Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Wild Fires in Colorado

Walls of Fire
“Our family evacuated under extremely frightening conditions as a wall of fire was literally bearing down on us. I left with only the shirt on my back”
Pastor Rob of First EFC in Colorado Springs rushed away from his house, leaving his suitcase on the front porch, as fire exploded nearby. He witnessed the flames before he even received an evacuation order.
Waldo Canyon Fire Threatens Colorado Springs
The Waldo Canyon Fire has now burned through 15,527 acres since it started on June 23rd. It’s only 5 percent contained. The fire evolved from being a threat to being a full-on catastrophe overnight as it doubled in size. Over 1,000 firefighters have been responding all day and all through the night. Colorado’s weather is not helping the situation. Low humidity and scorching heat allows thunderstorms with huge gusts of wind but no rainfall.
“It was the worst thing I’ve ever seen in my life,” Pastor Rob said. “Three times worse than what is on television.” Thankfully, all of his evacuated church members are in the homes of other church members. Praise God for the Body of Christ joining together! Many homes have been leveled, subdivisions have been wiped out and 32,000 people have been evacuated. Pastor Rob is thankful that his wife and three daughters are safe, but he left all that he owns behind. “I don’t know if we will have a house to go back to.”
  • That the fire will be brought under control, as it threatens many communities and homes
  • For the two families from Pastor Rob’s church that lost their homes
  • For God’s grace in figuring out logistics and strength for those impacted
  • The grace that Pastor Rob needs to lead his congregation
"Your love, O Lord, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies. Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains, your justice like the great deep. O Lord, you preserve both man and beast." Psalm 36:5-6

Monday, February 20, 2012

ReachGlobal in Haiti: 'Beauty from Ashes'

As part of the Moving Latin America Pictures project, a videographer and photographer traveled to Haiti in January 2012 to capture the essence of our ministry there. The initial crisis may be over, but our work remains. You can be part of the ministry in Haiti -- through a short-term team, internship or long-term assignment. Find out how!

ReachGlobal in Haiti: Beauty from Ashes from EFCA ReachGlobal on Vimeo.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Why respond to events like earthquakes?

In 2007, Chincha, Peru was rocked with an earthquake impacting thousands. We responded, with our partners, the EFC of Peru (ADIEL), with compassion, and a command to love our neighbor.
Four years ago we started serving the community by distributing food, ministering to kids and families, rebuilding homes and lives, and loving people. ADIEL sent out it's first missionary family three years ago to live in the community.

But fours years later, that question, "Why respond?" has a much deeper answer. It was evident last week through the worship, prayer and teaching with a ’seed’ of adults and kids, who are part of a new church plant called "La Semilla", (The Seed). The why behind those years of ministry effort was made clearer through the testimonies of those gathered:

Lucho said, "The teaching I received here has helped me grow. I am an new person, a new creation."

Armando, who came for the first time at Lucho's invitation with his wife and 2 kids, said, "I came here tonight to publicly testify that I have done much damage to my wife and family. I need to change." He's starting a bible study with the church planter, Felix, this week.

Louisa said, "I don't even have a primary education. But I am learning to understand God's word. My neice (attending with her) is using the Bible to teach me to read and write."

Her niece said, "I'm thankful (for this group) because I've found the Truth."

Claudia shared that she'd been coming for a few weeks since seeing such a change in her sister. " I’ve come to learn about my identity in Christ".

Soledad testified that she had been a mean and even evil person. But she's been changed. "Now I am being filled."

