Thursday, September 11, 2008

Hurricane Ike & the Epistle of James

I received the following from Nazarene Compassionate Ministries. It describes difficult circumstances for our brothers and sisters who have been in the path of Hurricane Ike.

What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such a faith save him? Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, "Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. (James 2:14-17)

Grace & peace

Hurricane Ike Raking Cuba, Leaves Trail of Destruction
At this moment, Hurricane Ike is raking across Cuba. This category-3 storm has challenged forecasters earlier in the week as it was predicted to make a turn to the north and directly hit South Florida. However, what may seem good news for the U.S. is bad news for the people of the Caribbean. After smashing into the Turks and Caicos islands this weekend, Ike swept across the southeastern Bahama islands.

The storm system also dumped its deadly rains on an already devastated Haiti, where it is being blamed for the deaths of an additional 61 people there (in addition to the hundreds who died as a result of Hanna). Then hurricane then continued west Sunday night, straight into Cuba. The Miami Herald reports, “Hurricane Ike continued on its destructive journey Monday morning, ripping through Cuba. Winds, a massive storm surge and heavy rains have destroyed hundreds of homes and toppled trees in the island nation. … There, it could possibly cause up to 20 inches of rain in some areas, flash floods and mudslides. Ike could also cause a storm surge of up to 12 feet, the National Hurricane Center advised."

Today is the day to pray and act on behalf of the people in the Caribbean.Follow-up on Gustav, Hanna and Ike Haiti- Bill Dawson, French Field Director, reports, "Hurricane Gustav dumped major amounts of rain on the South, affecting three districts heavily. The Southeast, South (Jacmel) and South Districts [we have 11 Nazarene districts in Haiti] all received major amounts of rain and wind. Heavy crop damage, loss of gardens and animals were sustained. A few days later Hanna struck from the north, passing north of the Dominican Republic coast and then stalling and turning south and tarrying a couple of days, then moving north again. Hanna's intensity caused additional storm cells to develop over the already saturated southern portion of the island. Hanna also put huge amounts of rainfall onto the already water-soaked island.

Now, major flooding has washed out roadways and bridges making it impossible for our workers to even go northward to check on our people. Gonaive has lost some 500 people, only found after the flood water is receding a bit. It is a really sad situation. The district superintendent on the North Central District reports some of our people have been on a mountainside trying to wait the flood and rain out without food and water for four days now. We are trying to get emergency funds to him to assist our Nazarene family in Gonaive."

"On behalf of the 108,000 Nazarenes in Haiti I want to ask you to call your people across the districts in prayer for the family of Nazarenes in Haiti. These storms have affected some 8 percent of our worldwide membership. Eight percent of our family is waiting and praying that someone will remember them in this hour of need. I cannot even imagine what that is going to mean to our people." Bahamas - Rev. Antoine St. Louis of Nassau, himself in the path of the storm, called for prayer and assistance for the Palmetto Point Church of the Nazarene on a different Bahama island.

Palmetto Point, on the island of Eleuthera, was hit hard. Pray for your brothers and sisters who are enduring the storm at this moment. We won't know for a few days the extent of the damage in the Bahamas.Dominican Republic - Devastating loss of crops, livestock and property have hurt the people of the Dominican Republic. Click here to view and download a video that shows the aftermath.

Paquita Bido de Balbuena reports, "The Parsonage in Lecheria, Central district (Pastor Jose Luis) was damaged when a tree fell on it yesterday. The DR South district superintendent lost his plantain crops for the third year in a row due to the heavy rains. There are lots of roof damages in churches and parsonages. There is still much rain and damages, and due to the devastation many people have lost their source of income. The people are deeply affected emotionally and are very afraid when more rain in announced.”

Cuba - Because the storm is occurring now, news from Nazarenes is not yet available. Please check back at for regular updates.Resources - The Caribbean Communications Office wants to offer a video from this week. Click here to view and download this video. Please feel free to use it in your services and to promote prayer for Caribbean Nazarenes. is the official website for news and updates about Nazarenes affected by this round of storms. You can help: Pray for the safety of our Nazarene brothers and sisters, as well as people the local churches can help through this trial.
Persons and churches wishing to contribute to the relief efforts can mark their checks

“International Hurricane Relief ACM2006” and send them to Global Treasury Services, 17001 Prairie Star Pkwy, Lenexa, KS 66220. In Canada, checks should be made payable and sent to the Church of the Nazarene Canada, 20 Regan Road, Unit 9, Brampton, Ontario L7A 1C3.

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