become a staging facility for the Red Cross. In Muskogee, also inundated, Pastor Gary Underwood of Eastside Community Church is helping flood victims in a variety of ways, including gathering hay for farm animals. While the story continues to develop, we rejoice that great things are happening through the Church of God in Oklahoma in the name of Jesus! To continue to distribute disaster relief funds, we need your financial support: www.jesusisthesubject.org/disaster-relief.

UPDATE, as of May 30, 3:55 PM EDT: Kevin Clouse, of Oklahoma Church of God Ministries, has reported that no Church of God buildings have been damaged from recent storms and flooding. One pastor’s rented house sustained some roof damage, and some churches are hard to reach due to flooded roads. Of course, numerous homes and churches beyond the Movement have been damaged or destroyed, and we continue to lift in prayer those affected, including Church of God congregations engaging in relief efforts for their communities.


ORIGINAL MANUSCRIPT: It’s been a rough few weeks from Oklahoma to Pennsylvania and states in between. While weather records reveal an average of 276 tornadoes nationwide during the month of May, as of May 29, more than 460 tornadoes had been reported. While much of the media has focused its attention on the dramatic destruction of structures due to recent tornadic activity, parts of Oklahoma, Kansas, and Missouri remain underwater. Church of God congregations near and far from the affected regions have already mobilized work teams, supply drives, and represented Jesus in tangible ways, but there is so much more to be done. Church of God Disaster Relief continues to gather information and determine the scope of the affect of such severe weather on our churches and congregants. Continue reading

Disaster Relief Update: Flooding Devastates Craig, Missouri

Approaching the church’s front doors by boat.

By Carl Stagner

On March 20, the levee holding back the steadily rising Missouri River broke in more than one place, forcing the town of Craig, Missouri, to evacuate, and leaving behind flooded homes and churches—including First Church of God. Inside the house of worship, chest-deep water inundated parts of the facility, while two feet of water was visible inside the sanctuary, damaging carpets, pews, books, tables, and their piano and organ. With homes underwater, at least two members of the small congregation have also had to find temporary shelter. The river has receded somewhat but, with more snowmelt and rain in the forecast, it’s not certain Craig will dry out. In the meantime, First Church of God finds itself in a difficult situation—without flood insurance, as this kind of flooding had never happened before. Continue reading

A Tale of Two Extremes: Flooding, Drought Devastate Malawi, Zambia

Residents move to higher ground due to rising floodwaters in Malawi.

By Carl Stagner

A crisis of biblical proportions is ongoing in southern Africa, especially the countries of Malawi and Zambia. Lives have been lost. Storms have collapsed homes belonging to Children of Promise-sponsored children. Flooding has destroyed homes belonging to Church of God pastors and laypeople. Church buildings and facilities have been washed away. Crops—representing the livelihood of countless individuals—have been decimated by rising floodwaters in some areas, while catastrophic drought has rendered other fields worthless. Overall, thousands of Church of God people, and hundreds of thousands of people beyond the movement, have been affected by these atmospheric extremes. Church of God Ministries is sending initial funds to the Church of God in Malawi and Zambia, but so much more is needed. 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

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

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 Responds to Deadly West Virginia Floods

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Photo: Volunteers load disaster relief supplies into a trailer at Teays Valley Church of God.

By Carl Stagner

It’s one thing to see the news coverage of the West Virginia floods from a television screen or handheld device, but each photo and video clip represents a living nightmare for the residents of the Mountain State. According to the latest reports, at least 23 people have lost their lives, hundreds—if not thousands—of homes have been destroyed, and rising waters have wiped out bridges and made roads impassable. Forty-four of fifty-five West Virginia counties were under a state of emergency after more than a foot of rain fell in some parts. Experts suggest that such an enormous amount of rain in a short period of time is likely to happen only once in a thousand years. Sadly, Church of God congregations were not immune to the loss of life, homes, and church property. Praise the Lord for the local churches that banded together almost immediately to bring aid to the region! Now you have an opportunity to come alongside those who are bringing disaster relief to West Virginia. Continue reading

UPDATE: Philippines Typhoon Disaster Relief

FirstCHOG_Calaba_NuevaEcija_flooded_FORWEB

By Eddie Viray

Residents of flooded farming villages in the Philippines were trapped on their rooftops on Monday, and animals floated down fast-rising rivers, as a result of the devastation caused by Typhoon Lando (international name: Koppu).

Head-level floods had also forced people to evacuate from their homes and put up tents along the roads to serve as temporary shelters because there were no designated evacuation centers. The churches which supposedly serve as the evacuation centers, for our members and beneficiaries of the program, were also submerged to neck-high floodwaters. One day following the typhoon, Rev. Eduardo Viray, the national leader of the Church of God in the Philippines, together with the staff of Grace Family Helper Project, visited the areas and witnessed the churches and houses in Calaba and San Antonio still in knee-high flood waters. “The waters arrived suddenly. We did not expect it at all,” the pastor in those areas said. Continue reading

Heroes in Haiti: Harsh Realities, Heavenly Rewards

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Photo: Pastor St. Dieu

By Carl Stagner

“We don’t realize what can happen to us in a flash.” Phyllis Newby’s words echo the harsh reality of conducting day-to-day ministry in Haiti. While pastors in the United States spend much of their week casting vision, strategizing mission, and preparing sermons—all important tasks—pastors in Haiti work through multiple uncertainties, and often face dangerous conditions as the hands and feet of Christ. One Haitian hero of the faith, who has learned to overcome unpredictable challenges, is Pastor St. Dieu. After last year’s floodwaters had receded, St. Dieu and his team began working their way across a river to deliver emergency supplies to the needy. What happened next may send chills down your spine. Continue reading

Flooding Disaster in Malawi, Church of God Responds

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Photo: Malawi flooding (Photo courtesy Emmanuel Masamba).

Since the beginning of the year, persistent heavy rains in Malawi and neighboring countries in southern Africa have left massive flooding in their wake. The Disaster Relief Committee at Church of God Ministries has been in conversation with our missionaries in Malawi, Tim and Josie Vickey. While the Vickeys are currently without electricity and water, they are safe and in no danger. Continue reading

CHOG Congregations Sustain Flood Damage: How You Can Help

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Photo: Flooded auditorium at Mountain Park Community Church in Phoenix, Arizona.

The Church of God Ministries Disaster Relief Committee has been made aware that Church of God congregations in three states have sustained major flood damage in the past month. Damage reports have been received from Little Paint Church of God in East Point, Kentucky; Mountain Park Community Church in Phoenix, Arizona; and the Christian school at Fairview Church in Seattle, Washington. The extensive damage at each of these facilities is not covered by insurance. Continue reading

Flood Damages Arizona Church: How You Can Help

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Photo: Mountain Park Church’s flooded auditorium on September 8, 2014.

 

Daily rainfall records were shattered across the Phoenix metro area in central Arizona on Monday, September 8. As a result, flash flooding damaged homes, businesses, and churches across the region known as the Valley of the Sun. Mountain Park Community Church sustained damage estimated to be as much as two million dollars. Like most properties in the urban oasis surrounded by desert, this Church of God congregation on the south side of Phoenix was not covered by flood insurance. Continue reading