Urgent Appeal By Conference President Don Nichols:
by Webmaster on 9/24/17
Hurricane Maria hit the island of Dominica this past Monday as a category 5. We have been waiting to hear news from our Pilgrim family there in particular. With communication being destroyed, the first communication that Bro. Roll received was from Michael Warrington from the Warner church. Bro. Warrington is a firefighter on the island, and was able to make contact when he made it to work. He reported that no lives were lost from that church. Today, Saturday, we were able to get information from the churches at Belles (our Conference Center), Carib territory and Petit Soufriere. I have not received a report from Good Hope. We have not heard of any loss of life from any of our Pilgrims, although there are deaths reported on the island.
The church in the Carib territory lost its roof.
At the mission station (Belles), the Conference Center was destroyed, along with an unoccupied house. The mission house is reported to be a skeleton, with walls down and roof gone. Two dorms are destroyed, along with windows blown out of the church and part of the roof gone. The church van had a broken window and mirror broken off. They are reporting 20+ people living in the dorm, which is in the basement of the church. It is used as a hurricane shelter in the time of need, and these people’s homes have been destroyed.
We received a report that the village of Petit Soufriere, on Dominica’s east coast, sustained heavy damage, with only 6 houses left standing. The church there, pastored by Jacob Lockhart, was destroyed.
News reports are that every village and family has suffered some loss, many losing everything. Crops, a main source of income for some, were destroyed, with foliage stripped from the trees. Our current need is to get basic supplies, food and water to our families there as quickly as possible. Bro. Roll said that cargo ships are going out from Antigua each day, and can have supplies there within a day. Our immediate plan for the next couple days is to raise money through the conference to get into the mission account so Bro. Roll can buy those basic supplies in Antigua and get them on a cargo boat so our people can be assisted. He has contacts that can be at the port to take the supplies to our churches. I have raised $11,500 from three donors this afternoon. Thousands more will be needed to start the rebuilding process. The Missions Board will be meeting Monday evening to determine an immediate and longer range course of action.
Pastors, please bring this need to your church, and encourage your people to go to www.midwestphc.org, hit the donate tab, enter the amount and donate. PLEASE SPECIFY DOMINICA RELIEF under the comments section. You will receive an email receipt which you can print out for your records.
We certainly praise the Lord for preserving the lives of our Dominican Pilgrim family. While we are praising Him, let’s also pray for them that God would encourage their hearts, meet their needs, and give them added strength as they start to rebuild their lives.
Everyone can do something. Although this is not our Self-Denial offering, remember this is a Shared Sacrifice.
But whoso hath this world’s goods, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels (heart) of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? I John 3:17. Let’s let our compassion show in this time of crisis.
Donations can also be sent to our Conference Missions Treasurer:
Rev. John Forsee
1411 Westfield Rd.
Noblesville, IN 46062