Previous reports inaccurate. Three Filipino saints perished in deadliest modern typhoon

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.

Oklahoma churches gear up to help tornado victims

moore-ok-tornadoOKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. (BNc) — Hardly had the tornado dispersed, congregations in the Oklahoma City area began already to mobilize to help the victims.

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.

Update on church and town of West, Texas, after fertilizer plant explosion

disaster-west-texasWEST, Tex. (BNc) by Denny Wilson — Editor’s note: The following is written by the preacher with the nearby DeLeon congregation, who has been coordinating help through the West congregation.

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

Mississippi church helps over 2,200 victims of Feb. 10 tornado

Tornado destroyed homes in Hattiesburg MS

Tornado destroyed homes in Hattiesburg MS

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

Thai preacher reports on flood crisis

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

Organization to be honored

RALEIGH, NC (BNc) – The Churches of Christ Disaster Relief Organization of Nashville, TN is to be honored on Sept. 17 at the Mid-Atlantic Evangelism Seminar in Raleigh, NC.

The national volunteer disaster relief organization, out of Nashville, Tenn., and supported by churches of Christ, individuals, corporations and other non-profit agencies nationwide, will be honored during the 38th Annual Mid-Atlantic Evangelism Seminar to be held at the Brooks Avenue Church of Christ in Raleigh Sept. 16-18th. Continue reading

Minister impressed with churches’ disaster response

BNc Commentary
by John T. Polk II

churches of ChristPaul said: “But as you abound in everything –- in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all diligence, and in your love for us –- see that you abound in this grace also. I speak not by commandment, but I am testing the sincerity of your love by the diligence of others. For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich” (2 Corinthians 8:7-9 NKJV).

The churches of Christ are noted for standing for the faith, speaking the truth in love, and loving Jesus Christ. But while the Neo-Sectarians among us are carving the brotherhood apart and stabbing brethren in the back at a distance, the boo-birds have decried how the churches of Christ aren’t doing anything and don’t know how to love one another. Continue reading

Have we forgotten Japan?

Japan relief aidSENDAI, Japan (BNc) – Teams continue clean-up work in the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami that struck eastern Japan Mar. 11, and funds still arrive for people to put their lives together, but the question bears asking if many have forgotten the enormity of the disaster in Japan in the weeks following the tragedy.

Hundreds have died in recent weeks from tornadoes and floods in the U.S., but in Japan the toll runs to over 15,000 confirmed dead and 8,600 missing. The total number of dead may top 20,000. Destroyed buildings number 125,000. Continue reading

Southwest church initiates relief effort

An Oklahoma church long involved in Haiti gathers help for earthquake victims to be distributed through churches in the capital.

by C. J. Vires

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (BNc) – Members of the Southwest church of Christ in Ada, Okla.,  have been involved in mission work in northern Haiti since the late 1970s and currently oversee the Cap Haitian Children’s Home (CHCH) and Haitian Widow’s Program.

We are thankful that both of these works did not experience any immediate damage from the earthquake. However, because of our experience in Haiti and the tremendous devastation, we feel that there is a need and responsibility for us to use our experiences in Haiti to help in coordinating a relief effort that provides targeted assistance to local congregations in the Port-au-Prince area. Continue reading

Judsonia church prepares aid for Haiti

Editor’s note: The Judsonia, Ark., church has long been involved in humanitarian aid and disaster relief. The following email from minister John Kachelman relates to their efforts. For more information see the Judsonia church site.

Dear brethren,

Thank you for your responses and eagerness to help those in great need. In an effort to keep you updated on developments in the relief efforts that we are coordinating for Haiti I am sending you this information. As you work to collect items to help please be aware of how your efforts will bring glory to God through His Church. The efforts and energies of the local church will highlight to the community the practicality of the gospel! Continue reading

Kingsport TN church channels aid directly to Haiti

The Northeast church in Kingsport, Tenn., is sending aid directly to the church of Christ in Haiti. Donation information is included in this story.

by Sam Ross, Northeast church elder

Darrell Riley and I have been involved in the work in Haiti for over 20 years. The Northeast church in Kingsport, Tenn., where we are elders, is the sponsoring church for Jean Robert St. Hilaire, who directs the School of Preaching and is full-time minister for the Delmas 43 church of Christ in Port-Au-Prince. Continue reading