Disaster Site Updates
Winter Storms –Eastern US
Winter storms have been passing through much of the eastern United States over the past several days. In the deep south ice and snow are melting; snow continues to fall in the Northeast as the storms make their way to the Atlantic. MNA Disaster Response has been contacting local PCA leadership to determine if outside assistance is needed to meet any needs presented by this set of major storms. Please check back here for more information as it becomes available.
WASHINGTON IL TORNADO – UPDATE
The November 17, 2013 tornado outbreak was the deadliest and most violent tornado outbreak on record during the month of November in the U.S. state of Illinois. The outbreak included many tornadoes across Illinois, Missouri, Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, and Tennessee with at least seven fatalities. Damaging straight-line winds were seen over a larger area including Iowa, Wisconsin, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, and New York. For the most part, our PCA family was spared major damage except in Washington Illinois, near Peoria.
MNA Disaster Response leaders have been working with our local PCA leadership to establish our response. Click here to read how you can help!
Moore OK-North Texas Presbytery Tornado Response-September 2013
“The recipients of the Sheds of Hope have been very thankful to receive a building to store what belongings they were able to salvage or have acquired since the devastation as they start to rebuild. It really does give them hope that they are on the road to recovery.”
– Rick Lenz, MNA Disaster Response Regional Specialist-TX and OK
The work in OK is continuing at a high level in partnership with the Oklahoma-based churches of the North Texas Presbytery. After the initial debris cleanup and stabilization of structures, MNA teams have been concentrating on building ‘Sheds of Hope’, backyard yard-barn structures. The Sheds of Hope (SOH) project has become a defining ministry of MNA Disaster Response. Recently we celebrated our 85th SOH build in Moore. More than 800 SOH have been built since 2005. The Sheds provide a way for storm damaged families to begin to get the
rebuilding started by providing storage for personal items recovered from destroyed homes, storage for rebuilding supplies and materials, tools, etc.
Typically, in storm-flattened communities, MNA mobilized volunteers are the first ‘rebuilders’ as we move in to assist with chainsaw work, roof tarping, debris cleanup and build sheds on empty lots where homes once stood. Please consider forming a team and coming to the heartland to build sheds. Recently I had the privilege to help 12 US Marines who were home on leave build a shed for a disabled Marine. What an honor! We currently have prequalified 100 more families for a Shed.
City Pres member and site manager, Laura Atherton, is doing a great job in ordering sheds, getting tools and supplies, and coordinating volunteers on arrival in OK. Daniel Killian, RUF OSU, dedicated his ‘spare time’ this summer to serve as construction manager. Matt Teeselink, Covenant Seminary student, reordered priorities to coordinate volunteers for the past six weeks. Christ the King PCA, Norman OK is housing volunteers. MNA Disaster Response Shower Trailer 3 has been deployed there since mid-June. Christ the King PCA Ruling Elder Jim Leckie is coordinating volunteer sheltering. Over 500 volunteers have participated in building the sheds so far. Can you come and help?
If you would like to make a donation to help meet the significant financial needs that have resulted from this storm, please click here.
MNA Disaster Response is working closely with local PCA church leadership to determine the best means to assist those in need. Initially we are partnering with Samaritan’s Purse by providing local volunteers. If you are interested in serving now, day volunteers are serving in Niwot CO. You will need to call 303-301-7997 for more information on how to register to serve; no volunteers will be allowed to serve in any areas without proper registration through a responding agency.
The needs presented by this flooding event are long-term in nature. Our PCA family in CO desires to help meet these long term needs so plans are in the works for a volunteer staging area to be set up at one of our local PCA churches. This will be where our outside volunteers can be lodged. This site will be opened when the clearance is given for outside volunteers to be allowed to come and serve. Please check back to this website for more information as it becomes available.
Super Storm Sandy Update-September 2013
“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
Thank you for your continued interest in our recovery efforts in Super Storm Sandy affected NJ & NY. The storm left major damage throughout the coastal regions. Initial assessments were completed by MNA Disaster Response staff in conjunction with local PCA leadership. Major worksites were established in 5 locations at the request of local PCA leadership. Initial work consisted of debris cleanup and stabilization of structures as we worked in conjunction with other faith-based relief providers. Volunteer worksites were established which allowed our churches to reach their communities with Christ’s love.
