Nazarene drowns in Haiti after Hurricane Dennis sweeps through Caribbean and into Southeast U.S.
Miami—According to the Caribbean Region Communications Office, at least one Nazarene is confirmed dead in Haiti after Hurricane Dennis swept through the Caribbean islands of Haiti, Jamaica, and Cuba July 8. David Eliassaint, superintendent of the Haiti South District, reports a Nazarene church member drowned while trying to protect his livestock from flooding. The flooding was the direct result of Dennis.
In agricultural societies like Haiti, livestock are the source of a person's income and a family's well-being. Eliassaint himself lost one horse in the storm, which is an enormous financial loss.
The Associated Press reports at least 10 people were confirmed dead in Cuba, with another 10 confirmed killed in Haiti. United Nations officials said 100 more were reported missing in Haiti after flooding and mudslides.
Dennis ultimately slammed into the Florida panhandle near Pensacola July 10, close to the same spot where Hurricane Ivan made landfall in September 2004. No reports of loss or significant damage have been received at this time from the U.S. districts affected by Dennis.
One Pensacola Nazarene who did not evacuate the city stated that the storm was not as bad as predicted, although several trees and power lines were knocked down and the area sustained exceptionally heavy winds. Nazarenes in the southeastern U.S. battled heavy rains and flooding as Dennis dissipated over the region.
Nazarene Disaster Response (NDR) is partnering with Nazarene Compassionate Ministries, R.O.A.M. (RVers on a Mission), and Work & Witness in coordinating relief efforts for those affected by Hurricane Dennis in the U.S.
Even before Dennis made landfall, the ministry teams were anticipating a great need for relief and repair volunteers and possibly Work &Witness teams. Crisis Care Kits and bottled water were being delivered to the southern Alabama, Mississippi, and the Florida panhandle before the storm arrived.
Continued prayer is requested for all those affected by Dennis in Haiti, Jamaica, Cuba, and the U.S.
Persons and churches wishing to make a donation through Nazarene Compassionate Ministries for Caribbean relief efforts can mark their checks "Hurricane Dennis Relief ACM1249" and mail them to the General Treasurer, 6401 The Paseo, Kansas City, MO 64131. In Canada, checks should be made payable and sent to the Church of the Nazarene Canada, 20 Regan Road, Unit 9, Brampton, Ontario L7A 1C3. Immediate donations may also be made online at www.ncm.org.
All donations remitted through the General Treasurer's Office will receive 10 percent Mission Special credit if the local church is identified.
Note: For photos of Hurricane Dennis damage in the Caribbean, see www.caribbeannazarene.org. Photos are courtesy of NBC Channel 6 in Miami.
--Caribbean Communications Office, NCN News
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NCM: Hurricane clean-up volunteers needed
Pensacola, Florida—When Hurricane Dennis roared ashore near Pensacola, Florida at 120-miles per hour, many in the Southeast U.S. were thankful it had weakened just before hitting their area. Yet even somewhat abated, Dennis was still a powerful Category-2 storm that dumped 3 to 8 inches of rain over Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, and Georgia. The high winds buckled roads, snapped trees in two, and razed houses and businesses, causing an estimated $2 billion (U.S.) in damages. Many people, still recovering from the devastation of Hurricane Ivan nearly a year ago, are discouraged to see their rebuilding efforts destroyed.
The Southeast Alabama District Camp was shut down in anticipation of the hurricane, and camp buildings were used as relief shelters for nearby residents. The Monroeville Church of the Nazarene joined in with other Nazarene churches throughout the Southeast U.S. and once again opened their doors to the community for shelter. “We have a great need to have generators on hand since we are in the corridor of hurricanes,” shared Monroeville pastor Freddie Lindsey. “In the last week I have had over 100 requests for help with generators from people with disabilities or on oxygen who need assistance. This time we were fortunate, electricity should be back on soon, but down the road in Almore, where extensive damage was done, it is expected to be out for two to three weeks.”
A woman living next to the Monroeville church has two trees in her yard that are tilting dangerously with the roots popping out of the ground. Church members have tried to help prop up the trees but they must be removed. The woman does not have the means to repair them herself and has no insurance. Additionally, her porch has extensive damage and her roof leaks from multiple trees hitting her home in both hurricanes. This is just one example of the tremendous rehabilitation needs facing the area.
Nazarene Compassionate Ministries reports volunteers are urgently needed for any length of time that can be offered. The most needed skills are roofers and individuals with chainsaws who can help cut down trees. The Monroeville church will provide Army cots and bedding; volunteers are responsible for their own food. Those interested in volunteering may contact Pastor Freddie Lindsey at 251-362-1289. Other items needed are tarps, Crisis Care Kits, and generators, or funds to purchase these items. If you are unable to volunteer but would like to help in relief efforts, donations of any amount would be greatly appreciated.
Persons and churches wishing to make a donation for U.S. relief efforts can mark their checks “Hurricane Dennis Relief ACM1794” and mail them to the General Treasurer, 6401 The Paseo, Kansas City, MO 64131. In Canada, checks should be made payable and sent to the Church of the Nazarene Canada, 20 Regan Road, Unit 9, Brampton, Ontario L7A 1C3. Immediate donations may also be made online at www.ncm.org.
