"All the paths of the LORD are steadfast love and faithfulness, for those who keep His covenant and His testimonies" (Psalm 25:10).
Covenant Church (PCA) - Houston, TX
Tuesday, July 23, 2019
Transforming Hearts, Conforming to Christ

Other Ways to Help

Opportunities for Service

through Mission to North America (MNA)

of the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA)

 

Hurricane Katrina Relief Update – October 17, 2005

Additional volunteers are needed:  If you have construction and other specific skills, please join the relief effort; a detailed list is presented below – please review to see if your skill is listed!  Also, as a part of church sponsorship, please consider assisting the affected churches with their benevolent giving.  Thank you for your generous contributions, labors and prayers.  Jim Bland, MNA Coordinator

Call for volunteer [re]building skills:  all roofers, general contractors, anyone with construction skills and/or background, medical or other professional skills - your skills can be put to good use right away.  Many families in the Gulf region are seeking help in repairing and rebuilding their homes.

We need folks to: Address medical needs, both doctors and nurses; Share the Gospel and pray with people - you don't have to be EE trained - a visitation approach will be used; Chainsaw trees and clear debris – we are slowly moving out of this phase but there is still work to do; Mud out houses; Pull up carpet; Tear down drywall; Replace sub floors/wall studs/drywall; Roofing; Serve as general contractors; General construction – any skills related to construction. 

You may sign up as an individual or you may form a team and sign up the team to come.  MNA does not charge any fees to volunteer team participants.  Expenses for each individual or team will vary according to the work site in which they are serving.

·         You may register as an individual on the web site.  We will then add you to a team.  PCA Relief
·         If you are putting a team together, you may register your team on the web site.  PCA Relief
 
It will greatly help our management of telephone calls if you are willing to register and then let us call you back.  If you must begin with a phone call, you may reach
MNA Disaster Response at 636-299-1424 or 636-299-1422.   

Celebration of what God has Done (this is only a partial list, of course!):

At First Presbyterian Church in Biloxi, our distribution center was operational for 32 days.  Statistics were not collected for the first 2 days of operations.  For the remaining 30 days: 11,117 people were served (approximately 2461 people, each representing approximately 4.6 family members).  This does not include the many pickup and small trucks that were loaded for local law enforcement officers.  Up to 40,000 lbs. of food and supplies were distributed each day. 

FEMA established a medical unit in the church to serve the crews and the community.  In addition, each day multiple work crews are mobilized to complete work orders in the community, which include debris-cleaning and chainsaw work.  Over 1200 volunteers have served in Biloxi alone.

All in all, up to 350 volunteers have worked each day in various staging areas.  General areas served thus far are listed below.  Work is completed in a few of these areas. 

In Mississippi -    Hattiesburg
                           Laurel
                           Mt. Olive
                           Prentiss
                           Braxton
                           Picayune
                           Biloxi
                           Gulfport
                           Ocean Springs
                           Saucier
                           Moss Point
In Louisiana:      Slidell
                           Metairie

You will notice that New Orleans is not listed, but due to EPA restrictions we are able to do some limited work there.

In addition, drivers have taken truckloads of supplies from Jackson into communities in need; and in Brandon, MS, disaster headquarters is operating with a task force of anywhere from 6 - 10 volunteers. 

As we move from the cleanup phase to repairs, rebuilding and personal ministry, may God richly bless all those being served, as well as His servants.

Hurricane Rita: We praise God that our families in Beaumont, TX, experienced only minor damage.  In Lake Charles, LA, just four of our families had significant property damage.  Please pray for these families, and that these churches will be able to minister to others in need in their communities. 

