CLEVELAND, TN: With additional storms ravaging the eastern shore of the U.S. and the Caribbean, Dr. Tim Hill, General Overseer of the Church of God, once again calls on the church for prayer:
“Our church family, facing the dual attack from Hurricanes Maria and Jose, needs our prayers today. Many who have already suffered from the devastating blow of a hurricane this season find themselves in the path of another storm in the next few hours. Like never before, they need our prayers.
Our friends and family in the Caribbean, especially those in Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and Dominica, find themselves today in the eye of Hurricane Maria, with extremely dangerous winds and rain hitting those island nations. Already in recovery mode from the impact of Hurricane Irma just over a week ago, the storm surges predicted could be catastrophic, along with the wind gusts from the hurricane that now is classified as a Category 5 storm.
Puerto Rico especially looks vulnerable to the storm, with winds predicted over 150 mph, storm surges of 6 to 9 feet, and 6 to 12 inches of rain expected. I have already spoken with Dr. David Griffis, Director of World Missions, as well as Puerto Rico National Overseer Richard Lopez, to advise them that the relief efforts from the Church of God will be available to assist them. Since Hurricane Irma hit, we have been working with Caribbean Field Director Ishmael Charles in sending relief supplies, especially generators, to Tortola and other islands in the Caribbean ravaged by that storm. Now with Hurricane Maria making landfall, our efforts will just need to intensify.
In addition, Hurricane Jose is expected to hit the Northeastern United States later tonight, causing strong wind gusts and rain from Long Island, New York up through eastern Massachusetts. We have a strong church presence in the Southern New England area and we need to be in prayer for our church family there as well.
With a major weather event almost each week for the last month, I realize that we all are facing storm fatigue. However, it is in the midst of the storm that the church is at its best.
My heart was challenged when I heard a government official on the island of Dominica say that ‘we have lost all that money can buy.’ It is in times like these when the church has to step up and be the church. So once again, I am calling the church to prayer and to give.”