Category: Disaster Response
Crates for Ukraine 3.0: New Goal! The OPC has once again been invited to join the PCA in bringing a cup of cold water to the people of war-torn Ukraine. Just like the last iteration, we’ve set the goal at 400 Crates again for this round of Crates for Ukraine. Currently, there are 49 crates registered for the OPC. How
Crates for Ukraine is Back! We’re thankful to the PCA for once again inviting us to participate in the next iteration of Crates for Ukraine—known as 3.0—their third iteration of the Crates for Ukraine effort. The aim of this effort, like the two previous, is to help those in need in war-torn Ukraine. We need your help—and don’t worry, you
Hurricane Idalia We are thankful to the Lord that there are currently no known needs in any OP Churches or OP members’ homes as a result of Hurricane Idalia which hit Florida and Georgia yesterday. Please pray for those who are suffering from flooding and loss of power in this region.
Fires in Maui Redeemer OPC in Waipahu, Hawaii, sits some 115 miles northwest and two islands away from Maui, where in the past several weeks devastating fires have killed over 115 people, left an additional 800 missing, burned more than 2,000 acres, and destroyed over 2,200 buildings, countless homes and automobiles. Redeemer OPC’s pastor, Doug Watson reports that he does
Providing Relief and Shining a Light: Vermont Flooding Update by Dan Bair, member of Covenant OPC, Barre and Vermont flood site coordinator It has been a good couple days here with brothers coming together to provide relief and shine some light into our neighbors lives. It seems that each job we go to has more work to be done than
This past Saturday Vermont flooding volunteer coordinator, Craig Comstock and others from Covenant OPC, Barre, VT spent the day helping a neighbor in Williamstown, VT. They were able to cut out soggy drywall, carpeting, molding, sprayed enzymes to prevent mold and hauled all the debris away. Efforts to connect with other neighbors are underway. Please continue to pray for this
Deacon Craig Comstock has graciously agreed to serve as the volunteer coordinator for Covenant OPC, Barre, VT outreach to their community following the catastrophic and unprecedented rainfall and subsequent flooding on July 12, 2023. Although there was no known damage to Covenant OPC in Barre, VT or to any member homes, there is tremendous damage to the region around them.
Update on Vermont Flooding Aerial Photo c/o Dan Bair, member of Covenant OPC, Barre, VT On Friday, July 14, a group (VDOC) Vermont Disaster Oversight Committee, met via Zoom to discuss the response needs after catastrophic flood waters submerged parts of Vermont. Pastor Carl Durham, elder Mike Breen, deacon Craig Comstock and member Dan Bair of Covenant OPC, Barre, VT
Catastrophic Flooding Strikes Barre, VT A UH-72 Lakota Helicopter assigned to the 1t Battalion, 224th Aviation Battalion, Vermont National Guard, flies over the Capital of Vermont in Montpellier, Vermont, July 11, 2023. This units mission was to survey heavy rain damage and report if there were stranded people that needed rescuing due to the recent storm that caused flooding throughout
Refugees Give Thanks for Your Prayers Pastor Sofonias, a husband and father who had to flee Khartoum with his family as a result of war violence in the area, has a message for the prayer warriors in the OPC. In a photo with his family, he holds a sign which reads, “We thank you so much for all the prayers
Update: Refugees Twice Over About two months ago, we asked you to pray for the pastor of Bethlehem Reformed Church, Sofonias, as he and a group of eight others were fleeing from a particularly dangerous part of Africa. We’ve recently learned that they are now safe in Juba, headed toward Uganda. The Lord provided a way for them to get
Amidst Turmoil, God Revives the Lost Across the southern portion of Turkey where multiple devastating earthquakes struck earlier this year, people continue to hurt physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Many first response and recovery efforts have run their course, but crises still remain. In all of this, God is working, stirring hearts and using the hands and feet of His people.
Crates for Ukraine Report Presentation The Crates for Ukraine—Winter Edition was a wonderful collaboration of OPC, PCA, and others to provide much needed supplies to Ukraine and encouraged the Saints there. David Nakhla recently reported to his home church, Calvary OPC in Glenside, PA on his visit to follow the crates to the distribution center in L’viv. You can watch
Seeds of Hope in Ukraine Pastor George, far right, with members of the OP team. by Jamie Dean, OPC Communications Coordinator When an Armenian living in Ukraine decided to practice his English on a couple of Americans he heard speaking on a street corner years ago, he had no idea the encounter would change the course of his life. He
Neon Reformed OPC is Getting a Facelift! From day one, Neon Reformed OPC’s building, a former store, has never looked much like a church building, but now, and because of the devastating flood last July, it is well on its way to becoming one of the nicest buildings in town. And, although a building is not what makes a church, the previous
Refugees Twice Over Pastor of Bethlehem, Sofonias, is in the center of this photo. Please pray for a group of brothers and sisters who are refugees twice over. A number of people from a nation in the Horn of Africa (intentionally vague) have become refugees in Khartoum, Sudan. Among them are a significant number of Christians. The Mobile Theological Mentoring
Measuring Success: Sheds of Hope in Neon by Trish Duggan, OPC Disaster Response Communications Coordinator Eight weeks and more than halfway through the Spring Community Outreach effort in Neon, Kentucky, site coordinators Mike and Sylvia Kelly’s time there has been measurably successful. Sheds have been built, repairs have been made and contacts have been established. Yet this humble couple would
How Crates for Ukraine May Become Seeds for Church Planting Members of the MTW Ukraine Crisis Team By Jamie Dean, OPC Communications Coordinator Not long after Russia invaded Ukraine last year, an American missionary living in the former Soviet state found himself consulting a crisis manual published in the Dominican Republic. It wasn’t what MTW missionary Doug Shepherd expected to
April 2023 Tornadoes We are happy to report, after checking with the OPC Presbyteries in the affected regions, there are no known needs after the recent storms and tornadoes hit in the midwest and southern U.S. Please join us in praising the Lord for the loving protection shown to His church and pray for those of whom were affected.
