Call to prayer for those in the path of Hurricane Maria, and related hurricane relief news

Church of the Brethren Newsline
September 21, 2017

Brethren Disaster Ministries issued a prayer request for those in the path of Hurricane Maria, before the storm hit Puerto Rico. Following are portions of that prayer request:

“Hurricane Maria is bearing down on islands in the Caribbean less than two weeks after Hurricane Irma brought catastrophic damage to Barbuda, then St. Martin, and through the Virgin Islands. We are grateful that, during Hurricane Irma, Church of the Brethren families, homes, and churches in Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, and Haiti experienced only minor damage. However, many food crops that are critical in Haiti for families living on the edge of deep hunger were destroyed.

“Now families in the Caribbean suffer the fear of yet another powerful storm threatening their islands. Pray for the safety of these families, many of whom are already living in dire circumstances. For those who are afraid, pray that they may feel safety in God’s presence. Pray for the children, that they are not forgotten in this crisis. Pray for protection for food and water supplies, buildings and crops, so that people will have basic necessities, including shelter. Pray for God’s peace to rain down on us all.”

In related news:

An allocation of $25,000 from the Emergency Disaster Fund (EDF) will provide resources for a Caribbean hurricane response program organized and managed by Brethren Disaster Ministries. The response will have an initial focus on supporting Puerto Rico and Haiti relief and recovery. Brethren Disaster Ministries will send emergency funds to the Puerto Rico District office, initially up to $10,000, to help with early relief activities. Response planning may result in a more comprehensive response plan that may include a rebuilding program. Resources will also help Brethren Disaster Ministries staff explore needs and potential response programming in other areas including Haiti, the Dominican Republic, and the US Virgin Islands.

Children’s Disaster Services (CDS) has been requested by FEMA to support Disaster Recovery Centers, so the mission of caring for children continues on in both Texas and Florida, reports Brethren Disaster Ministries. CDS currently continues to have teams working in Florida following Irma.

The work of CDS and its volunteer teams has gotten some press:

CDS associate director Kathleen Fry-Miller and her husband, Paul, were among the volunteers interviewed by the Fort Wayne “Journal Gazette.” The Fry-Millers have seen “lots of homes with flooding; national guardsmen helping provide security; adults who were afraid as hurricane-related storms swept through; and plenty of children who need a sense of normalcy in what might seem like chaos,” Paul told the paper. “This is my first disaster deployment,” he said. “What an eye-opener.” Find the article at www.journalgazette.net/news/local/20170916/area-volunteers-make-presence-felt .

In an article about how Red Cross counselors help shelter residents with stress, CDS volunteers are mentioned for their role in aiding children and families. Find the article from the “Naples News” at www.naplesnews.com/story/weather/hurricanes/2017/09/19/hurricane-irma-red-cross-counselors-help-shelter-residents-stress/681300001 .

To give to the Church of the Brethren hurricane response, including the work of Children’s Disaster Services and Brethren Disaster Ministries, go to www.brethren.org/edf . Send checks for hurricane relief to Emergency Disaster Fund, Church of the Brethren, 1451 Dundee Ave., Elgin, IL 60120.

Go to www.brethren.org/Newsline to subscribe to the Church of the Brethren Newsline free e-mail news service and receive church news every week.

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