Photo: Paul Jeffrey/ACT Alliance
In our weekly updates, we share stories of our presence and impact around the world: from disaster response, to refugee and immigration ministry, to ongoing sustainable development projects in impoverished areas. Catch up on updates you missed, or find stories you want to read and share again! Or, subscribe to receive weekly email updates.
Earlier this month, a delegation of Disciples leaders traveled to D.C. to help protect refugees. Rev. Dr. Ike Nicholson, Senior Pastor of South Suburban Christian Church in Littleton, Colorado, was part of that delegation and has this reflection to share. We are grateful for this congregation’s faithful support of Week of Compassion, and for Dr. Nicholson’s powerful story of welcome and compassion. The work that we do to together is more important now than ever.
Even before a word is on my tongue, O Lord, you know it completely.
You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me.
When we see the devastation, our hearts break for our brothers and sisters.
On September 1, Hurricane Dorian made landfall in the Bahamas. By the time the storm had passed a day later, the destruction was immense. As of today, September 6, approximately 13,000 homes have been destroyed. An unknown number of lives have been lost, as search and rescue efforts are ongoing. The need is great, and in the wake of such terrible loss, many feel compelled to help. However, knowing how to help can be difficult.
Even as we enter September--National Disaster Preparedness Month-- we are monitoring Hurricane Dorian and preparing to respond to needs that arise in its wake. The storm has already caused significant damage in the Bahamas, and remains a dangerous storm as it approaches the U.S. Please continue to pray for those who have already been affected, and those who wait in the storm’s path. We will continue to share updates on responses as they are available. In the meantime, here is a story about how local churches and regions are taking part in disaster preparedness training through Week of Compassion-- and why preparedness is such a vital part of ministry in the local community.
Kristina moved to Belgrade as a child after her parents’ divorce. When her mother remarried, Kristina and her siblings moved into a two room house with their stepfather and his children. Due to extremely difficult living conditions, the family was unable to pursue education for the children.
The Lake Chad Basin area-- which includes parts of Nigeria, Niger, Chad, and Cameroon-- is facing one of the most severe humanitarian crises of our time. Already impoverished, the region has been struggling under the negative impact that shifting climate has on living conditions and livelihoods. In addition to the environmental factors that make life challenging, escalating violence in the area has reached a tipping point. To date, at least 2.5 million people in the region have been displaced because of protracted conflict.
Just because General Assembly is over does not mean the work of the Church is done. In fact, when everyone goes back home to their local congregations, that’s when the real work begins. This year, the Assembly went out with some clear imperatives and action items moving forward. Keep reading for some resources to help your home church continue the work of the wider church.
In a little over a week, Disciples from all around the United States and Canada will gather in Des Moines for a time of worship, fellowship and sharing in the work of the church. It’s an exciting time to catch up with old friends, and to be energized and inspired for ministry.
With so many people and ministries to catch up with, General Assembly can be a very busy time that goes by quickly. As you plan your time in Des Moines, here are some ways you can connect with Week of Compassion throughout the week: