In preparation for what the National Weather Center has called “the storm of a lifetime,” NCF staff, givers, and ministry partners in the Carolinas are busy making plans for an emergency response to Hurricane Florence.
NCF Carolinas President, John Putnam, says, “In the Carolinas, we are privileged to serve alongside some of the nation’s most experienced disaster response ministries such as Samaritan’s Purse, the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, and many others. But unlike other situations, this ministry opportunity hits very close to home.”
Steve Nickel, Vice President of Donor Ministries for Samaritan’s Purse explains what’s happening today on the ground: “Samaritan’s Purse North American Ministries stands ready to respond with staff, equipment, and four disaster relief units – tractor trailers filled with tools and supplies. We’re doing as much proactive work as possible, and will be ready to roll from our North American Ministries headquarters and 200,000 square foot warehouse in North Wilkesboro, North Carolina, into the hardest hit areas as soon as the storm passes and local officials grant access.”
“Lighthouse Churches” are also being mobilized along the storm’s path where the ministry can establish bases of operation to meet the needs of those affected. The disaster relief unit trucks will be set up at these churches, from which volunteers will also be organized, deployed, fed, and housed.
The Billy Graham Rapid Response Team is preparing to meet other types of needs. Jack W. Munday, International Director of the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team says, “Our crisis-trained volunteer Chaplains will deploy in the aftermath of this storm to provide emotional and spiritual care in evacuation shelters, local churches, and when families return to their homes and experience great loss.” As First Responders serve their community, Chaplains will also help identify and prioritize the work on their homes to include mud-outs, tarping roofs, and tree work.
As a family of believers at NCF, let’s join forces to pray for efforts to meet both the physical and spiritual needs of those affected, and for the countless individuals who are preparing to minister in the path of this storm. Here are specific prayer requests from the Carolinas team:
- Pray for the many people who are being displaced and whose lives and property could be devastated by this storm.
- Thank the Lord for favor with federal, state, and local officials as they welcome the presence of ministries and churches and grant them early access into disaster areas.
- Praise God for local facilities to be used as “Lighthouse Churches,” and for thousands of volunteers who are willing to join the effort from the Carolinas, and all over the country.
- Pray for bases of operation to be effectively positioned where the need is greatest.
- Pray for the safety of chaplain volunteers and other ministry staff who deploy to dangerous situations.
- Ask the Lord to protect all those who are traveling, and for those who will operate chainsaws and other equipment, and those who will be tarping damaged roofs.
- Pray for staff and volunteers to sensitively minister in the love of God to people in their distress and draw them closer to Him.
Stay tuned for more updates from our local NCF Carolinas team as this situation develops.