THE GREAT COMMISSION AND DISASTER RELIEF – PART TWO
1998 was eventful for Central America as Hurricane Mitch pounded the Atlantic Coasts of Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua killing 11,000 people with another 11,000 unaccounted for. I had been appointed regional superintendent just weeks prior to the storm, and this induction into leadership was severe. But, I learned quickly how interconnectivity with a global church family could bring relief in a tangible and timely way. Even before the hurricane winds had ceased, relief was beginning to flow through World Missions channels to minister to families and local churches devastated by the resulting floods, winds, and mudslides. Truckloads of water, food, and temporary housing supplies were mobilized into the affected areas. Eighty (80) church properties were completely rebuilt, and by the end of the relief efforts, the community of faith was stronger than ever. In 2001, a horrible earthquake destroyed large sections of El Salvador, and again, the Church was mobilized into action. Families were rescued; the hungry and homeless were cared for—more than 150 homes and churches were rebuilt leaving the imprint of God’s hand of mercy throughout a devastated country. Many other stories of love and rescue emerge in places like Haiti, and other islands of the Caribbean, as the people of God respond to natural disasters throughout the world. We know disaster will happen. We just don’t know when. This is part two of a three part article.