Ngomoromo, Uganda, BNC – On April 16th, the first Sunday after this group of Christians was forced to flee to Uganda from the war zone in Pajok, South Sudan, they met under a tree for worship. Continue reading “Saints worship under tree after fleeing Pajok violence”
CHENNAI, India (BNC) — The R. Sevya Nayak family are dedicated to the Lord and to learning. The four children are all first in their class at school. Like most children in India, they sit on the floor to study.
Sevya, the father, is a teacher and translator at the Chennai Teacher Training School. He is a graduate of the school himself. Originally a Hindu, he said that when a member of the Lord’s church in Andhra Pradesh showed him Psalm 115:2-8 he understood who the real God of heaven and earth is. Sevya has worked after class hours as a guard and maintenance man to earn extra money to help support their extended family on both sides.
Lali, the mother, teaches weaving to the female students at CTTS on Sunday afternoons. The school has a community service program that teaches various skills to adults and children who live near the school. Lali has a sister and a brother-in-law who attended CTTS.
The oldest daughter, Zena, who is 16, hopes to go to medical college when she graduates from secondary school. Sister Beth Johnson has taught the three older children in her Sunday school class since they were small. When Zena was three, she could say 85 memory verses in English, just one of their five languages. When she was four, she could say all the books of the Bible with their categories, the days of creation, the judges, the sons of Jacob, the 10 plagues and label with crayon which tribe settled in which part of Israel.
The oldest son, Samuel, who is 14, could recite all 176 verses of Psalm 119 when he was nine years old. Now that Samuel is older, his class is taught by one of the men in the congregation. Yet he still likes to recite Scripture he has memorized to his former teacher. Recently he asked sister Johnson if he could recite some memory work to her after her ladies’ class on Sunday afternoon. To her surprise, he recited the entire book of Hebrews and only had to be corrected in a place or two!
The second son, Saxon, who is 12, also recited memory work for sister Johnson that day, a substantial portion of Psalm 119, which he hopes to recite in its entirety soon. Sister Johnson commented, “Their zeal and ability are incredible. Since they all must study in the same room, they have to learn to focus well amid distractions. What a joy it is to work with children like this! Please pray with me that they will be able to understand and teach as well as they can memorize.”
The youngest daughter, Naomi, age 7, also makes the highest grades in her class at school. Inspired by her older brothers and sister, she is also learning Psalm 119 and recites portions of 5-10 verses at a time to sister Johnson.
The children studying while their mother is weaving.
FLORENCE, Ala. (BNC) by Richard Mansel — Days and nights can be immaterial to a caregiver because they don’t know when they will be able to sleep again and for how long. Every sound is magnified and every furtive look brings concern. Calamity is always lurking nearby. Even waiting for a safe time to shower can be stressful. Continue reading “‘Calamity always lurks nearby.’ The challenges of a caregiver”
MUSCLE SHOALS, Ala. (BNC) by Mike Brooks — I continue to receive reports from Nepali Christians with each one recording higher total deaths and injuries. As of this morning, Apr 28, over 4,500 deaths have been confirmed with at least 7000 injuries. Property damage is immense and cannot even begin to be estimated at this point. Continue reading “4 dead among churches of Christ in Nepal, homes destroyed”
SAMAR, Philippines (BNC) by Michael Hildreth — In the recent devastation of the island of Samar, in the aftermath of Typhoon Ruby (Hagupit), 21 people are confirmed to have been killed on the eastern side, and 16 of them were in Borongan City. I was recently in Eastern Samar working with bro. Edwin Inso. Continue reading “Supplies, Bibles, gospel reach Philippine island after typhoon”
LUVERNE, Ala(BNc) — Raymond Elliott, preacher for the Luverne Church of Christ in Luverne, Alabama, reports members donated $6,399.00, on Sunday, June 15, 2014. The small South Alabama congregation, of approximately 100 members, gave liberally to purchase food for Christian brothers and sisters in Sudan. A check for the donated amount was sent to the church in Mt. Juliet, Tennessee who is overseeing this effort.