Deadly Tornadoes Strike the Southern U.S. We are saddened to hear of the devastation across many states from the recent tornadoes in the South. Due to our lack of presence in the affected regions, it is doubtful, at this point, that OPC Disaster Response will be directly involved in this response effort. We know of one OPC family in Georgia
Turkey Earthquake Fund Update To date, the OPC Turkey Earthquake Fund has received $112,507.27 in donations! Thanks to all those who have given! Recently OPC Disaster Response agreed to send $20,000 of those funds to one of our ministry partners in the region and is considering other avenues where these funds may minister while sharing the gospel. If you would
Registrants Respond to Neon Needs by Trish Duggan A recent plea to the OPC Disaster Response registrants for volunteers brought an abundance of inquiries to our volunteer coordinator, Jane Robinson. Thank you! Mike Kelly now has many additional hands for the rest of the month of March, but more are needed for April and May! Our faithful site coordinators, Mike
Helping Your Brother in Need: Crates for Ukraine Grace Chung, a member of OPC Franklin Square in New York, felt inspired by 1 John 3:17: “But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?” as she and her church family packed four crates with medical supplies
Devastation in Turkey and Syria by David Nakhla, OPC Disaster Response Coordinator We continue to be gripped by the dreadful stream of news coming out of central Turkey and northern Syria following the devastating earthquakes that began on February 6. We give thanks that two sister NAPARC denominations/federations (the Presbyterian Church in America – PCA, and Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church – ARP), have Christian contacts
Earthquake Relief for Turkey by Jamie Dean OPC Communications Coordinator In the hours after a 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck southeast Turkey on February 6, the thoughts of one Reformed pastor in the region turned to the book of Job: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb and naked I shall return; The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; blessed
Crates for Ukraine Update We are just over halfway to our goal of registering 400 crates by March 1! The response from churches has been amazing thus far. Thank you for your willingness to help those in need. If you haven’t registered yet, there is still time. There are now 29 local drop-off locations around the U.S. for you to
Working Together for Ukraine “But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?” — I John 3:17. Grace Chung, member of Orthodox Presbyterian Church of Franklin Square (New York), was reminded of that verse as she participated in packing supplies and aid to be sent to Ukraine
Historic RPCNA Church Building Destroyed by Tornado Please keep our brothers and sisters in the Reformed Presbyterian Church in North America in prayer as they deal with recent destruction of a long-standing church building. We hope to be able to come alongside this church in their distress and will provide updates as more information is made available. On January 13,
$500,000 for Ukraine Winter Help! by David Nakhla For months we have asked you to pray that the Lord would guide us to the best avenues by which the over $700,000 in Ukraine Crisis Funds could be used. Your faithful prayers have led to many productive discussions and hopeful decisions. You might recall the trip I took through five countries in Eastern Europe, meeting 10 times
The Lord Provides Again in Neon by Trish Duggan, OPC Disaster Response Communications Coordinator What seems to remain a constant in each disaster response effort is the gratitude and apparent spiritual growth of those serving. It’s been made clear to us over the years that helping others in need after a disaster blesses both the one who gives and the
Moved to Compassion by Mattie Hadnagy, Senior at Carolina Christian School My experience in Neon, Kentucky was one that changed my perspective in many ways. As we drove into the town, my heart sank. Houses were caved in, cars were smashed, and businesses demolished. Thinking about all the people in Neon whose lives had been destroyed made me cry…hard. As soon
Anxiety to Assurance by Honor Svenson, Senior at Carolina Christian School Recently I was blessed with the opportunity to go on my first mission trip. I can’t lie, I was quite anxious with questions and worries when I first heard about the trip. But to say that I’m grateful I went is such an understatement. Hearing all the testimonies of
Knitting Together for His Purposes by Shane Evert, youth leader for Carolina Christian School, Locust, North Carolina Over the past two weeks, I have had an opportunity to reflect with gratitude on our recent trip to Neon, KY. The Lord, by His sovereign grace and mercy, assembled through Carolina Christian School in Locust, North Carolina, a short-term team of nine
The Sturgill Family Hear one family’s story about being forced to leave their home after catastrophic floods hit Neon, Kentucky on July 28, 2022 and their thankfulness for the kindness of strangers. OPC Disaster Response was privileged to serve this family to help dry out and disinfect their home in the name of Christ as part of the community outreach
Give Thanks in All Circumstances by David Nakhla, OPC Disaster Response Coordinator We seldom focus on the monetary amount given to OPC Disaster Response. Over the years, we have come to take for granted that each disaster response effort seems to receive more than enough funds to faithfully carry out the necessary response work. However, recently we were astounded to
Still Much Unresolved by Trish Duggan, OPC Disaster Response Communications Coordinator It’s hard to imagine continuing to live in a soggy, mold-filled home, but that’s what many in the community of Neon have had to do without much promise of change. This desperate need is what has led OPC Disaster Response to begin Phase 2 in Neon, Kentucky. Praise the
Hurricane Nicole As of November 10, 2022, the Presbytery of the South is reporting no known damage to churches or church members’ homes as a result of hurricane Nicole. We will update if any new information becomes available. Praise the Lord for His mercy!
The Finish Line and Beyond in Neon As we reported a few weeks ago, only a few final touches to the interior are needed to complete the OPC Disaster effort at Neon Reformed OPC—just shy of three months after the building was deluged with more than six feet of muddy water! This is certainly cause for praising our great God! Pastor Jay Bennett,
Update on Neon, Kentucky Flooding We are praising the Lord for the work that has been accomplished in Neon, Kentucky at Neon Reformed Presbyterian Church in a short period of time! The church building is nearly finished and, Lord willing, may be ready for worship as early as Sunday, October 23. Your prayers and monetary donations along with nearly 120
Crates for Ukraine Update The Beard family from New Hope Christian Fellowship in Elizabeth City, North Carolina reached out to the OPC Refugee Ministry Subcommittee for financial support as they planned to participate in the PCA’s “Crates for Ukraine” program. The family has dear friends in L’viv, MTW missionaries, who have been serving for several years. Aimee Beard was excited
Ukraine Update by David Nakhla The OPC missionary in Ukraine (intentionally un-named) reported recently, following the bombing across Ukraine, including his city: “We are fine. They hit the electricity grid in our city and other cities today. But our home was only without electricity for about 5 hours. Much of our city remains without it (and running water) for now,
October Disaster Response Update Hurricane Ian Hurricane Ian has proven to be one of the deadliest hurricanes in Florida history, and it is with thanksgiving that we report that the Lord preserved the OPC through this devastating storm. On September 29th, the day after the storm, Eric Hausler, pastor of Christ the King OPC in Naples, Florida, reported on the widespread devastation,
Rebuilding and Reaching Out in Neon by Trish Duggan, OPC Disaster Response Communications Coordinator It’s been forty-nine days since six-and-a-half feet of water ravaged the church building of Neon Reformed OPC. Even though much has been accomplished, there is still much more to do. The Lord hears your prayers and is strengthening the community in Neon, even in this disaster!