Please consider participating in our Hurricane Recovery Church Sponsorship (also referred to as adopting or partnering with a church): Six PCA churches and ministries in the Katrina damage area thus far have been identified as needing outside support in order to continue even their minimum ministry programs, and in order to maintain full support of their pastor and other critical staff.  They face these challenges due to a combination of storm damage to their buildings and loss of income through members moving or losing their jobs.  As damage assessments continue, the losses to most of these churches are proving to be even greater than we thought initially.  Please consider taking on the support of missionaries, campus ministers and other benevolent support to which these churches are committed; this will provide ministry both to these churches in reducing their financial obligations, and will also ensure those who were under their support will not fall short.  MNA has a list of these churches and will keep the list updated as to needs and support committed for each.  For the list of the churches and further details of sponsorship, please email: MNAChurchRecoverySponsorship@pcanet.org.

Your email must include your name, the name of the church in whose behalf you are inquiring, and your position as a member or officer of your church.  Out of a desire to protect these churches from potentially problematic contacts, MNA will not send this information to parties whom we cannot identify as credible inquiries.  Our hope is that these sponsorships will supply additional financial support to these churches, so that the relief funds may be used primarily to address the needs of families affected by the disaster.

PCA Chaplains have been assigned ministry with the troops in Katrina disaster response.  For reports from the field, go to: Chaplains Involved in Hurricane Katrina Response.

Housing: You may still register if you need housing, or know of someone in need, at PCA Relief.  We are continuing the housing effort, but evacuees are now relocated in many cities across our nation.  Please check with your community agencies to see if you might address this need in your local neighborhood.

Supplies:  Our distribution center in Biloxi has now closed.  As a result, Eastern Shore PCA in Fairhope, AL no longer collects supplies.  If your church has supplies already collected and you would like to know where they can be shipped, please call MNA Disaster Response at 636-299-1422 or 636-299-1424.

Other ways to volunteer: If you wish to volunteer but need to stay close to home, check with your local agencies about needs in your community.  Evacuees are now being relocated in significant numbers even to cities outside of the Southeast.  There may be relief needs in your community that you can address.  

Financial Donations: As of October 14, over $2.7 million has been given for Katrina relief and almost $500,000 additional giving for hurricane relief (Katrina or Rita) through MNA.  MNA does not take administrative or general fund support from the gifts; the moneys are used for PCA family and church needs, and a small portion for the expenses of relief operations. Checks should be made to MNA, designated for Hurricane Relief.  Please mail checks to MNA, 1700 N. Brown Road, Suite 101, Lawrenceville, Georgia 30043.  You may also donate by credit card on the MNA web site, or by sending your credit card donation information in writing to MNA or by fax to 678-825-1201, attention:  Michael Hutcheson.

Use a PCA Foundation Advise and Consult Fund for your giving to hurricane relief. 

 

 

Hurricane Katrina – September 6, 2005

Thank you for the great response in prayer, outpouring of concern and offers of time, talent and treasure to address the needs across the area impacted by Hurricane Katrina. Please read all of this for updates and some exciting new developments.  Please pass on this information to friends and church members – we are depending on you to help spread the word!  Pray that we will see God’s hand at work in ever greater ways as we care for one another in PCA churches, and as we reach out in Christ’s name to serve our communities.  May God greatly bless us in working together in these challenging times.


 --Jim Bland, MNA Coordinator


For all information on MNA coordination of PCA Disaster Response, go to: www.pca-mna.org
.  Please review the web site frequently.  We are posting updates at least daily.  Please help spread the word.  

 
Call for Volunteers for Clean-up and Other Services

MNA Disaster Response is coordinating the Hurricane Katrina response effort for the PCA working out of a command post in Brandon, Mississippi. National media are warning about the problems that arise if we all rush in at once.  Yes, these warnings are well founded and the process will unfold gradually as we continue to work around gasoline limitations and other logistical limitations, but we do need you, and we will need many more volunteers in the weeks and months ahead.  Below is a list of our staging areas that either have been or are in the process of being set up and the areas that are being served.


