Week of Compassion has been busy monitoring the damage caused by storms across the south. Our Church World Service partners report that assessments of the damage along an 80-mile corridor of destruction began on Monday following weekend tornados that killed 12 persons in Mississippi and Alabama. While damage is widespread in many towns and cities, our regional ministry colleagues have let us know that no Disciples churches were damaged.
The American Red Cross has set up four shelters in Yazoo City, MS, where the Salvation Army also has four mobile feeding facilities. Many faith-based and National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters members have responded for debris clean-up, emergency roof tarping and clean up.
Outreach to rural and small towns is just beginning. AidMatrix and Coordinated Assistance Network resources are in place. Volunteer reception centers are in place in Yazoo City, Choctaw and other locations. Persons wishing to volunteer for this early state of rescue and response are asked to register at this site.
Church World Service is currently assessing the situation and developing a response which will likely include material resource requests, requests for training, and disaster recovery project development. We will keep you all informed as this appeal develops.
Neighbors Help Neighbors in Mississippi
Disaster News Network reports, “In some spots in a 17 county area of rural central Mississippi, people say it looks like a bomb went off. In others, it looks like the typical aftermath of a late spring rain. And those places could, literally, be next door to one another."
Disciples Hurricane Recovery Update
John Longard, pastor of Disciples Christian Church in Hamilton, OH, sent us some reflections on his recent trip to the Gulf Coast on a mission trip to help with the ongoing recovery effort:
“From what I’ve been told, there is still 5 to 10 years of work to go in the Gulf. I know on the street where I worked in April, only 2 of 6 houses were occupied, It looked as if the only thing that could be done on one house was for the property to be cleaned, the house gutted, and new windows installed, Two houses had not been touched (one had weeds 5-6 ft high), and then, there was the house we were working on. Street by street, this scene is replayed over and over.
My hope and prayer is that we do not forget the “saints” of New Orleans. I pray we can find a way to bring the needed resources to the work that remains.”
Our partners in Disciples Volunteering and at the Westside Mission in New Orleans are always in need of volunteers. Interested in making a difference in the Gulf Coast? Check out the work our partners are doing and schedule a work trip:
Saying Goodbye to Two Great Leaders
It is with sadness and joy that we celebrate the lives of Dr. Spencer Austin and Rev. Lloyd Tatlock, two great leaders of the Church and beloved supporters and friends of Week of Compassion.
Rev. Tatlock was a long-term missionary and educator in South America and pastor in Dallas and Jacksboro, TX. Dr. Austin served the United Christian Missionary Society, the Church Finance Council, Christian Theological Seminary, and as Regional Minister for Indiana, as well as congregations in Oklahoma and Massachusetts.