Drywall Has Arrived In Neon Crews are cutting and hanging the drywall that was delivered earlier this week to Neon Reformed OPC. Praise the Lord for the progress on the church building. We are so thankful for Art Allen, deacon at Shiloh OPC in Raleigh, NC who, this week began serving as the Site Coordinator for the Neon church rebuild,
Climbing Out of the Mud in Neon by Trish Duggan, OPC Disaster Response Communications Coordinator As we make our way toward the one-month mark since the record rainfall and flooding in Neon, the town (and surrounding region) continues the hard work of recovering from the devastation. As you drive along the debris-filled roadways, it’s obvious that Neon Reformed OPC’s building
Mucking Out the Community Teams from OP Churches in North Carolina, Tennessee and Michigan have already come to help in Neon after the catastrophic floods devastated Neon Reformed OPC and its community in Neon, Kentucky. After first mucking out, cleaning and sanitizing the church, volunteers are now aiding others in the community. There is much to do, and many more
Meet Bonnie Bonnie is just one of the business and homeowners of Neon who are dealing with what’s left of Neon after the flood two weeks ago. Pastor Jay Bennett talks to Bonnie about her loss and the need for volunteers to help clean out homes and businesses. Volunteers are needed for cleanup now and for the next month. Contact
Restoring Worship in Neon by Trish Duggan, OPC Disaster Response Communications Coordinator It’s been two weeks since six-and-a-half feet of water ravaged Neon Reformed OPC. Even though much has been accomplished in the these 14 days, the first phase is just now ending. The dehumidifiers in the church are collecting in excess of 75 gallons of water per day! Your
Wash, Rinse, Treat by Trish Duggan, OPC Disaster Response Communications Coordinator It seems almost counter-intuitive to be using water in the first phases of cleaning out an area devastated by flood, but it’s a necessary step—actually, a really, a crucial one. You can’t close up a wall when mold is present or has the ability to provide a hospitable environment
Work Begins in Neon Flood by Mike Cloy, elder, Landis OPC, Marion, NC July 31, 2022: Elder Mike Cloy, a Presbytery of the Southeast Diaconal Committee Member and Disaster Response Coordinator, traveled to Neon to see firsthand the clean-up progress of the members of the church and the DART (Disaster Advanced Response Team). They were able to muck out the
Catastrophic Flood in Kentucky—Update From Elder Mike Cloy (Landis OPC, Marion, NC) Day 1 Clean Up Neon Disaster Response July 30, 2022 “The dehumidifier trailer arrived around 10 am, delivered by two members of Landis OPC, Marion. [Presbytery of the Southeast’s] DART (Disaster Response Advanced Team) arrived with six men around 3 pm and joined eight church members already mucking
Raging Flood Waters in Neon, Kentucky by David Nakhla, OPC Disaster Response Coordinator Pastor Jay Bennett and his family went to bed as normal on Wednesday evening, July 27th. At 2:30 am they were awakened by a blaring flood warning on Jay’s phone. By the time they were roused and looked outside, the floodwaters had reached a level that would have
The Ukrainian Plight Continues by Trish Duggan, Communications Coordinator for OPC Disaster Response Although the news headlines have veered some from the war in Ukraine, the turmoil in that region continues, with no end in sight. Reports from our missionary contacts tell us that the mood in Ukraine remains tense, with air raid sirens echoing through every town each time
RETIREES: THE BACKBONE OF DISASTER RESPONSE By Cheryl Wade Retirement is not the end of busy work lives for the men and women who OPC Disaster Response sends around the country to repair damage dealt by hurricanes, tornados, and floods. Church leaders say that these senior citizens make up the backbone of their volunteers. Here are laborers and planners, fixers
Ministry To Those Suffering in Eastern Europe By David Nakhla, Administrator for the OPC Committee on Diaconal Ministries “We want you to know, brothers, about the grace of God that has been given among the churches of Macedonia…begging us earnestly for the favor of taking part in the relief of the saints.” II Corinthians 8: 1 & 4 Five countries, nine days, ten organizations; a
May Ukraine Crisis Fund Update May 16, 2022 To date, the OPC Committee on Diaconal Ministries has received over $623,230.00 in donations for the Ukrainian Crisis! We thank God for the charity of his church and for all those who have sought to aid individuals, families, and churches in crisis. As God is gracious in providing funds for the provision
Coming Together to Aid Ukraine by David Nakhla, Administrator for the Committee on Diaconal Ministries The OPC Committee on Diaconal ministries is committed to use the gifts given to the Ukraine Crisis Fund for ministry to those affected by the war in Ukraine, ideally through presbyterian and reformed avenues—those with whom we share similar understanding of God’s word and the
Ukraine Crisis Fund Update April 4, 2022 Ukraine Crisis Fund update: The OPC Committee on Diaconal Ministries has received over $370,585.00 in generous donations! The Committee continues to work toward using these funds to aid Ukraine refugees through the ministries of our missionaries and other sister churches that are ministering to these refugees. Thank you! If you would like to
Ukraine Crisis Fund Update—Working Together by David Nakhla, Administrator for the Committee on Diaconal Ministries The OPC Committee on Diaconal Ministries rejoices in the generous and rapid response to the Ukraine Crisis Fund, now at $288,000, giving evidence of the concern for OPC missionaries in Ukraine and all those to whom and with whom they minister. As you may know, OPC
Ukraine Crisis Fund update: The OPC Committee on Diaconal Ministries has received over $230,000 in generous donations. The Committee is currently working to use these funds to aid Ukraine refugees through the ministries of our missionaries and other sister churches that are ministering to these refugees. Thank you! If you would like to donate toward this fund, please go to
Severe Earthquake Hits Japan March 17, 2022 From Laurie Lauer: We are thankful for God’s mercy to us and to all those whom we know as no one was seriously injured. This quake was very long, and the damage was equal to, some say worse than, last year’s February quake. As you know, the proximity to the epicenter as well
Ukraine Crisis Fund Now Open! March 2, 2022 Given the significant damage and disruption to society caused by the bombing and occupation, it is easy to anticipate significant needs for those who remain, as they face shortages of supplies and/or significant inflation for everyday necessities. Some may face the loss of employment and others may face the tragic loss of loved
Support for our Missionaries in Ukraine February 25, 2022 With the anticipation of needs due to the war in Ukraine, the OPC Committee on Diaconal Ministries Disaster Response Subcommittee has determined to immediately send an initial $5,000 to our missionaries serving in L’viv, Ukraine, and is prayerfully considering opening a disaster response fund to aid future needs. Updates to come, as
Tornadoes and Fires OPC Disaster Response has been quiet recently, praise the Lord! Even though there are no active disasters for volunteers of OPC Disaster Response, we continue to work behind the scenes on building our registry and dispersing funds to those in need. Two opportunities in particular have developed. The first came by the way of generous donations toward the recent Kentucky
