Union Members Provide Support Following Hurricanes
Story by V. Michelle Bernard
Fourteen Columbia Union Conference members, including 11 sponsored by the union’s Adventist Community Services/Disaster Response (ACS/DR) Department, spent up to two weeks sorting supplies, distributing water and praying with residents impacted by Hurricane Harvey. This initiative took place at North American Division’s ACS-sponsored distribution center at the World Harvest Outreach church in Houston.
Volunteer Lastavius Darby, a member of Allegheny East Conference’s Calvary church in Newport News, Va., says, “Some [who were served] expressed surprise and delight that the church was working at such a grand scale to help the community, and one even came back to sweep and help clean up in appreciation.”
Thirty-two members from several conferences also recently participated in crisis care training at Chesapeake Conference’s Frederick (Md.) church. “This training will allow us a larger pool of individuals in the future, as well as [provide] us more skills to offer to our communities during disasters,” says John Belliveau, ACS/DR coordinator for the Chesapeake Conference.
Churches across the union are also collecting supplies for those impacted by hurricanes in the Caribbean. Minnie McNeil, (ACS)/Disaster Response coordinator for the Columbia Union and ACS director for AEC, reports that a YMCA, Rotary Club and African Methodist Episcopal church near AEC headquarters in Pine Forge, Pa., are also donating supplies for the effort.