All donations remitted through the General Treasurer’s Office will receive 10 percent Mission Special credit if the local church is identified.
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Stone's stay as general secretary extended
Kansas City—Following dialogue and approval by the Board of General Superintendents, Jack Stone has agreed to serve as General Secretary/Headquarters Operations Officer through General Board 2007.
General Superintendent in Jurisdiction James H. Diehl reports, “Dr. Stone’s agreed extension of tenure will allow a more deliberate transition process and provide leadership continuity with projects and studies under consideration by the Board of General Superintendents and the General Board.”
Stone, whose achievements as general secretary were recognized by General Superintendent Jim L. Bond in the final business session of the 2005 General Assembly, will maintain a residence in both Kansas and Florida during this time.
Important immediate priorities for the Board of General Superintendents and church leadership include:
- Preparation of a new Manual and Judicial Manual
- Organizing and considering all referrals, studies, and commissions ordered by the General Assembly
- Analysis of the location for General Assembly in 2009 and possibly 2013
- Preparation for all quadrennial nominations and elections
- Processes associated with a new Global Ministries Center (Headquarters)
- Appointment and funding for quadrennial committees/commissions
- Global Mission Team Initiatives
--James H. Diehl, General Superintendent in Jurisdiction
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Nazarenes in DRC praying for peace
South Kivu, DRC—The superintendent of the South Kivu District in Africa is requesting Nazarenes around the world pray for the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The district superintendent (DS) is concerned that rumors about recurring violence and possibly a general strike in DRC that may shutdown the government will come to pass.
The DS made this statement July 1. In fact, violence has already erupted. According to Reuters News, as many as 50 civilians were massacred in the South Kivu province this week.
The DS reported DRC has lost more than 3.5 million people during the last decade because of war and poor sanitation conditions.
“Brothers and sisters, let us join together in prayer for this country that is naturally rich, but where people are living in desperate and miserable conditions linked to the war and other political turmoil,” said Celestin.
A Nazarene leader in the area reports that while traveling in DRC, it is not uncommon to find churches, belonging to the Church of the Nazarene and other denominations, destroyed, burned, and abandoned. Resources, primarily bibles, are among the most critical needs for DRC pastors.
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Unsung hero Clarence Bowman honored
Bloomington, Illinois—Prior to General Assembly 2005, Clarence Bowman, elder, educator, church planter, and mentor, was recognized for his many years of effective servant leadership. Bowman was honored in a celebration sponsored by the Fairway Church of the Nazarene, his local church in Bloomington, Illinois. Family members, including Bowman’s 89 year-old sister, and friends gathered to express their love and respect in tribute to Clarence, who was a professor, dean of students, church planter, and recruiter for the Nazarene Bible Institute in Institute, West Virginia.
Robert Coy, interim pastor of the church, led the congregation in an overview of the personal journeys and faithful churchmanship of Clarence and his wife, Charlotte Bowman. The service opened with a choir selection, “We Bring the Sacrifice of Praise,” which set the tone for the entire service.
Later, Barry Cunningham, son of the late R. W. Cunningham, who was president of Nazarene Bible Institute, shared from a very unique and affirming perspective which he called “Middle Passage I & II.” Cunningham expressed his desire that three African American pioneers of the church never be forgotten. He presented, on small cards, beautiful portraits of these men which he called “Greatness at a Glance.” The three included: Warren A. Rogers, Sr.--“A Fisher of Men,” R. W. Cunningham, Sr.--“A Visionary Pioneer,” and Clarence Bowman--“A Bridge Builder.” These cards also emphasize the “Rogers-Cunningham-Bowman Ministerial Institute [at Nazarene Bible College],” which has been established to assist in the training of future African American church leaders.
Clarence’s youngest son, Alvin Bowman, the newly appointed president of Illinois State University in Normal, Illinois, presented the final segment of Clarence’s life, entitled “Teaching Career to Retirement.” It was a special tribute to his father and mother (unable to attend due to failing health) who complemented each other in all they did.
In addition, Clarence was presented with a plaque by his brother Roger Bowman on behalf of Oliver Phillips, director of Mission Strategy USA/Canada for the Church of the Nazarene. Additionally, the Fairway church presented him with the denomination’s Distinguished Service Award. A poem honoring Clarence was written and read by Geneva Coit, a member of the local church before Indianapolis District Superintendent Ted Lee closed the service with remarks and prayer.
Additional greetings were received from numerous church leaders such as General Superintendents Jim L. Bond and James H. Diehl, Nazarene Bible College President Hiram Sanders, and Commissioner of Education Jerry Lambert.
In response to the day, a tearful Clarence stated, “I don’t deserve all this. All the glory belongs to God.”
--Submitted by Oliver R. Phillips, director of Mission Strategy for USA/Canada
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Hurricane Emily batters Grenada
St. Patrick's, Grenada-Hurricane Emily battered the eastern Caribbean island of Grenada this week, ripping off roofs and flooding streets. read more
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