Unprecedented Tornados Hit the U.S. Overnight UPDATE as of 12/13/21: We thank the Lord that there is no known direct impact to the OPC from the recent devastating tornadoes. We do know that the MNA Disaster Response (of the PCA) will likely be mobilizing, pending confirmation of the impact on their churches. If you would like to donate or volunteer,
EF2 TORNADO IN PHILADELPHIA We give thanks that the Lord has spared the OPC of loss of life and predominantly loss of property as Hurricane Ida made its way up the eastern seaboard. One exception is Rev. Dave Holmlund, Presbytery of Philadelphia’s regional home missionary. His neighborhood was hit on Wednesday afternoon by an EF2 tornado. A large tree caused
Hurricane Ida Update: Praise the Lord! Both OP Churches in Louisiana are reporting that Hurricane Ida did not impact them! Continue to pray as the storm moves northeast, potentially impacting other congregations.We will update as information becomes available.If you would like to register as a volunteer, please visit our website: opcdisasterresponse.org/volunteer-registry/
Please continue to pray for the situation in Haiti following the devastating earthquake that recently impacted its southern peninsula. Praise and thank the Lord that all those we know in Haiti were not directly affected by the recent earthquake and tropical storm. Since the Haiti OPC Mission does not have any reformed contacts in the affected area of Haiti, OPC
COVID-19 Pandemic Response Funds Sent to India The OPC COVID-19 Pandemic Response Funds are being shared all over the world! $18,000 of the nearly $96,000 in generous donations to the OPC COVID-19 Pandemic Fund (CPR) have been shared with those in dire need in India through the efforts of Word & Deed. If you would like to donate to the
David Nakhla, OPC Disaster Response Coordinator, presented this video to the commissioners at the recent 87th OPC General Assembly. The Midland Disaster Response Effort was truly a team effort. So many from all over the country jumped in to help the two families devastated by the flood. Friendships were made within the body of Christ, while working side by side
Why Is It So Hard to Receive Help? by Glenn MootsHomeowner, Midland, Michigan It is hard to accept help from others. As Christians, we hear the direction of Paul telling us to be “cheerful givers.” (2 Corinthians 9:7). Paul also tells us (quoting Jesus) “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35). We are tempted to infer
From the Resurrection Comes Mercy by Dave Sarafolean, pastor of Christ Community OPC, Midland, MI Spring 2020 arrived in a way no one could have foreseen. When government shutdowns began to occur in mid-March due to COVID-19, life changed dramatically. Like many churches, ours—Christ Covenant in Midland, Michigan—was conflicted about the best path forward. Initially we shut down, then we
The “True Fans” of Disaster Response by Brad Hertzog, video director and communications advisor for Disaster Response An OP missionary, home on furlough, gives a presentation to your church about life on the mission field, reaching the nations for Christ. You feel a tug and wonder if you could get involved. You read and hear about church plants around the
Fifteen Years of Disaster Response: A Labor of Love by David Nakhla, OPC Disaster Response Coordinator Almost from its beginning, the Orthodox Presbyterian Church has been concerned with bringing “a cup of cold water” in the name of Christ to those affected by disasters. Yet most would agree that it was Hurricane Katrina in 2005 that served as the catalyst
Immediate need for professional plumbers! In the world of disaster response, we just never know what will come our way! This is for sure a bit unusual, but our goals are the same—to get churches back to worship and families back to normal. The Lord knows what is needed and we are very thankful for the many who have been checking in with
Earthquake in Japan On February 13th an earthquake of 7.3 magnitude rocked the country of Japan. We thank the Lord that our missionaries there are safe and are using this opportunity to build relationships and care for others. Laurie, wife of OPC Missionary Woody Lauer, says, “We are deeply grateful for your prayers for us, Yamamoto, and Japan and thankful for
Midland is a Wrap! We give thanks to the Lord for the over 100 volunteers and more than 200 generous donors that He provided for the Midland, Michigan disaster response effort! The project is a now a wrap! The houses of the Moots and Kennedy’s are officially restored. Words can’t really describe the impact on those involved—both by volunteers and
The following article about the OPC Disaster Response effort appeared in the January 9, 2021 issue of Southern Maryland News. By Caleb M. Soptelean Southern Maryland News Jan 7, 2021 Two local congregations are stepping up to help a mother and son who were impacted by Tropical Storm Isaias in early August. About 5 inches of water got inside the Maypole Road home of David and Dolores Bowles, according to Bob Steinbach, a deacon at Grace and Peace Orthodox Presbyterian Church in California. The family had been living in a ranch-style house in St. Mary’s County just west of the Leonardtown city limits. In order to be livable after the flood, the flooring and 2 feet of the lower wallboard in thehouse had to be replaced due to mold, according to the deacon. The floodwater also rose to several feet in a garage on the property, Steinbach said, and left all three of the vehicles on the
Home For the Holidays? “For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Mark 10:45 After seven months of living away from home, this past Saturday was move-in day for the Moots! Well, sort of. Just after receiving their certificate of occupancy last week, the Moots began to excitedly
by Chris Cashen, Refugee Evangelist in Clarkston, GA As we are now in the Christmas season, many are turning their thoughts to serving, giving and mercy. This, then, is a wonderful time to encourage Christians to get involved in refugee ministry – which is chock full of serving and giving. In fact, as some write about refugee ministry, they remind
Just some of the volunteers from over the past seven months! It’s been a long seven months now since the flooding in Midland, Michigan. Two families from our OPC in Midland experienced devastating loss as a result of two dams being breached because of overflowing rainwater. That was then, this is now. While one family was completely displaced, the other,
Cary and Judy Hirdes have made many trips to Midland, Michigan to help with the rebuild process at the Moots’ & Kennedy’s homes since the floods early in May. Judy shares a recent update: We made another trip to Midland, MI on October 26th for three days of work. Cary made the final connections for gas and the thermostat and
Praising the Lord for a good report from Pineville OPC, Pineville, LA on Hurricane Delta:This storm was minor league compared to Laura. More rainfall with extremely sporadic flooding, little infrastructure damage to the community. The church is no worse for wear, little debris, no power at the church, but planning on service w/o power as it is much cooler than
October:This week we will be finishing laying the tar paper (Tom Sills – Grace and Peace OPC helped yesterday), to be followed by underlayment installation. Once we have completed the underlayment, we are at all stop until we have a way forward with the electrical distribution and complete whatever changes are required. We need an electrician to evaluate the electrical
Rebuilding in Midland, Michigan This article was first published in the October 2020 edition of New Horizons magazine. by Cheryl Wade When floodwaters filled Glenn and Michelle Moots’s house with two inches of mud and dumped another six inches into their driveway, the couple wasn’t sure they ever would live in their single-story home in rural Midland County, Michigan, again.
