Miles Post for September 2018
I want to use this space to inform you of the work of our Disciples of Christ Week of Compassion in the recent affects caused by Hurricane Florence in the Carolinas, and Typhoon Ompong in the Philippines.
Hurricane Florence: Week of Compassion is in regular contact with the Regional staff and ecumenical partners in the area. Reports are slowly coming in from congregations, though many places are still under evacuation orders and road closures further limit access. Reports have been received of confirmed damage at First Christian Church, Wilmington and Armenia Christian Church in Kinston and likely damage at Southwest Christian Church in Kinston. Additional reports are expected through the week. Camp Caroline also sustained damage, including leaks and minor flooding in multiple buildings. Disciples across the state have also been responding to the needs of their communities. In addition to checking on the safety of their members and neighbors, several congregations are active in the relief efforts, including: Christmount Conference Center continues to host evacuees. Southwood Memorial Christian Church in Kinston is feeding several dozen first responders breakfast and dinner daily. Greenleaf Christian Church in Goldsboro has been distributing food and water. First Christian Church, Plymouth and First Christian Church, Wilson are hosting blood drives. First Christian Church, Greenville has been helping members and neighbors clear trees and other storm debris. Multiple congregations are in conversation with our ecumenical partners and other organizations to host volunteers for cleanup.
he typhoon made landfall on the northern tip of Luzon on Friday, September 14, decimating much of the Philippines with winds of over 125 mph. Rev. Melzar Labuntog, General Secretary of the United Church of Christ in the Philippines, reports that there are upwards of 2500 church families who are in need of food due to their homes and livelihoods being destroyed. Fortynine of the Church’s communities need seeds to replant gardens and farms that were washed away. Many people were buried alive in landslides in the areas of Baguio City, Kayapa, Nueva Vizcaya and Itugon, and Benguet; 41 bodies have been retrieved with more expected to be discovered. Other news reports note that at least 70 people have died, including 50 people who had taken shelter in a chapel in Itogon. Another 50+ are still missing as of this writing. Accuweather reports that debris was hurtled through the air as the powerful typhoon crossed the northern Philippines, with roofs being ripped off of homes, businesses and many trees and power lines downed.
Through Global Ministries, our partner with the United Church of Christ in the Philippines, has requested our help in channeling monetary aid, medical supplies, food, and monies to assist families who have been directly affected by this severe storm. Week of Compassion will continue to work with our partners in the days and months ahead to help communities impacted by this devastating typhoon to rebuild. May we all offer prayers for those who are grieving, for those who are caring for their neighbors, and for the restoration of these communities, both domestic and global. Your continued gifts to Week of Compassion will, through the work of our partners, bring help and hope and healing where it is so desperately needed.