WESTVILLE, Fla. (BNc) — Eileen Speigner, 88 years old, is quilting and making blankets for the Geneva County Sheriff’s Department. The small blankets, both quilted and crocheted, are 36” square or by the width of the material.
The idea was presented to her by a friend she met in the local grocery store.
Knowing Eileen was a quilter, she mentioned about the need of blankets for children that are picked up by the Sheriff’s Department from abused homes, or other situations. She related how toys and stuffed animals are always given, but the children reach for and hang on to the blankets.
Eileen’s heartstrings were touched upon hearing this, and she knew she could make them.
MCMINNVILLE, Tenn. (BNc) — The Earlyville Church of Christ ladies ended another year of work May 21, and what a year it was for them. The country congregation is on Short Mountain Road, McMinnville. Continue reading “Earlyville ladies work all year for others”
TACLOBAN, Philippines (BNc) —Previous reports that no Christians were killed in the November 7 typhoon were inaccurate, missionary Michael Hildreth said yesterday.
Three disciples from the church in Tacloban perished in the storm. Tacloban City was struck by the most powerful part of the typhoon.
Michael visited Leyte Christian College, near Tacloban, and saw that the school and the student dorms sustained damages. No student was hurt during the storm.
“Upon arriving at Leyte Christian College I learned that the students were lacking clean water to drink. I gave them funds for that need and met with all of the students to deliver a message of encouragement and sing some hymns with them,” he said.
Typhoon Haiyan was the deadliest storm for the country in modern times. It became the strongest landfalling tropical cyclone, crossing the Central Philippines Nov. 7-8, 2013, according to Wikipedia. It was the second deadliest typhoon, killing 6241 people.
Michael returned to the Philippines in January carrying relief funds from American and Brazilian churches.
Michael’s overseeing congregation, the Sherman Drive church in Denton, Tex., continues to receive funds for the Philippine relief.
“We brought medicines from Cebu for a medical mission at the church building. We also distributed Cebuano Bibles to those who came. Dr. Napoleon Belo attended to the patients there. We also did much visiting and preached lessons to the evacuees in the evacuation centers in Tacloban,” Michael wrote.
As a result of his preaching in the evacuation centers and the gospel meeting held in the building of the Tacloban City church, two souls obeyed the gospel.
“I am confident that the Lord will add more to his church as the contacts we made will be taught further by the local preachers. I believe that the evangelistic effort in Tacloban was very successful,” Michael said.
The Filipino government is considering shifting the city away from the vulnerable coastline area.
PHILIPPINES (BNc) — Much news about the devastation caused by typhoon Haiyan (named Yolanda in the Philippines) is appearing in the media, but concrete information from our brethren is only dribbling out because lines of communication were damaged and destroyed.
The storm surge 15-20 feet high sent tsunami-like waves 45 feet high crashing to shore in some places. Ships were left sitting in city streets!
Especially hard hit areas include the island of Samar, Tacloban City on Leyte, and northern Cebu island. Surrounding islands in the central Visayas such as Panay and Bohol were heavily damaged, and also Oriental Mindoro and northern Palawan to the west as the storm headed back out to sea toward Vietnam.
The number of dead bodies located keeps climbing as it passes 2,200 with many areas still inaccessible. In places like Tacloban City mass burials have been necessary because of the health risk with bodies decaying in the rubble and standing water. The airport there served as a makeshift morgue.
Homes, crops, and trees were leveled by winds of 150-200 mph and the land was inundated with torrential rainfall. Nearly ten million people were affected and 600,000 displaced.
Pictures of the devastation can be seen at the DailyMail website.
The Philippine government, U.S. military, other governmental bodies around the world, and international relief agencies are trying to get supplies to the devastated areas, but much of the infrastructure is destroyed. Supply trucks have been waylaid.
