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6-19-13 Disaster Relief Provided in Six States
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Photo by: Richard Castillo
 
Over the past eight months many natural disaster have taken place. Through it all Adventist Community Services Disaster Relief (ACS DR) has been in the various location of need to offer support and assistance. Here is their report.

The Oklahoma City tornado response team is still very active. They cover the tornado damage of both the Moore and El Reno cities. Michael
Photo by: Richard Castillo
Smith, pastor of the Hope Adventist Fellowship in Moore, reports that they will continue to serve their community with the Distribution Center as long as the need continues. Stan Buckmaster, ACS DR director for Oklahoma Conference, is leading out in managing a multi-agency warehouse for the state of Okla., with ACS DR trained volunteers serving in leadership positions. They are accepting undesignated donated goods, inventorying the items, and making them available to those agencies still distributing to the storm survivors.

Many powerful testimonies emerged from the rubble that was caused by the tornados. One such story included a volunteer and a prayer to help in a very specific way.

A volunteer, with a burden for the children, came from Ardmore, Okla. to help with distribution. To contribute to the effort, she made some gift bags for the survivors. She asked the Lord to help her come in contact with a family who had lost a child in the tornado; she wanted to minister to them. God answered her prayer and she met two families who lost children. She was thankful to be of comfort and encouragement to them.  The second family was in need of some money, but the volunteer did not have any. She prayed for the Lord to help her to help them. As she went back to the car to get one of the gift bags, she saw something lying by the curb in the dirt and muck. She picked it up and it was a twenty-dollar bill. She was rejoicing while continuing to retrieve the bag when she dropped something. As she leaned over to get it, there was a second twenty-dollar bill!  She was even more excited now because she witnessed how the Lord provided 40 dollars for her to give this family. 

View the testimony of a mother whose children attended the Plaza Towers Elementary School in Moore, Okla., which was destroyed by a tornado, and how she was able to rescue them just 15 minutes before it hit the building.

The state of West Virginia contacted Cesar Quispe, Mountain View Conference ACS DR director, and requested that ACS DR lead out in Donations Management for the state in the current flood response. ACS DR is currently operating a Distribution Center in Spencer, W. Va. Cesar reported that two local news crews have been there to interview him about helping the flood survivors. On one day they assisted 245 flood survivors with bottled water, cleaning supplies, and flood buckets.

Alaska ACS DR has been asked to lead out in Donations Management in the response to flooding along the Yukon River. A few unseasonably warm days melted the snow in the mountains; it drained down to the Yukon River basin, overflowing the frozen river. The Yukon then started to thaw, broke into chunks of ice and tumbled with the floodwaters on down the river, destroying everything in its path. The town of Galena, home to 600, was severely damaged. Since there are no roads into Galena, the only access is by air. ACS DR is setting up a warehouse in Fairbanks, the requested goods are delivered to the Civil Air Patrol at the airport and they fly the much needed items into Galena. Barney Baty, ACS DR Area coordinator from Anchorage, is leading out in this operation.

The Colo. wildfires have affected several areas of the state. Cathy Kissner, Rocky Mountain Conference ACS DR director, reports that Church World Services is providing a semi load of emergency supplies; cleanup kits, hygiene kits, school kits, and blankets, that ACS DR is distributing in the Colorado Springs, Colo. area. Kissner has been asked to be a “Subject Matter Expert” to those working in the Royal Gorge fire area dealing with donations management.

With an average annual rainfall of 17 inches, Eagle Pass, Texas experienced severe flooding after receiving more than 15 inches of rain in a day and a half. Because of the flooding more than 550 families were evacuated from their homes. The Texas ACS DR Mobile Distribution Unit has deployed to Eagle Pass with pre-packaged clothing outfits, personal care kits, and blankets. The state of Texas requested a distribution center in a junior high school gym to provide donated goods to the survivors, which and an ACS DR team has set up and is running. However, after the Mayor of Eagle Pass visited them, he decided to move them to a larger facility with air conditioning. Volunteers were also interviewed by two news crews, one of which was picked up by one of the national networks and was on the evening news.

The Greater New York Conference (GNYC) ACS DR, along with other conferences, is still responding to the needs of the survivors of Hurricane Sandy. Recently, GNYC ACS DR received a generous donation of mold resistant sheetrock to be given to help the survivors repair or rebuild their homes.
North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists
12501 Old Columbia Pike
Silver Spring, MD 20904-6600 USA
Telephone: 301-680-6400
Fax: 301-680-6464
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