Cary and Judy Hirdes have been working in Midland, Michigan for the last 4+ months. Judy shares this update from their most recent trip there. Our work in Midland, MI continues, following the devastating flood from the dam breakage on May 19. We drove there on August 4 to check out the Moots’ home project for some details Cary needed
by Cheryl Wade I recently created a tiny nonprofit organization to provide little bits of help to people in my community who are experiencing sight loss. Through this work, I learned that there are tiny little things that need to be done—and there is no organized way to get them done. So, I have become a “doer of little things.”
Confessions of a Disaster Response Volunteer by Rich Duggan, OPC Disaster Response Volunteer & Member, New Hope OPC, Bridgeton, NJ On August 31st, a group of five men from New Jersey, including myself, departed on our planned trip to Midland, Michigan. We were going to help a couple of families that had their homes significantly damaged by flooding when multiple dams
by Trish DugganCommunications Coordinator, OPC Disaster Response How can we fully describe Summer like the one we’ve just experienced? And why in the world would we choose a photo of Glenn and Michelle Moots smiling? Their home was destroyed by floods, after all! The summer was good. Yes, it was good.The summer for OPC Short Term Missions and Disaster Response was different for
As wildfires continue to smolder in the western half of the state of Oregon, we have been receiving reports from OPC pastors in the area, keeping us updated on how their churches are doing, and of losses and damages within their congregations. Praise to the Lord, there has been no loss of life, though several families have lost their homes
The Disaster Advanced Response Team (DART) arrived in Pineville, LA around midnight Saturday night (8/29/20) in the wake of Category 4 Hurricane Laura. Sunday morning (8/30/20) after a devotional led by a licensed candidate of the Presbytery of the South they went to work applying mercy ministry to Pineville OP Church. They removed four downed trees at the church property
by Trish Duggan Taken from OPC.org feature story August 25, 2020 It’s not often you get a year like 2020! Maybe never?! I think everyone has a story to tell about the changes that have gone on since the COVID-19 pandemic began. It’s no different for OPC Disaster Response this year. We are now in the midst of organizing efforts
https://vimeo.com/446488574 Please give if you can. GIVE.OPC.ORG
by Charley DeBoerElder, Trinity-Easton OPCEaston, PA “When I first drove up to the site it was emotional for me! The Moots’ house was emptied by waters. When I met Glenn and Michell, they were so upbeat, both with smiles on their faces, a true testimony of trusting in God. We took a quick tour of the house and made a
Brewing Storms for OPC Disaster Response Tropical Storm Isaias hit the East Coast of the United States last week. OPC Disaster Response Coordinator, David Nakhla traveled to Maryland where he met with a homeowner left with several inches of rain rush inside his home as a result of Isaias. David also met with Pastor Edd Cathey, deacons at Grace and Peace OPC in California,
It’s been nearly three months since the devastating flooding in Midland, Michigan. During that time a couple of couples (along with many others) have been serving together in the disaster relief efforts and share their experiences. Cary & Judy Hirdes Tom & Linda Kennedy (L) with Cary & Judy Hirdes (R) We traveled to Midland, MI on June 16 and
by Glenn Moots This article first appeared on www.opc.org Edenville Township, MI – May 20, 2020: Glenn Moots stands at the front of his house. CREDIT: Nick Hagen Our home had always been headquarters for education, vocation, fellowship, hospitality, and service. We homeschooled, established our businesses, (including e-commerce, computer repair, academic consulting, and equestrian jewelry), organized holiday service projects for
Disaster Response 2019 – Year in Review Slideshow This is a brief overview of the OPC’s disaster response efforts in 2019. If you would like to register as a Disaster Response Volunteer, sign up today!
OPC Disaster Response Aids in Midland, MI Featured on OPC.org Sarah Klazinga In the last three months our country has seen devastation of every kind, from airborne microbes shutting down or significantly limiting every norm of our daily lives, to riots in nearly every city across the nation, to natural disasters in every category – earthquakes in Utah and Idaho,
A Sacrificial Gift of Face Masks by Patricia L. Duggan, member at New Hope Presbyterian Church in Bridgeton, New Jersey, and communications coordinator for the Committee on Diaconal Ministries. From the June 2020 issue of New Horrizons During this global crisis, we may not be giving much thought about what we can do for people in other parts of the
Thousands Raised for OPC COVID-19 Pandemic Response Fund By David Nakhla “I love the LORD, because he has heard my voice and my pleas for mercy.” Ps 116:1 ESV With thanksgiving, we are glad to report that the OPC’s COVID-19 Pandemic Response (CPR) Fund has received nearly $20,000 in gifts. With the gifts, the Committee on Diaconal Ministries has already
We are keeping in touch with the churches in the south where they experienced another round of tornadoes this past weekend. Deacon Dan Zuldema from Cornerstone OPC in Chattanooga sent us this note: Greetings from Cornerstone OPC in Chattanooga! We wanted to send this note of update to you in the wake of the storms that swept through the Chattanooga area last
We can reach out to our neighbors anytime, but during this time of uncertainty, shifts in schedules and everyday stresses, we have been given a unique opportunity for service to our neighbors. We encourage you to use this card, share this link with your church family in order to glorify God in all that we do and say.