In some cases, people foraging for food, water, and medicine are looting markets, grocery stores, and pharmacies in desperation. Mobs in Tacloban City attacked a rice warehouse and the walls collapsed killing and injuring more people. The Philippine military is trying to restore order.
Saints are scattered all through the regions hit by the storm. We are getting some news from saints on the island of Cebu. Jonathan Carino and other Filipino brethren in company with Harry Osborne were able to survey the damage at Bogo City in northern Cebu. Gil Suico who preaches there sent me a message that homes, fruit trees, and crops were severely damaged, which means the suffering will extend for weeks and months to come. A large percentage of the buildings in Bogo City were flattened and nearly all structures were damaged.
I received a report from brethren in Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental, that they suffered no major damage. There is word from Jack Jaco in the western part of the island, Negros Occidental, that brethren suffered damage there.
Jonathan and Harry have been trying to get to Tacloban City but cancelled their plans because of the breakdown of security. The New Peoples Army (Filipino communists) are flexing their muscle with raids because the government can hardly function.
Brother Nilo Zabala fled the city after NPA’s invaded his home and threatened him with death if he did not provide them with supplies. His family is camped in a damaged bus terminal.
Jonathan and Harry will take a ferry boat from Cebu City on Cebu Island to Ormoc City on Leyte. They hope to establish contact with brethren and assess their needs.
In view of the destruction of the infrastructure and communication, it is very hard to get a concrete assessment of our brethren’s needs, and also very hard to deliver funds and supplies when assessments can be made. We know immediate needs are the most basic items such as food, water, and medicines. Homes are destroyed. Church buildings collapsed and blew away. Bibles and song books were ruined and swept away.
Let us fervently pray for these dear saints, send whatever financial help we can, and commit ourselves not to forget their needs in the weeks and months ahead.
Individuals who might like to donate can send donations to Ron Halbrook, 3505 Horse Run Ct., Shepherdsville, KY 40165-6954.
TACLOBAN, Philippines (BNc) — An estimated 10,000 people may have died as a result of the super typhoon that came through Central Philippines on Nov. 9, reaching speeds of approximately 200 miles per hour.
Tacloban was hit by 36 feet of water from the typhoon surge, destroying everything in its path. Although there were preparation efforts, they failed in the wake of such strength.
Reports indicate that although some homes were partially destroyed, the missionaries, local Filipino preachers and Christians are all safe.
Relief efforts are hampered by the destruction of roads and bridges and lack of electricity. Groups wishing to help are put on waiting lists because of the few flights going into Cebu and Tacloban.
In spite of this, groups of workers from US churches are preparing to travel to the Philippines to help begin reconstruction.
Some relief effort avenues at present are: World Evangelism, P. O. Box 72, Winona, MS 38967, mark for “Philippines typhoon aid” or Saturn Rd. Church of Christ, 3030 Saturn Rd., Garland, TX 75041, Attn: Robbie, mark for “MARCH for Christ” (Philippine mission work). Also, you can email the Boiling Springs congregation in South Carolina for information on their relief effort.
We will update other relief options as they become available.
The Memorial Road congregation is organizing a disaster relief effort, with a webpage of suggestions on how to help.
Dan Lovejoy noted on Twitter that he had confirmed by telephone that the “Oakcrest Church of Christ at 1111 SW 89th is OPEN for shelter if you lost power or your home.”
Jeremie Beller noted on Facebook: “The Oakcrest Church of Christ is serving as a shelter for members of the surrounding community. I just spoke with someone there and they are asking for donations of water bottles, diapers, baby formula, and blankets. If you would like to bring donations to the Wilshire church building, we will deliver them in the coming days.”
“We are concentrating on the Edmond area and will expand as opportunities arise,” Kevin Rayner, community and senior adults minister with the Edmond church, tweeted.
Another brother noted that his father was transporting people to the hospital in his pick-up truck.
