Thursday, November 1, 2007

Tropical Storm Noel Moves Through the Caribbean

The Dominican Republic and Haiti knew they would get some rain out of the latest tropical storm, but most people, including the forecasters thought the storm would pass south of the island just as it did during Hurricane Dean. But Sunday night, the storm took an unexpected turn and began to dump buckets of rain on the Dominican Republic. Most of the island received 20 inches of rain while some places received as much as 30 inches.

Haiti, having already been pounded with torrential downpours from Hurricane Dean and Felix, was bracing for even worse flooding. Field Strategy Coordinator Bill Dawson and NCM Country Coordinator Walliere Pierre are concerned for the churches and people of Haiti. Power is out and communications are limited. The scope of damage is not yet known in Haiti, but in the Dominican Republic, thousands are without homes and millions are without power. Some have lost their lives.

Many parishioners, pastors and district superintendents have lost much because of the storm. Daniel Luis Perez, a district superintendent in the southern part of the Dominican Republic who makes his living farming, lost his entire crop due to flooding. At least eight families in the small village of Arroyo Bonita have lost everything in their homes due to flash flooding. The families are now staying in the Nazarene church, but they still have no beds or changes of clothing. The pastor and her husband have been feeding at least five of these families three meals a day and have given up their own home in the back of the sanctuary to help these devastated families. The family of Rev. Newton Ramirez, pastor of a nearby Nazarene congregation, has also provided these families with food.

Please pray as the storm still rages across Cuba and Haiti and heads for the Bahamas.

Persons and churches wishing to make a donation can mark their checks “Caribbean Hurricane Relief ACM1249” and mail them to Global Treasury Services, 6401 The Paseo, Kansas City, MO 64131. In Canada, checks should be made payable and sent to the Church of the Nazarene Canada, 20 Regan Road, Unit 9, Brampton, Ontario L7A 1C3.

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