I don’t think I would have this door for ministry with “S” had it not been for an unlikely providence of the Lord, as follows…
It would be difficult to measure the full impact of David Haney’s service to the OPC in these important areas, not to mention the countless other roles in which he served but are not included here, through which he became so widely known and respected throughout the denomination …
It has been a wonderful experience to do this work and I am grateful for the opportunity to be a part of this important ministry of the OPC ..
The much-forecasted arrival of Hurricane Florence finally occurred on September 14, 2018, in Wrightsville Beach, NC, as a Category 1 hurricane. Florence caused a storm surge of as much as ten feet above sea level in New Bern, NC …
Certain experiences over the past months have helped us marvel at the earthly ministry of our Lord Jesus Christ. One of these occurred at the end of July when we were given the opportunity to take many refugee children to a three day summer camp…
I persisted in trying to open up some form of positive conversation and did succeed in getting her to converse a bit. She was intrigued by the topic of grieving and community …
The need for those from all nations to acquire English in order to function and survive opens doors for mercy, as well as gospel, ministry…
In 2018, the Committee on Diaconal Ministries sent $28,000 of the remaining Haiti Earthquake Relief funds to the OP Haiti Mission for building new homes for five families in the Port-au-Prince congregation that continued to suffer from difficult housing situations in the aftermath of the earthquake of 2010…
Our next door neighbor recalled how she was talking with friends on the street. They chose to gather in a plastic greenhouse for safety from the earthquakes. She ran to the second floor of her home. In just minutes, the tsunami washed her friends away…
NEW HORIZONS, March 2019: Stirring up gifts in the body of Christ in Houston and throughout our presbytery means helping one another to see the wide-open door for compassionate service in the wake of the hurricane. Having a full-time evangelist here for Harvey households includes his role in equipping all of us to do this work…
The OPC Committee on Diaconal Ministries (CDM) investigated the needs of churches affected by the California wildfires in the autumn of 2018, and selected Ridge PCA (Paradise, CA) as the church to which it would donate funds and to which it would recommend that OPC members direct their personal giving..
Many thanks to Hurricane Florence volunteers who have served in North Carolina since the autumn of 2018…
Many thanks to Hurricane Maria Response volunteers who served in Puerto Rico…
Many thanks to Hurricane Harvey volunteers who have served in Houston since the autumn of 2017…
NEW HORIZONS, December 2019: The development of a response plan by the disaster response team and diaconal committee of the PSE, in conjunction with information from local church officers, allowed us to ensure that each of our church members was accounted for and property damages were assessed once the storm hit…
Serving on a disaster response team or short-term missions team is an opportunity to live out your faith by working at the intersection of the Great Commandment and the Great Commission…
Please do not consider this the end of the story in Houston….The impact of this storm on the lives of millions of people and thousands of businesses is still being profoundly felt and experienced…
There are truly no words to express the gratitude we feel having such a church as the OPC to come around us and help in our deepest time of need. I will never forget what God has done for us, and my faith has strengthened…
NEW HORIZONS, June 2018: Not only had God sent them to Houston to serve and to give, but also to be served and to receive the blessings of fellowship awaiting them among the saints in Houston…
This has to be one of the greatest things the OPC has done recently…
Our prayer is that through the outreach ministry of disaster relief and recovery, we in the OPC can help people find an enduring answer to the question of “why?” It will be manifested by the work we do of physical and material assistance we provide in the name of Christ, and by the testimony of the gospel that we proclaim
From Jeff Davis, Site Coordinator: I was blessed to spend time with the team of 37 volunteers from the URC Youth Group in Dutton, Michigan. They proved to be very well organized and joyful in their work and play time…
Every person that we helped was so genuinely thankful and appreciative of the work. But while the help that we gave was very beneficial to the people, the impact that these people made on us was so much greater than the help they could have received from us…
The work here is unquestionably important and an incredible opportunity for us to reach people spiritually. I am confident that our love in action has touched many, many people and has borne witness to Christ’s love…
Great photos of a combined Reformed Mission Services and OPC team that traveled to Puerto Rico in May 2018 to work on damage caused by Hurricane Maria in 2017…
NEW HORIZONS, May 2018: …there may be no place in the country as kaleidoscopically, vibrantly, viscerally diverse….Their presence in our country gives the church a unique opportunity to meet the physical needs of our friends while we share the good news of salvation in Jesus Christ with them…
What began as a frenzied effort to respond to the immediate aftermath of the worst hurricane to hit Texas in decades, and the worst flooding in the Houston area in living memory, has blossomed into a sustained work of mercy and outreach in one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the United States…
These videos comprise a brief tutorial that presents ideas and methods by which to restore worship within the local and regional church, and demonstrate the compassionate love of Christ to the community, following a disaster…
Now that daily life is returning to normal in Puerto Rico with the restoration of electricity, water, internet, etc., more attention can be directed to buildings and property that sustained damage in the storm…
Daily devotions set the tone for the outreach aspect of this ministry which is focused on being the hands and feet of Jesus. This leads to occasions almost every day for evangelistic conversations…
Hurricane Maria exposed our vulnerability and revealed the power of God. Spiritual needs have now come to the surface, and the restoring power of Jesus is seen even more clearly . . .
NEW HORIZONS, February 2018: “We know that God calls us to do our work with devotion, and we want to spread the gospel where God puts us … Our goal is to be present and minister … “
Thank you to all of you who have expressed interest in traveling to Puerto Rico to help with disaster response. THANK YOU for this desire and willingness to go. It’s wonderful. What a blessing…
Thank you for coming and pulling out sheetrock, spraying vinegar and mold control, pulling out nails, demolishing bookcases, packing, cleaning, running errands, moving furniture, sweeping, repairing sheetrock . . .
