The Disaster Relief Committee at Church of God Ministries is mobilizing to aid the men, women, and children affected most by these natural disasters in Myanmar, Japan, and Ecuador, and we need your help.
Your donation will bring immediate relief to Church of God congregations and their communities, and will also provide for the long-term needs of rebuilding of churches, homes, and communities. Despite the incredible destruction, death, and injury, we praise God that no lives were lost within the Church of God communities in these locations.
An Inventory of the Devastation
Though the Church of God in Myanmar was spared damage from the earthquakes themselves, the heavy storms that followed brought their own devastation. Don and Caroline Armstrong, Global Strategy regional coordinators for Asia and the Pacific, report, "A very unusual storm came up over central Myanmar. Unusual in that hailstones the size of watermelons fell from the sky." The roof on the Church of God building in the city of Mandalay was badly damaged, damage exacerbated by the rain that followed. The Disaster Relief Committee is financially assisting the church.
In Japan, a series of earthquakes and aftershocks hit the southern island of Kyushu. The Church of God congregations were spared damage; but there was significant destruction within the wider community, and little aid has made its way up into the mountain communities. The Church of God congregations are partnering with the Kyushu Christian Earthquake Relief Center, a coalition of Christian congregations in Kyushu, to meet the needs in these mountain communities. The Disaster Relief Committee is helping them to purchase a truck to transport aid and to help in clearing rubble.
In Ecuador, the initial earthquake and its aftershocks left massive destruction and death in their wake. Reflecting on the aftermath, Global Strategy missionary Jon Lambert writes, "Entire towns have been leveled, major highways have buckled, and landslides occur every day from aftershocks. Recovery will be long and difficult with so much of the infrastructure destroyed. Even after a week, aftershocks are still bringing down already damaged buildings."
The Quevado church and the Concordia church sustained considerable damage, but of all the Church of God buildings, the Tonsupa church was hardest hit. Interior walls collapsed, and a crevice opened up inside the sanctuary, splitting it in half - the consequence of an unidentified fault line running under the church property. The congregation has had to meet in temporary locations since the earthquake. The pastor recently called the Lamberts in tears over the congregation's predicament, reporting that their sound system, Sunday school resources, and other church materials had been stolen by looters. The authorities have condemned the church building, and the lot where the church stood is no longer safe. The congregation will have to buy a new lot in the city and relocate. The home of the leader of the Concordia church was also damaged. Gloria Solano is a paraplegic, confined to a wheelchair. "Gloria's house has also been condemned," Jon explains.
Donations can also be mailed to Church of God Ministries, PO Box 2420, Anderson, IN 46018; please note that your gift is for Disaster Relief, Project # 45.04502.
Gifts to the Disaster Relief Fund at Church of God Ministries are used to respond to needs identified on the ground. All gifts to the Disaster Relief Fund are used for disaster relief domestically and internationally at the discretion of the Disaster Relief Committee.