From the Worldwide Faith News archives

Hurricane Georges clean up underway

From "Curt Miller"<>
Date 16 Oct 1998 10:39:52

Date: October 16, 1998
Disciples News Service
Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
Contact: Curt Miller
on the Web:


	As the full impact of the ravages of Hurricane Georges is totaled, 
Disciples response continues in Puerto Rico, Haiti, the Dominican 
Republic and the United States.

	Week of Compassion, the disaster and relief fund of the Christian 
Church (Disciples of Christ), has sent funds to assist through Church 
World Service, to the Disciples communities in Puerto Rico and the 
Dominican Republic, and to affected Disciples congregations in the 
U.S. As of Oct. 13, those gifts total $31,250. 

	In Puerto Rico more than 45,000 homes were damaged or destroyed and 
thousands of people remain in shelters. Funds were rushed to four 
distribution centers being run by Disciples on the island. Church 
World Service has sent a shipment of tarpaulins, air mattresses, 
flashlights, lanterns, generators and "Gifts of the Heart" recovery 
kits to the Evangelical Council of Churches. Puerto Rican Disciples 
are part of that interfaith group.

	Also damaged were 30 Disciples church buildings. The Board of Church 
Extension anticipates sending a team to Puerto Rico in the next 
several weeks to help congregations assess needs and estimate 
reconstruction costs. BCE, through gifts to the board over the years, 
has some funds available to grant interest-free loans to 
congregations. The damaged churches will be considered for those 
loans as monies are available.

	Felix Ortiz, Division of Overseas Ministries missionary in Haiti, is 
currently working there on behalf of Church World Service. He is 
assisting Haitian church partners in relief and recovery efforts. In 
the Dominican Republic, WOC has sent funds to the Evangelical Church 
and to the Christian Center for Family Counseling. The center's 
director is Peter Savage, a DOM missionary.

	Damage in the United States was not as extensive as feared, but 
pockets of homes were hit hard. The Rev. Max Glenn, First Christian 
Church, Gulfport, Miss., has been elected president of the newly 
formed Mississippi Coast Interfaith Distaster Task Force, Inc. In 
light of assessment reports, the group has established a goal of 
providing $400,000 to $500,000 in assistance over each of the next 
two years, primarily to persons who are not helped by other efforts.

	Along the coast more than 248 homes were destroyed, 1,305 homes had 
severe damage and 4,038 homes need some repair. Volunteer teams are 
needed now for cleanup; other teams will be needed for long-term 
recovery work.

	The Gulfport First Church sanctuary roof was damaged and services 
are now being held in the fellowship hall; few homes in town were 
damaged. In nearby Moss Point several Disciples families suffered 
damage to their homes. WOC gave a grant of $2,500 to Gulfport First 
Church and $1,500 to Moss Point First Church.

	Church World Service efforts support other interfaith 

	Congregations and individuals can assist through:

	* Contributions to WOC to support the church's relief and recovery 
efforts, many of which will last for some time.

	* Supplying "Gifts of the Heart" recovery kits to Church World 
Service. Especially needed are health, cleanup and school kits.

	* Sending cleanup work teams to the damaged areas immediately or 
planning to send a team sometime in the next year.

	* Prayers for partners in the Caribbean and along the Gulf Coast.

                                                      -- end --

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