Thursday, September 12
Since last week, Nazarenes have been actively responding in their communities. Nazarene Disaster Response leaders were on standby in South and North Carolina, although district superintendents in the area report that the damage there is less extensive than originally anticipated. A Nazarene assessment team reached Freeport and Grand Bahama as soon as possible, bringing aid packages with food and hygiene items. There are five Nazarene churches on Grand Bahama Island.
John Wildgoose, the district superintendent for the Bahamas, says that his church, Faith Church of the Nazarene in the West End, sustained serious damage and is “gutted.” Many homes were filled with four to five feet of water, so even buildings that managed to stand through the wind and rain now have serious flood damage.
Immediate needs for those in the Bahamas are food, shelter, water, and psychological care and support. Thousands of people have been evacuated to Nassau, which sustained less damage. The response from the Church of the Nazarene in the Bahamas will become clearer as transportation becomes easier; so far, accessing the islands is still extremely difficult.
Tuesday, September 10
Crisis Care Kits continue to be sent this week to people in need in the Bahamas.
Friday, September 6
Plans are underway for shipments of relief items to start moving to the Bahamas. Churches in Florida are collecting goods and Crisis Care Kits. Nazarene Compassionate Ministries is also providing generators, portable cooking equipment, water filters, tarps, chain saws and other tools, and is working with partner organizations to provide a 50 foot truckload of water.
One partner organization, Convoy of Hope, is flying Crisis Care Kits to the Bahamas today.
Thursday, September 5
People in the Bahamas are beginning to assess the damages left by Hurricane Dorian. An estimated 70,000 people in the Bahamas needed immediate humanitarian relief after the most damaging storm ever to hit the island nation, the United Nations said. Arial images show widespread devastation in the worst-hit islands, and so far the government lists 20 people killed in the Bahamas by Dorian.
The storm avoided a direct hit to Florida when it turned north, and is now off the coast of South Carolina. More than 210,000 homes and businesses were without power on Thursday in South Carolina and Georgia, according to local electric companies, and residents are preparing for storm surges and flash flooding. When the damage and needs become clear, assessments will begin to determine the scope of Nazarene disaster response along the U.S. coast.
A Nazarene volunteer assessment team from the Mesoamerica region is headed to the Bahamas tomorrow to begin the disaster response process. Churches in Florida are working to send donated items and crisis care kits, gathered in anticipation of a large impact, to the Bahamas where the need is much greater. NCM is working with Heart to Heart and Convoy of Hope, two partner organizations, to help with their assessments and provide crisis care kits for immediate distribution.
The video included with this update shows the damage at Faith Church of the Nazarene, West End, Grant Bahama, pastored by Rev. John Wildgoose. This is the first visual received from Nazarene churches in the Bahamas after the storm. Continue to pray for all impacted by Hurricane Dorian, and those guiding the start of the relief and recovery process.
Tuesday, September 3
Hurricane Dorian, one of the most powerful Atlantic hurricanes ever recorded, stalled over the Bahamas Sunday and Monday, killing 30 people and causing massive destruction on the Abaco Islands and Grand Bahama. The storm went on to hit Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina, bringing heavy rains and creating more than a dozen tornadoes.
Although the storm was downgraded from a Category 5 with sustained winds up to 165 miles per hour (265 kilometers per hour) to a Category 2 with sustained winds of 110 miles per hour (175 kilometers per hour), the extended exposure to the storm has likely devastated the Bahamas. Early estimates from the Red Cross indicate approximately 13,000 homes are damaged or destroyed. Like many homes, Grand Bahama’s international airport was under six feet of water.
There are five Nazarene churches on Grand Bahama Island, at least four of which will have water damage along with most of the homes in the communities. The full status of both the churches and the surrounding community is still unknown while the storm remains over the islands. Teams from the Mesoamerica Region are standing by to assist in the Bahamas and are anticipating the need for aid, including skilled workers, food, water, care packs, clothing, and medication.
More than 1 million people in the U.S. were ordered to evacuate the east coast ahead of the storm’s advance. In Florida and South Carolina, the Church of the Nazarene is mobilizing supplies and organizing teams to respond if the need arises. Several churches, including Apopka Calvary and Cross Bridge Churches of the Nazarene, are filling sand bags and helping the community secure and board up their homes. Others, including the Melbourne First Church of the Nazarene, have opened up church facilities as staging areas for relief efforts. The Florida District is also mobilizing 3,000 crisis care kits, and Nazarene Disaster Response teams are standing by to assist.
YOUR HELP IS URGENTLY NEEDED
HOW TO HELP THOSE IMPACTED BY HURRICANE DORIAN
Pray for those who have lost loved one, and pray for those facing loss of homes and livelihoods. Pray for the swift delivery of the supplies and care they need, and pray for the months of recovery ahead. Pray for those who are most vulnerable during and after the storm, especially senior adults, individuals with disabilities, and people living in poverty. Pray for church leaders and churches responding to the needs around them. To send a prayer or note of encouragement, go to ncm.org/pray.
Churches and individuals around the world can provide support through the 2019 Storm Response Fund. Donations will be used for immediate needs, such as water and food, as well as long-term recovery and rebuilding efforts.
To send donations by mail:
In the U.S., make checks payable to "General Treasurer" and send them to:
Global Treasury Services
Church of the Nazarene
P.O. Box 843116
Kansas City, MO 64184-3116
Be sure to put 134047 in the Memo area.
In Canada, make checks payable to "Church of the Nazarene Canada" and send them to:
Church of the Nazarene Canada
3657 Ponytrail Drive, Mississauga, ON | L4X 1W5
Be sure to put 134047 in the Memo area.
For any other country, give through your local church or district, designating your gift to 2019 Storm Response.