Hurricane Irma volunteers who served in Florida in 2017…
As Christians, we must refuse to resign to feelings of helplessness and must instead stand in the great promises and instructions of our great shepherd, King Jesus – who has not left us helpless…
Members of the Presbytery of New Jersey would like to see individuals and teams visit Puerto Rico to bring encouragement and to assist in outreach opportunities. There are many occasions to point to the true hope found in Jesus Christ…
The conversation became an occasion for our Christian friends to testify how God has been helping them through their flood recovery. These kinds of conversations happen regularly and God continues to open doors for ministry…
The Lord has already seen fit to use this storm for Pastor Bill Welzien and others to witness to neighbors and friends further, and our hope continues to be that the Lord would see fit to use this time to call others unto Him . . .
Because of the work that we were able to do on behalf of our neighbors, the reputation of our works of service and our church have risen significantly…
This is exactly what we want our outreach to look like: sharing the work with a family, combined with generosity in the name of Christ…
The team was able to finish with the debris at Pastor Bill Welzien’s house and at the home of a friend of his. This friend, who doesn’t attend Keys OPC, was overwhelmed with the support shown to him and came to church the following Sunday…
With no power, cell, internet, and unpredictable water…life has completely changed for this young family of seven and all in their community. It’s like civilization stepped backwards 100 years . . .
I praise the Lord that none of our church members have suffered any property loss in these fires, despite several close calls. Now we begin the work in trying to help our community rebuild and especially minister to our fellow saints…
After four days and and still little news to report out of Puerto Rico, we are concerned. We are not assuming that “no news is good news.” Please be in prayer for the 3.4 million inhabitants of this island, and in particular, those from our churches there . . .
Ellen wrote: “Three angels named Jeff, Rick, and Kenley came over today. They left us delightfully encouraged, prayed over, and feeling rescued. God knew what I needed more than I did. Jesus blessing to you all.”
The debris that is scattered everywhere is overwhelming….The sheer volume of the debris is substantial, as most trees across the Keys are either down or stripped bare…
“… it’s a huge deal. Huge.” To her, the pastor-led volunteer group was a gift from heaven . . .
What a great day this was with the team from Michigan and the Haitian Hurricane Heroes. Thanks for your prayers! Tomorrow we will be working in our neighborhood, The Shores. Please pray for opportunities to share the hope of Christ . . .
We have entered homes and businesses inundated by flooding to tear out and clear away ruined furniture and household belongings, walls, floors, carpeting, cabinets, and plumbing. We are endeavoring to offer solace and support in the name of Jesus…
Brothers and sisters, there is much to thank the Lord for with this initial report… More details will be forthcoming as more assessments will be made on others homes and property . . .
Good morning from Naples on what will most likely be, simply put, a day of enormous calamity here in Southwest Florida . . .
What seems like an impossible task that can lead one to despair can suddenly become bearable when the Lord’s people respond to the call to serve one another generously and without reserve. God has been good . . .
It has been surreal here the last few days not knowing where this storm will make landfall: People are on edge all over town as I’ve seen loud parking lot arguments, road rage incidents, and shopping-cart-rage incidents in stores! Some gas stations have long lines down the street, others are completely empty because they have no more gas . . .
The structure of our church didn’t suffer any damage. All the members are OK, to my knowledge. The only problems are: electricity and water. We praise the Lord that He preserved us from that huge Hurricane . . .
Hurricane Harvey is expected to make landfall in Southeastern Texas on Saturday morning. Just to its east in Houston there are two OPC churches, an OPC Bible Study work, other sister churches, and more than 2 million people…
NEW HORIZONS, October 2016: Be a friend. Ask questions. Listen to stories. Share a gospel word. Bring new friends to a spiritual Sabbath feast and introduce them to your Father and to your family. This is positive Christian witness…
The Disaster Response Coordinator for the Presbytery of the South during Hurricane Matthew is Deacon Tim Phillips . . .
We both knew, without exchanging words, that now the veil from her heart is removed. That she is free for the first time in her life. That Jesus has embraced her and given her a hope beyond understanding. Now she understands the reason for the love poured out on her since she arrived . . .
I personally was excited to return to Yamamoto after five years to see the progress made in recovering from the tsunami and the impact the Nozomi Center has in meeting the physical and spiritual needs of the community . . .
We started the second week off by worshiping with our beloved Japanese brothers and sisters in Sendai. It felt like such a great honor coupled with much humility to worship with such dedicated believers . . .
We may not be able to understand the ultimate reasons for the catastrophe that is unfolding before our eyes, but ought we not view this, in part, as an opportunity set before us by divine providence to do what we can to minister to these refugees, especially fellow believers who are being persecuted for their faith . . .
Even as it has been said that “the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church,” the refugee crisis is creating opportunities for a gospel witness in places and with people that previously seemed impossible to reach . . .
Pete Onnink, a carpenter by trade and volunteer youth leader at Covenant OPC in Orland Park, IL, saw the request for Hurricane Sandy relief work (ongoing almost 3 years after the storm!) and thought it would make a great youth trip . . .
We consider our brothers and sisters in Christ from OPC mission teams ‘missionaries’ instead of just ‘volunteers’ because of their dedicated service to bring Gospel to the town of Yamamoto by loving the locals in a tangible way…
A fierce tornado recently destroyed the homes of the parents and sister of OPC Missionary to Uganda, Eric Tuininga. The F2 tornado struck their small town in eastern North Carolina at 4:00 pm on Monday, April 7, 2014 . . .
It has been 18 months since Hurricane Sandy hit the eastern seaboard of the USA, wreaking havoc in its wake. The OPC was able to respond to this disaster, thanks to our on-site coordinators and many other volunteers who contributed their time and skills to help OP families and their friends and neighbors deal with the aftermath of the storm
Today marks the third anniversary of the most powerful earthquake in Japan’s recorded history. On Friday, March 11, 2011 at 2:46 PM JST, a triple disaster was set in violent motion. Most of us here in eastern Japan witnessed the devastating power as our homes shook, cracks appeared in walls and ground, and the sky turned a sickening color. Fewer
Thanksgiving is a wonderful time for reflecting on the Lord’s goodness to us over the past year. His gift of goodness does not always come to us wrapped in the most obvious of packages. It does not always come painted with colorful flowers and glowing sunshine. Rather, we may find that we have to peer through the dark clouds and
Following the news of the destructive tornadoes that ripped through the Midwest on Sunday, November 17, 2013, we were thankful to hear from the Presbytery of the Midwest that our OPC churches and congregations had escaped harm…
We have been once again stunned by the magnitude of a natural disaster, as one week ago Typhoon Yolanda swept across the Philippines. Consistent with the response of the church to past disasters, there seems to be a ground-swell of longing to help…
This storm and the kids coming to help our church family, I believe brought us all together, two churches that needed help. We learned so much about each other during this heartbreaking time. We all learned what gifts God has given each of us. God has given us at Faith Bible a wonderful new beginning . . .
