Category: Disaster Response Archives
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 reopened using an FM radio
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 for our current form of disaster response. The Lord
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 God’s mercy in
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 homeowners. Take a
“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 plan to collect their salvaged
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. Heavy rains caused the
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 failed around Sanford Lake in May
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, tornadoes in the southeast, and floods in
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 been able to respond to some requests for
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.
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…
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..
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…
The Disaster Response Coordinator for the Presbytery of the South during Hurricane Matthew is Deacon Tim Phillips . . .
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 . . .
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…