Please share this information broadly and with individuals in congregations
The information below is an update on the current response of MDR as we monitor the beginning stages of recovery in Texas from Harvey, the anticipation of further damage from Hurricane Irma, and listen to the potential impact of Hurricanes Jose and Katia close behind.
Additionally, we are offering this intercession in time of crisis liturgy for use in worship and prayer groups.
For the most up-to-date information on MDR’s efforts with these hurricanes, please visit here.
September 14, 2017
BWM has been receiving generous donations for Moravian Disaster Response (MDR) and has begun the process of disbursing funds to Texas (Port Arthur and other Texas Brethren churches) and the Eastern West Indies Province (St. Thomas, St. Croix, St. John, St. Maarten, St. Kitts, Tortola, Antigua).
Plans are in place for deploying MDR trailers and teams to Texas and possibly Florida, as needed.
We continue to receive updates from Cuba, Florida, Texas, and the Eastern West Indies and will pass on information as it is received. Brother Cortroy Jarvis (chair of the EWI Province and chair of the Worldwide Moravian Unity) says that the situation in St. John is especially bad; the sanctuary and manse of Emmaus Moravian Church there have been destroyed and the roof of the Bethany Moravian Church was blown off. Antigua is doing pretty well but very involved with relief efforts in Barbuda. Air travel to Tortola and St. Thomas has not been restored as yet and communication is difficult.
The Cuba Mission Province Synod will be held September 26 thru 28, despite significant damage and destruction throughout the island. BWM staff Sam Gray and members of the Armando Rusindo Mission Foundation will attend and will return with more detailed information concerning the most effective ways in which we can help.
Thank you for your prayers and your ongoing support for these important relief and rebuilding efforts. Donations to help support MDR as it partners in the recovery can be made online (click “Donations”). Please use the online giving form, and in the comment section, designate the donation for “Moravian Disaster Response.”
Make a Donation
Donations to help support MDR as it partners in the recovery can be made online by going to moravianmission.org/give. Please use the online giving form, and in comments designate the Donation for “Moravian Disaster Response”.
Donations within the U.S. can also be sent directly to the Board of World Mission at the address below. In the memo line of any checks please write “Moravian Disaster Response”.
Board of World Mission
PO Box 1245
Bethlehem, PA 18016
Canadian Churches may send donations to the following address in order to receive full tax credit for your donation and they will be sent along to the BWM:
Moravian Church in Canada
600 Acadia Drive SE
Calgary, AB T2J 0B8
NOTE: We are requesting funds be designated for general disaster response to allow the BWM to respond with the flexibility needed in this ongoing situation. All funds under this designation will be used for disaster response.
If you are interested in getting information on joining teams to help in the recovery and rebuilding efforts for this, or other disasters, please use this link to enter your contact information, and the BWM will follow up with you regarding any specific opportunities to get involved.
Please contact the BWM with any questions.
Northern Province Office: 610.868.1732
Southern Province Office: 336.773.1732
Director of Mission Engagement
Board of World Mission
Transcript: Hello, I’m Justin Rabbach with the Moravian Board of world mission. I want to take a moment to update you on the current work of Moravian Disaster Response or MDR.
First, let me say that the information provided in this video as well as any further updates will be posted to both our website MoravianMission.org and our Facebook page which can be found by searching Moravian Board of World Mission. To begin let me say thank you to the generous donors and many gifts that have come in to support this work in our response of Hurricane Harvey and of Moravian Disaster Response. We ask you to continue to share broadly the opportunity to give through the Board of World Mission as we seek to spend every penny and every dollar that comes in on responding to these disasters.
Hurricane Harvey: MDR has been working and in communication with our partners of the Unity of the Brethren Church in Texas. They have several congregations in the Houston area. The most impacted has been a congregation in Port Arthur Texas to the east of Houston. This particular congregation has experienced extensive flooding resulting in the loss of much of the items in the church from the piano to the organ, the carpeting the pews and likely further structural damage that will be assessed as the floodwaters recede. Many members of this congregation and community are in emergency shelters and are waiting temporary housing solutions. Please join us in prayer and as we join with the Unity of the Brethren making a plan for ways that volunteer teams can help in this rebuilding process and also ways that financial donations can be used most effectively to help the many individuals without flood insurance and those looking to get back into their home’s as quickly as they can.
For Hurricane Irma, many of you may also be following this Hurricane, a Category 5 storm currently over the US and British Virgin Islands. The Board of World Mission has been in touch with Cortroy Jarvis, President of the Eastern West Indies and let him know that they are in our thoughts and prayers, and he has said that he will communicate as soon as he can following the storm after the returning of electricity and power and phone communications to let us know the extent of the damage and the ways that Moravian Board of World Mission can be responding to that area and disaster as well tracking that storm. Looking ahead this week other Moravian areas may also be impacted including Haiti possibly Jamaica and likely Cuba as well.
We ask for your particular prayers for Cuba as it was to hold its synod early next week along with representatives of the Board of World Mission and the Armando Rusindo Mission Foundation who were to travel this weekend to Cuba. It’s likely that all of these plans will be impacted or changed and we hope that early next week the work of the church can continue but also it may be a very real reality that are work and focus changes due to this hurricane there. Then also we are aware of the path and the potential hurricane could turn north to the eastern coast of the United States possibly impacting Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina and we ask your continued prayers of support as these people are getting ready for the potential impact of this hurricane as well. Finally I think it’s appropriate to mention hurricane Matthew which made landfall last October. Currently one of the Moravian Disaster Response trailers is still in the community of West Lumberton, North Carolina helping to rebuild a home.
I spoke with the individual coordinating the response there this morning and he reminded me that tens of thousands of homes were impact in that area and even as we hear about hurricane Harvey and hurricane Irma there are many who have been impacted by Hurricane Matthew and many other storms in places around the US. So we ask that in your prayers you remember all those individuals still displaced from their homes and looking to get back in and pray that we can be generous with our resources and our time, talents, and gifts to respond to these disasters and crisis.
To that, the Board of World Mission invites you to respond in one or more of the three following ways:
If you wish to serve you can go to our website MoravianMission.org and scroll to the bottom and find a web form you can fill out to give your name and contact information and the ways that you would like to be involved in serving on a disaster response team. Please be patient as we wait for more information about the particular ways that we can respond but then the BWM will be in touch with you about the ways in which you can get involved on a response team.
If you wish to join in prayer together as a community of faith the BWM is also posting an adapted version of the intercession in time of crisis, a liturgy from the Moravian Book of Worship. You can find that on our website adapted for some of these current disaster situations. We ask that we could join together in prayer perhaps with your congregation on a upcoming Sunday.
And finally, if you would like to give. We thank those who have already made contributions and if you would you can consider going to MoravianMission.org/give to give online using our secure donation form or you can visit the website and also find our mailing information for the BWM offices and making out checks to MDR if there’s a particular calling on your heart to give to Hurrican Harvey or to Hurricane Irma or a particular disaster you can make that designation but I would also ask for your consideration to make the check out or the donation just to Moravian Disaster Response. It helps us to respond quickly and as needs arise to give us the most flexibility to work with our partners.
Thank you for all of you who are following this ongoing situation and we hope to continue to keep you updated. As always if you have questions please email me at Justin@MoravianMission.org