NEW HORIZONS: May 2013: With power restored, Faith Bible invited the Redeemer congregation to join them for worship. The response was wonderful! For the first time, the majority of both congregations met together for worship…
Stephanie Avellino wanted to help. “This one seemed to hit close to home,” she said, referring to Super Storm Sandy. Members in her extended family had been impacted by the hurricane. But as a small business owner herself, Stephanie wanted to reach out to Shore businesses affected by Sandy . . .
Weather continues to be a challenge for residents of the Jersey Shore. At this moment the area is bracing for Winter Storm Nemo (the lost little clown fish? the rogue submarine captain of Verne’s imagination?), expecting between four to 10 inches of snow and moderate coastal flooding . . .
NEW HORIZONS, January 2013: It was the “holy chaos” created by the early church’s zeal for mercy ministry that occasioned the first diaconate. It has been a similar zeal for ministries of mercy in the OPC, and the potential chaos that can accompany it, that has occasioned the need for a denominational Committee on Diaconal Ministries . . .
NEW HORIZONS, January 2013: The storm surge flooded homes and churches, shoved houses off their foundations, sparked fires, dumped yachts on roof tops, downed cell towers and tree limbs, and exploded transformers, knocking homes into the dark and cold
Please don’t stop praying for us here in metropolitan New York in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. It is one month ago today that the storm hit with its greatest force (and for the duration of most of that day). While the rest of the country gears up for Christmas, we are still surrounded by clean-up and house re-building efforts
Those of us on Team #2 have felt that the Lord has indeed deemed it His will for us to spend 14, 24, or 28 days away from our loved ones to help a community of believers reconstruct a physical building to serve as a church where God’s word can be proclaimed and His children brought to a knowledge of
While it’s one thing to acknowledge that God is sovereign in all matters great and small, good and bad, it’s a whole other thing to be able to rest in that under such difficult circumstances. And this is where the church must step in. We must reach out to our brother and sister in need and minister to them .
It is hard to believe that we are now in the third week of events connected with Hurricane Sandy’s destructive march through New Jersey and New York beginning on October 29, 2012. The experience is a kind of corporate bereavement process with the successive stages of shock, disorganization, and reorganization . . .
Two weeks now have passed since the beginning of the reconstruction of the Reformed Church of Japan in Ishinomaki Japan by Team #1. The efforts of the team have been very effective as all the demolition required has been completed . . .
Monday evening, October 29th, 2012, consistent with the predictions of many weather forecasters, Hurricane Sandy took her left turn and headed west directly for the Jersey Shore. The OPC is still recovering from the effects of that blow . . .
What a joy it was to help one of our Long Beach families who had moved in with the wife’s parents here in Malverne. Both of her octogenarian parents have serious health issues – and they were without power. We were able to install a large generator with power enough to provide heating and lights for them. It was a
Our Lord is master of all! We rely on His help in all things. Please pray for the many who are hurting from this natural disaster and that we might know how best to minister to our brothers and sisters in Christ and to bring that cup of cold water in the name of Christ to those who don’t yet
We are so thankful for the prayers of God’s people, asking that the Lord raise up skilled workers to go to Japan to aid the church there in the refurbishment of the Ishinomaki Chapel. This will be the 3rd construction project that the OPC has undertaken this year . . .
The recently constructed Nozomi Center, which was built to serve the people of Yamamoto, Japan, following the Tsunami of March 2011, has been open since May 5, 2012 — and now it has its own website, too . . .
In God’s providence, the OPC has been ministering in Japan, and specifically in Sendai, for at least the past 50 years. As such, when the tri-fold disasters happened in the Sendai area of Japan, there was little question whether the OPC would be participating in the response to this disaster . . .
It was a wonderful ceremony starting with a worship service and singing praises to the Lord and all praying together that this center would indeed be as David Nakhla said “a launching pad for ministers, church members, and teams from all over Japan and beyond to come and to spread the love of Christ, both in tangible expressions and in
While the Japanese people paid attention to the tsunami warning, it seems they need to hear the warning, and the promise, of the gospel. Edie had mentioned that her students all notice that it is Christians that are helping with the relief. No doubt other people notice as well . . .
Most important we have the confidence and belief that this is God’s plan for us in our journey and His plan for the Japanese people in and around Yamamoto. We strongly feel the Holy Spirit has worked in all of us a good thing by being here and we will continue to pray that the Spirit will work in the
The Lord truly does continue to hold us in his hand. We rejoice in that we all remain healthy and anxious to complete the tasks that we believe the Lord has set before us. This is a tremendous opportunity for witnessing to this area . . .
Due to the fact that building material is twice the price in Japan as in the US, our intention was to ship the building materials from the US. Little did we know of the difficulties we would run up against in attempting to order, pack, and ship this material to Japan. Yet, God has been faithful to raise up just
NEW HORIZONS, December 2011: For a Christian visiting Japan’s capital city of Tokyo, one of the most heartbreaking sights is also one of the city’s biggest attractions. The famous Sensoji Temple draws some thirty million visitors each year, including throngs of Buddhists futilely worshipping Kannon—the purported “goddess of mercy” . . .
We hope to see the material arrive in Japan by early November. At that time, we will need teams of skilled builders to perform the work. We are looking for electricians, plumbers, tapers, tilers, and carpenters. We anticipate a couple of months of work. This is a wonderful opportunity for those with these skills to serve in this kingdom work
To see how Hurricane Irene touched, affected and impaired lives was what really did me in. People. Real people. Fathers, mothers and children. Families losing everything….To see it on such a magnitude is an experience one does not soon forget…