Monday, April 26, 2010

Destruction and Deliverance

A rope-shaped tornado in Reno, Oak.
Image by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

"God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear... "-- Psalm 46:1-2

Thirty tornadoes touched down on Saturday, with a swath of destruction across our state from Yazoo City to Ackerman. Seven adults and three children died in the terrible storms.

There has been an immediate response by loving and concerned communities. Volunteers worked after the storms until dark, removing debris and tarping roofs.

Wayne Napier, Mississippi Disaster Response leader, and Steve Casteel, Director of Connectional Ministries, are working with impacted communities to assess damage and to identify places for our recovery ministries. District teams are at work in the areas of impact to prepare for volunteers to work effectively and efficiently over the weeks to come.

We have requested start-up funding from the United Methodist Committee on Relief. This funding was approved immediately, and UMCOR staff are present in Mississippi immediately to help us in organizing our response to this tragedy in our midst.

We will send updates to you this week so that you will know ways to respond most helpfully. Thank you for activating your disaster response volunteers. Many hands and hearts are needed to bring comfort and help across our state.

We pray for those who have lost loved ones in the storms, for all who have lost their homes and possessions, for all whose livelihood is impacted by loss of businesses, and for all who will be helping in the recovery and rebuilding efforts across Mississippi.

Even in times like these, we follow God's word to us:

"Be still and know that I am God! I am exalted among the nations, I am exalted in the earth."
The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge."
-- Psalm 46:10-11

By Bishop Hope Morgan Ward, Mississippi Conference of the United Methodist Church

Please help UMCOR's response with a gift to Advance #901670 US Disaster Response.

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