Staging Area & Areas Being Served
·         
Brandon, MS: serving as Command Center
·
        
Picayune, MS: Picayune, MS & Slidell, LA
·
        
Mobile, AL: Biloxi & Gulfport
·
        
Hattiesburg, MS: Hattiesburg & Laurel
·
        
Prentiss, MS: Prentiss, Hopewell, Mt. Olive, MS

In addition, Faith PCA in Brookhaven, Mississippi is operating as a shelter for refugees.  Pear Orchard PCA in Jackson, Mississippi has adopted a sister church, Columbia PCA, in Columbia, Mississippi and will be taking care of that area.


At this time the Mobile, Alabama staging area has a good supply of volunteers.  We are now in need of volunteers for the Picayune, Prentiss and Hattiesburg areas.  
·
      Presbyteries who are close by: volunteers from your churches will be able to get in most readily, if your own communities can spare their labor there.  
·
        
Volunteers are welcome from any and all of our churches and presbyteries.  

Two ways to let us know you want to volunteer:
·
        
You may register as an individual on the web site.  We will then add you to a team. www.pcarelief.org.
·
        If you are putting a team together, you may register your team on the web site.  www.pcarelief.org.

It will greatly help our management of telephone calls if you are willing to register and then let us call you back.  If you must begin with a phone call, you may reach MNA Disaster Response at 636-299-1422 or 636-299-1424.   

 

We will have information on which site needs the volunteers and what the conditions are and what you will need to bring.  Thanks to the generous time commitments of volunteers in the Jackson area especially, we are set up now to handle the volume of calls we are getting, but please understand that we will usually need to call you back, rather than talk through the details right when you call.  If you already called or registered on the web site, we will be calling you.  Communities are opening up gradually and we are still dealing with gasoline problems and other logistical limitations, so please be patient as we work with you to determine the best time to come in.


Thank you for all you are doing.  The PCA is making a difference, and I pray we are salt and light to the hurting communities.  

 

--Ron Haynes, Disaster Response Director


Housing for Evacuees

This is a really exciting development.  Several PCA members have developed a web based coordination system.  If you wish to provide housing, either for PCA or non-PCA families, you can register on the web site.  You can also register if you need housing.  The deacons of Woodruff Road Presbyterian in Simpsonville, SC, have volunteered to coordinate the responses, matching those in need with homes offered.  God is good!  Many people were concerned about how to address this need, and before any big plans could even be imagined, God had already put it on the minds and hearts of people with the technical and organizational skills to provide the answer! Special thanks to Will Hinton, Andy Chapman, David Bass, Don Clements, Dominic Aquila, Dick Doster, Sherry Lanier, the Woodruff Road deacons, and the several others who developed this.

 

For access, go to www.pca-mna.org and click on the Katrina housing headlines, or go directly to www.pcarelief.org.


Housing for PCA families: if you know of PCA families in need, please make sure they know this service is available, or if they do not have access to the web, please send enter contact information for them.


Housing for others: we believe most PCA families will already have at least temporary housing.  Therefore, primarily we are seeking additional resources for non-PCA families.  If you would like to offer housing, please enter your information.  We also encourage you to work directly with agencies in your community who are providing housing.

 

Other Ways to Volunteer 

Ifyou wish to volunteer but need to stay close to home, check with your local agencies about needs in your community.  Evacuees are now being relocated in significant numbers even to cities outside of the southeast.  There may be relief needs in your community which you can address.


Financial Donations

Many families have lost homes and extensive damage has been suffered by PCA church buildings. In addition, some of the churches will need support to get back to a self-supporting level, because of the economic impact on their communities and because some members will not stay and rebuild.  Please prayerfully consider making a generous financial contribution.  There will be major financial needs that we will need to address as a denomination.  MNA does not take administrative or general fund support from the gifts; the moneys are used for PCA family and church needs, and a small portion for the expenses of relief operations. Checks should be made to MNA, designated for Hurricane Relief.  You may also donate by credit card on the MNA web site, or by sending your credit card donation information in writing to MNA.