Disaster Site Updates
Moore OK Tornado Update
Local PCA volunteers have been busy on the ground assisting in a variety of ways since the massive tornado hit Moore OK. One of the first projects done was cleaning the local cemetery of debris in order to facilitate the funerals of those who lost their lives due to the storm. A second major project, in addition to general debris removal, has been the beginning of building Sheds of Hope.
MNA Disaster Response has been working with local PCA church leadership to determine next steps. Volunteer staging is being put in place to house outside volunteers, beginning June 17. Much help is needed so begin making your plans now to go and serve.
If you are interested in serving as a disaster response volunteer, please click here. All volunteers will be mobilized from our website registration and must be properly scheduled in order to serve as spaces are limited. If you have already registered you will be receiving more specific information shortly about being scheduled to serve.
If you would like to make a donation to help meet the significant financial needs that have resulted from this storm, please click here.
In the meantime, if you would like to register as a disaster response volunteer, please . T. Again, please check back here for more information.
For more information, read the Volunteer Fact Sheet for Moore OK.
Explosion in West Texas
On Wednesday, April 17, a major explosion occurred in West TX at a local fertilizer plant. At least 14 people were killed, 200 injured and scores of homes and businesses destroyed in one of the worst American industrial accidents in years. MNA Disaster Response staff has been in communication with the State Department of Emergency Management, City Council, and other volunteer organizations (VOAD) as well as manning the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) and attending planning meetings.
The city is forming a Long Term Recovery Committee and is working out procedures on handling donations, both cash and noncash, as well as volunteer and case management and temporary housing. The EOC is ready to close down and a West Foundation non-profit organization is being established. Businesses and organizations have been overwhelming in their offers of assistance from hearing tests and hearing aids, bed sets, feeding, and counseling, to “House in a Box” furniture.
Jeff Hatton, senior pastor, Redeemer PCA, Waco, TX, has been counseling several families in West including a family and extended family of a volunteer fireman who was killed. Additionally, he discovered that a member family of Redeemer living in West had damage to their home as well.
The city has asked local churches in the surrounding area (Waco is 18 miles away) to sponsor families. So far, over 250 families have been identified as needing help. The newly formed Waco Disaster Relief Network is a group of Christian churches coordinating this effort and held training on April 30th. Redeemer PCA will be sponsoring a couple families that Pastor Hatton and Assistant Pastor, Slim Thompson, have been counseling.
Please do not send noncash donations to West or to Redeemer PCA and limit your calls to the church. Please contact Rick Lenz at firstname.lastname@example.org or 817-690-8107 if you need information or have questions.
How can you help?
1. Financial Support – please mail checks (write “West TX Disaster Response” on the memo line) made out to “Redeemer PCA” to:
2501 Ritchie Road
Waco, TX 76712
2. Blood Donations – please donate blood at your nearest blood donation center.
3. Non-Cash Donations – please refrain from sending unsolicited/unrequested goods and supplies. The city has two large warehouses full and well meaning gifts continue to pour in. If you have collected items, consider converting it to cash and sending a check.
4. Volunteering – Volunteers are not needed at this time. Most of the severely damaged homes in the hardest hit area will be demolished by contractors hired by insurance companies or the city.
5. Pray – Please pray for the city and people of West, the many agencies and volunteer groups, and the members and staff of Redeemer PCA
Please check back here for more information as it becomes available.
MS Tornado Update
Thanks to the great work of our first responders and initial disaster response volunteer teams, the initial chainsaw and debris removal work has been completed. MNA Disaster Response Staff is working with the local PCA leadership to develop a plan to help meet the longer-term needs. At this time the needs are primarily financial to assist the uninsured or underinsured. If you would like to give to help those affected by this tornado, please click here, or simply mail your check marked ‘MS Tornado’ to Mission to North America, 1700 North Brown Road, Suite 101, Lawrenceville GA 30043. Please know 100% of all donations goes to serve the needs of those impacted by the disaster as MNA does not withhold any fees.
HURRICANE SANDY URGENT NEED!!! Click here to learn more.
Super Storm Sandy
“Many folks have asked if this is Katrina-like. In many ways it is far worse since the population density is far greater, and the weather and temperatures are terrible. People are really hurting up here: keep praying for resources to sustain recovery operations that allow us to reach others in their time of need” — Arklie Hooten, MNA Disaster Response Director
Super Storm Sandy left major damage throughout many areas, primarily in New York and New Jersey. Initial assessments have been done by MNA Disaster Response staff in conjunction with local PCA leadership. Our focus is now marshalling critically needed resources to PCA congregations and establishing volunteer staging areas in New Jersey and New York, allowing our churches to reach their communities with Christ’s love.
A relief worksite is up and operating in Atlantic City NJ in partnership with New City Fellowship Mission PCA, pastored by church planter Santo Garofalo. Teams from NJ, SC, NC, VA and PA have been on the ground since day one undertaking mucking, gutting and debris cleanup, including direct assistance to PCA families. First Presbyterian Church PCA of Stanley NC has deployed their shower trailer team to stand up operations in Atlantic City. We anticipate the need for traveling teams through at least April 1, 2013. MNA is funding site management positions and channeling other resources to help Pastor Santo impact this community. Another way to help is to give a strong gift to help renovate a blighted property that is being converted into a bunkhouse. The bunkhouse, once renovated, will facilitate the hosting of future short term missionaries and disaster response volunteers.