Life Transformation...this why we invest in long term relational ministry in the aftermath of crisis.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Responding to Floods in N and S America

While the NE United States was getting deluged, at the opposite side of the hemisphere, the southern part of Brazil was also experiencing torrential flooding. We have been connecting with churches in NY, PA and NJ, but also in Rio Du Sul, Brazil. I'll be flying to Brazil Sunday to help our partners, the EFC of Brazil, in planning their response outreach efforts. Below is a report of this week from Pastor Johnny:

On Monday we returned to a house we worked on the day before, but neither the owner nor his wife could be there because of their work, but they left us alone in their home, cleaning everything, dishes, rooms, etc...lots of stuff. At the end of the afternoon he came back and I asked him: "How was it that you trusted us in leaving us along in your home with all of your things?" He responded: "in that first conversation I perceived that I could trust you". They were quite touched. We prayed with them and gave them Bibles and they asked us about the church and what they could do to was a very special moment.

There are many stories, but one other case....Debora and Arlei....Their home was totally under water and was one of the last in the city to see the water recede. When we arrived we soon discovered that it was the worst of all of the home we'd seen and helped. Immediately the man said that he didn't believe in God nor the devil, he didn't believe in nothing -- that his friend was money...but that neither his friends nor family had come to help... Then someone said: "But we're here and we came to help." We spent 2 VERY arduous days for there was lots of mud. Every last roof tile had to be removed...we weren't able to completely finish the job for there were other commitments but at the end of this second day the man thanked us saying that we did more than they could have in 30 days. Then he said: "Pastor...we want to go to church to thank God"...

And we intend to return to finish the job...
In this way, there have been many opportunities to serve and share the love of God in a practical way and we are so thankful that we haven't had to do this alone, because brothers from many places have prayed, contributed, given and even come to help.

Pray for the local church plant to have great Gospel impact in the lives of those they serve.
To give, click here.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

The Results from our Irene Response

Having just passed the 6th year anniversary of Katrina, we are being drenched by Tropical Storm Lee, with an eye on Hurricane Katia. Meanwhile, our team has been responding for over a week in Greenville, NC alongside Harmony Church (EFCA). Read below of the Lord provision.

9/1 - Today some of us got to cut down trees at Paul and Eileen's house. They were a neat couple, and we got to have some great interaction with them. Miss Eileen couldn't understand why we were helping them like we were, and we were able to tell her it's because we have a God who loves us immensely and invites us to share that love with others. She still was just shaking her head and tearing up. Near the end of the day, one of us was able to tell her that what she experienced today is just a tiny portion of how much God loves her. She was overwhelmed. Her response is a good reminder to us, to really think about the enormity of God's love for us, and let it overwhelm our hearts. Mr. Paul said he thinks they're going to show up at church on Sunday. We're hoping to see them there!

9/2 - We serve a God who answers prayers! Last night some of us were able to go to a home group of Harmony Church folk. Pastor Derek shared that God had been putting it on his heart to pray for the professors and faculty members at the university one day this week. On the same day he was praying he found out that we'd been working at a lot of professors houses. These professors plan to host a dinner for us tomorrow night, and we have invited Pastor Derek with hopes that Harmony will be able to keep reaching out to them.
Today we cut down a 70 ft. pine tree that was partially uprooted and leaning toward Miss Anne's mobile home. Before we cut it we prayed that it would not hit anything--whether that be a house or a person. It was quite an involved process, but when it finally fell the top was just short of a shed and didn't even hit the lights on the side! God kept everyone and everything safe! So thankful for that.
Blessings, Allison

9/3 - Today was the seventh day here in Greenville, NC. Bodies are starting to get a little tired, but God keeps providing the strength that we need and the supplies to keep us going! Today breakfast, lunch, and dinner were provided for us by people that we either served today or other days. It's wonderful to see God's provision in that and be able to interact with them over food. We keep having opportunities to tell people that we're really not that extra ordinary people, we just have an awesome God! The one family we served today had two little girls who pitched in and helped us rake and drag trees. They were fun to work with, and they drew us pictures as a thank you. :)

9/4 - Today one of the homeowners that we worked for on monday, Mr. Michael, came out to work with us. He's been a cool connection to have. He and his wife both work at the university, and we've been able to connect them with some people from Harmony church. Blessings,Allison