Brethren Disaster Ministries staff and the Atlantic Southeast District leadership are continuing to reach out to affected churches and communities to learn of the impact of the storm and the needs that have developed. So far there are no reports of injury among church members, but there is news of minor damage in two churches.
Small, but important steps were taken this year in the life of Iglesia de los Hermanos (Church of the Brethren) in the Dominican Republic.
The Global Mission office of the Church of the Brethren has instituted a new communication tool named Country Advisory Teams (CATs). These teams are a way for the Global Mission leadership to stay informed and better understand each country or region where Church of the Brethren partners are involved.
Jason and Nicole Hoover have concluded their work with the Church of the Brethren Global Mission and Service program in the Dominican Republic in order to begin working with Solid Rock International.
Three new grants from Church of the Brethren funds will aid projects in Honduras, Indonesia, and Haiti, responding to disasters and assisting training for farmers. Two of the grants come from the denomination’s Emergency Disaster Fund. The most recent provides $18,000 in emergency relief for Honduras, which suffered severe flash flooding in its southern region
In the 1990s, a wave of Dominicans began leaving their home country to look for a better life in Spain. Members of Iglesia de los Hermanos (the Church of the Brethren in the Dominican Republic) were among them. In time they established the Church of the Brethren in Spain and continue to plant new fellowships across the country.
“Brethren Disaster Ministries staff have been monitoring the situation in the areas already, or soon to be, affected by the hurricanes,” reports Roy Winter, associate executive director of Global Mission and Service and Brethren Disaster Ministries. Staff are “coordinating response efforts and planning with Church World Service and other church partners.”
The Global Food Initiative (formerly the Global Food Crisis Fund) issued a grant of $660 for representatives of Iglesia de los Hermanos (the Church of the Brethren in the Dominican Republic) to travel to Santiago, DR, for a week of training with Medical Ambassadors International. Other recent grants support cultural/garden exchanges partnering indigenous communities in Lybrook, N.M., and Circle, Alaska.
As Hurricane Matthew batters Florida today, Brethren Disaster Ministries continues to monitor the situation and is working to determine response plans in the Caribbean and on the east coast. Children’s Disaster Services (CDS) has put volunteers on alert.
Brethren Disaster Ministries staff have directed grants from the Church of the Brethren’s Emergency Disaster Fund to a variety of projects in recent weeks. Among them are a bridge rebuilding project in West Virginia, assistance for refugees from Burundi living in Rwanda, assistance for people displaced by violence in the DR Congo, a Disaster Recovery Support Initiative aiding a longterm recovery group in South Carolina, food assistance in South Sudan, and aid for Haitian migrants returning to Haiti from the Dominican Republic. These grants total $85,950.