Another PCA church that we are assisting that was extremely hard hit is Redentor PCA in South River NJ, a multicultural congregation pastored by Rev. Fernando Freitas. The following is a portion of an email received by Rev. Freitas:
Our Church, Redentor Presbyterian Church, is a 17 year-old community planted in South River, to reach especially (at that time) the Brazilian community. Even though the majority of its 68 members is still comprised of Brazilians immigrants, today it is a multicultural church, with people also from Portugal, Venezuela, Puerto Rico, Peru and Ecuador.
In October of 2008 God gave us an opportunity to buy our own building that is very close to the center of our town. The building was totally remodeled by the grace of God and the efforts of our own members and friends. In December 3, 2010, we started to use it, when we had the first Worship Service there. However, during the hard weather under Hurricane Sandy our building had its basement completely filled with flood water along with the rest of downtown, South River, NJ.
Redentor has lost their entire electrical, heating, and alarm systems. The church is now scrambling to gather for worship and other services at the homes of members, some who are also dealing with major loses. Redentor has also lost furniture and kitchen supplies. Their insurance policy does not cover any of these loses that are estimated in the tens of thousands or more. Volunteers have traveled from PA to assist with the restoration of the electrical system and contractors have been identified to undertake the replacement of the mechanical systems. Please consider a strong financial gift to help make these repairs. Teams from upstate NY and PA are scheduled to undertake repairs to congregant’s homes. Please consider forming a team and coming to help.
A third location in New Jersey we are concentrating on is Calvary PCA in Allenwood. Although the Calvary family is mostly unaffected, they are focusing on the hard-hit coastal areas of Manasquan and Bay Head, channeling resources to those in need. Calvary is uniquely positioned as a gateway to possibly the most devastated New Jersey coastal areas. Keep praying for MNA and church leadership as we grapple with a long-term strategy. Many areas are still closed to outsiders, but we anticipate access soon. Once the hardest hit areas are open we anticipate a long haul here — working alongside like minded agencies, to establish a “beach head” here for at least several years. Pray for opportunities to be involved with rebuilding and for wisdom as new building regulations are pushed down to faith based groups anxious to reach these areas with God’s laborers.
A fourth and fifth site and volunteer staging areas are being established in NY, working with PCA churches undertaking operations at Coney Island, Rockaways, Breezy Point and Howard Beach, probably the hardest hit areas of NY. Distribution of commodities and critically needed supplies has been underway at these sites since day 1. We are partnering with another organization and sharing a warehouse to receive and redistribute critically needed donated items. Please contact us if you have the ability to collect and deliver a concise cache of items to the warehouse. A site manager has been identified to oversee traveling relief teams and the position is being supported by MNA. We are focused on the communities of Long Island and a focus is on folks living in subsidized housing with a concentration on The Towers, an extremely underserved populace even before the storm. We have a volunteer hosting site set up and can coordinate overnight traveling teams which are equipped to gut, pump and muck storm damaged homes. If distance is a hindrance please prayerfully consider a financial gift to facilitate the movement of others, including college students, who can respond now.
For the most part, other PCA church facilities in Sandy’s path are primarily in tact and most all have power restored. However the financial impact of this storm is substantial to our sister congregations due to cancelled services and the work of our churches through mercy in helping meet the needs of their congregants and communities. MNA has already advanced funds to storm impacted congregations assisting with unmet financial obligations caused by the storm. Please consider helping us to help our sister churches.
In response to the request of local PCA leadership in the affected areas, MNA Disaster Response is providing needed resources and volunteers to assist in this major recovery effort. A designated fund has been established to receive donations to assist with the financial needs. TO DONATE, please click here. Please know that MNA charges no fees for administrative overhead; therefore 100% of all donations to MNA Disaster Response go to serve those who are in desperate need.
TO VOLUNTEER, YOU MUST REGISTER! To register as a disaster response volunteer, please click here.
PLEASE PRAY, GIVE, AND GO!!
Volunteer Mobilization in Allenwood NJ, Brooklyn, and New York City
- Hurricane Sandy Relief in Allenwood NJ: Volunteer Fact Sheet for Allenwood NJ
- Hurricane Sandy Relief in New York City: Volunteer Fact Sheet for New York City
- Ascension PCA, Brooklyn NY. Volunteers are needed to reach out to the Broad Channel area, a community of Brooklyn. Broad Channel is a narrow strip of land five city blocks wide at its widest point. It has 920 homes, all of which were submerged in nine feet of water during the hurricane. Approximately 60% of these 920 homes have children. The needs are profound and Ascension has made this area their target to assist with recovery from Hurricane Sandy. Volunteers are needed for months to come. If you are interested in volunteering to help meet these needs, please contact Sherry Lanier at email@example.com.
Reports on Older Sites
- Final Update from Birmingham AL – 2011 Tornado
- Final Update and Thank Your from Christ the King – Joplin MO
- Final Update and Thank You from Tuscaloosa AL
- New Hope PCA in Vestal NY: This site is now closed.