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.
Atlantic City New Jersey – Volunteers Still Needed!!
MNA has been coordinating volunteers here since the first day we were allowed back on the island at the request of 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. After the debris cleanup, teams began stabilizing and rebuilding homes. Over the summer, MNA ShortTerm missionaries continued the work while also engaged in urban youth ministry. Currently there is a need for appliance installers, roofing teams, plumbers, electricians, and finish carpenters and helpers.
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.
South River New Jersey–Mission Complete!
Join us in celebrating the repair of the church’s physical plant! The work is complete at Redentor PCA in South River NJ, a multicultural congregation pastored by Rev. Fernando Freitas. Hurricane Sandy destroyed the church’s electrical distribution system, fire alarm, heating and cooling system and hot water systems, but with help those systems have been restored and the church is back worshipping.
Allenwood New Jersey—Mission Complete!
After conducting relief operations in perhaps the hardest hit communities, Calvary PCA and MNA Disaster Response have concluded operations effective Sept 1, 2013. The Calvary family was mostly unaffected by the storm and focused relief efforts on the hard-hit coastal areas of Manasquan and Bay Head. MNA DR and the OPC DR undertook relief operations here jointly, sharing resources and volunteers to see this area recover.
Calvary Ruling Elder Ric Springer sends his thanks to all who contributed with time, talent and treasure and said this:
“You are correct that the hosting of teams has been taxing on our congregation, but we are rejoicing that we have been able to do it! The Lord has blessed us in so many ways! All of the teams have expressed their appreciation for our ministry to them as they serve the Lord in the recovery efforts. Without the financial and practical support of MNA Disaster Response we would not have been able to do this.”
Queens NY-Ascension PCA – Volunteers Still Needed!!
Keep praying for Site Manager David Cook who has done/is doing a fantastic job coordinating volunteers in a multitude of tasks including food and supplies distribution, mucking and gutting storm damaged homes, and rebuilding. A focus of the ongoing work is the Broad Channel community consisting of 900+ tidal-surge damaged homes, mostly forgotten by other agencies. Please commit to pray for the work in Broad Channel, and pray for Ascension PCA as the church leadership considers establishing a new preaching point in this resilient blue collar community. Disaster recovery work will continue here through the end of 2013 at least.
Brooklyn NY-Resurrection Presbyterian Church – Volunteers Still Needed!!
MNA Disaster Response Intern Caleb Keane moved from St Louis MO to lead recovery efforts in the hardest hit areas of Brooklyn. MNA DR is partnering with Resurrection EPC a congregation that was planted with the help of Redeemer PCA. Because we are rooted in common theological commitments, we are partnering with Resurrection to help folks in desperate need, celebrating all work that is undertaken in the name of Jesus. The primary work is underway on Coney Island and includes mucking, gutting and rebuilding. One home that is being rebuilt is owned by a man who is nearly 90 years old and has never lived anywhere else. This project, like all MNA coordinated work, provides an opportunity to demonstrate the Gospel to a watching (and waiting) world. Keep praying for resources so this work can continue into the New Year. Secondary work includes supporting Brooklyn Jubilee, a faith-based legal advocacy ministry that is concentrating on serving storm affected folks who lived in government subsidized high rise apartments pre-storm as they navigate the matrix on their path to adequate housing.
“With your help we have earned the reputation as being one of the few organizations still active post-Sandy and one who can get things done. Disaster case managers and other non-profits continue to call us asking if we can help Brooklynites in need. We give thanks for the Lord using Resurrection Brooklyn, our volunteers, and the resources that have been shared through us to gain their respect. We are trusting the Lord to provide the volunteers and resources we need to continue in this ministry for many months to come. As always, thank you for all the ways the PCA has generously supported our church and our neighbors here in Brooklyn. We could not have done this without you!”
–Rev. Brian Steadman
For the most part, other PCA church facilities in Sandy’s path are primarily intact and most all have power restored. However, the financial impact of the 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 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 Atlantic City NJ: Volunteer Fact Sheet for Atlantic City 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reports on Older Sites
- Final Report from Allenwood NJ – Hurricane Sandy
- 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.