Several members from the South Walker congregation live in Moore, two of whom, Bob Finley, a retired fire fighter, and Malinda Cheshier, lost their homes, Paul Goddard, dean of students at Harding Academy in Memphis, said. Paul is a native Oklahoman.
There are no reports as yet of loss of life among churches of Christ.
One person published a picture of a tornado (above) mirrored in his side mirror as he left the town of Moore.
Other efforts will be noted as news arrives to BNc.
MAUMELLE, Ark. (BNc) — Five hundred children are back in school. Their parents had removed them from school and put them to work in the fields and sweatshop factories.
Pictured above is a group of elementary kids with Marie-Claire McDonough, who runs this program in Cambodia, with their new book bags.
Bill McDonough’s Parters in Progress ministry sponsors the Back to School Program (B2S) that seeks donations of $25 a year to put a child back in school and provide new opportunities.
Back To School Program (B2S)
Partners In Progress
P.O. Box 13989
Maumelle, AR 72113, USA
Ten families from the congregation in West had their homes damaged or completely destroyed. Included in that group was the preacher. His house was three streets from the explosion. Continue reading “Update on church and town of West, Texas, after fertilizer plant explosion”
HATTIESBURG, Miss. (BNc) — The congregation of Kensington Woods has helped over 2,200 people in the aftermath of the Feb. 10 tornado, preacher Mike Benson said today.
The tornado hit on a Sunday between 5:00-5:30 p.m. It left a path 21 miles long, causing 83 injuries, but no deaths. Two Mississippi counties, Lamar and Forrest, were hit.
Major damage and destroyed homes totaled in the hundreds: 340 homes in Forrest County, 220 homes in Lamar County. Continue reading “Mississippi church helps over 2,200 victims of Feb. 10 tornado”
GUATEMALA CITY, Guatemala (BNc) — Fifty-one houses of saints were damaged in the Nov. 7 earthquake, and approximately 400 in the church are in need right now, Roberto Alvarez said in the latest newsletter of the Biblical Institute of Central America.
Roberto is an evangelist working from Guatemala City with the BICA ministry. Continue reading “Guatemala quake puts 400 saints in need”
CABREUVA, Brazil (BNc) by Eduardo Favoratto — October is a favorite of the children, since on Children’s Day (October 12) many groups organize trips to the children’s home to deliver presents and promote festive activities. Continue reading “At BrazilKids home, October is favorite month”
TOLEDO, Oh. (BNc) — G. Kevin Syph, minister of the Ridgewood church of Christ, contacted BNc to say that a person going by the name of Derrick Phillips is going around the Kentucky and Tennessee area claiming that his car is broken down, and that he needs some money to get home.
“This guy is not from our congregation. We have never heard of this guy, he’s been scamming people from the Lord’s church all over. Please pass this message all around the brotherhood.” Continue reading “Church scam alert from G. Kevin Syph”
by Tim Arnold
BANGKOK, Thailand (BNc) — The most severe flooding in decades has hit Thailand. A humanitarian crisis looms over the major city of Bangkok, and outlying areas have suffered for weeks. The Thai government warns of the risk of water- and insect-borne diseases such as diarrhea, dengue fever, and malaria in the coming days and weeks.
Kim & Rebecca Voraritskul have been working for our Lord in northeastern Thailand for decades establishing congregations and training faithful servants to spread the gospel. In a letter sent Nov. 4 to supporters, they report that our brethren are suffering and in need of assistance. Their letter follows: Continue reading “Thai preacher reports on flood crisis”
ISHINOMAKI, Japan (BNc) — A group from the Mito and Park Avenue churches fed over 100 people housed in temporary shelters, following the earthquake and tsunami of March 11.
The group provided lunch outdoors Nov. 8. The goal was to serve a hot meal to these people and encourage them.
Temporary housing has been erected in various parts of the town. These are generally 2-3 rooms with a kitchen, bath, and toilet. They are fully furnished and are connected together in rows of about 8 apartments to each row. Continue reading “American and Japanese churches feed disaster victims”