Recovery in Colorado, Wildfires in Washington, the Ongoing Crisis in Gaza

Disciples Volunteering Needs You in Colorado

Last fall, northern Colorado was beset by record rainfall. In just one week beginning September 9, 2013 one county received up to 20 inches of rain; this is the same amount it normally receives in an average year. Massive flooding occurred in 17 counties. More than 20,000 homes and 2,000 businesses were damaged or destroyed. Many households and at least one town were completely isolated as roads and bridges were washed out. A long winter delayed significant repairs to the state’s infrastructure as well as some debris removal, complicating early response efforts. Despite these challenges, communities have pulled together to plan and prepare for the long haul. Members from Disciples congregations in Weld, Boulder, and Larimer County have been engaged from the beginning.

While the headlines receded along with the floodwaters, the needs remain. All of the pieces necessary for a long-term response have come together and communities across northern Colorado are ready to receive folks from outside the area. Disciples Volunteering is pleased to partner with Week of Compassion, the Central Rocky Mountain Region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), and First Christian Church, Loveland to establish a Mission Station in Loveland and enable mission teams to serve in the recovery. Work teams will be partnered with local response organizations, assisting people whose needs would otherwise go unmet. More information and registration for your mission team to serve in Colorado is available through Disciples Volunteering.

Monitoring Wildfires in Washington

Week of Compassion has been in touch with the Northwest Regional Office and is working with them to monitor the wildfires that are raging across Washington.  The massive blaze has charred 243,000 acres, or 380 square miles (980 sq km), the largest fire in the state’s history.  Currently, no Disciples Congregations have been affected, but we are keeping a close eye on the damage.  Community members and firefighters hope rain that began on Wednesday will help the fire be more easily controlled.

While first responders are currently engaged in emergency needs, in the coming months, many of these communities will develop long-term recovery strategies, and Week of Compassion will provide support, as needed.  Our partners at Church World Service will also provide material resources such as cleanup buckets, should they be needed.  As more needs arise, we will keep you informed of our response.

Crisis in Gaza

Through our partners, Week of Compassion has been keeping a close eye on the escalating violence and deteriorating conditions in Gaza.  Our partners at Global Ministries and CWS urge continued education and advocacy around the complex root causes of the violence.

The continued violence and compact geography make humanitarian response difficult.  Our partners through Global Ministries are currently gathering information, and CWS is the U.S. Coordinator for theEcumenical Accompaniment Program for Palestine and Israel, and is a member of the ACT Alliance, which will be providing humanitarian assistance to persons and communities in Gaza devastated by the fighting and bombing.  As details of the ACT Alliance response emerge, Week of Compassion will contribute to humanitarian needs.

Please keep these communities, both in North America and abroad, in your prayers as they struggle to recover, respond, and survive. To support these needs and so many more, we invite you to put your Compassion into Action.

Thanks, as always, for your partnership.
Rev. Brandon Gilvin
Associate Director

This Week’s Responses:

Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance
Armenia, Refugee Support

Development and Long-Term Recovery and Rehabilitation
Colorado, Long-Term Flood Recovery
Colombia, Ecumenical Capacity Building