Category: Disaster Response

For the very latest info on OPC response to Hurricane Florence, stay tuned to Facebook…

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Serving on a disaster relief team or short-term missions team is an opportunity to live out your faith by working at the intersection of the Great Commandment and the Great Commission…

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This slideshow provides a brief look back at Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, and the OPC Hurricane Relief Ministry that began last September when they struck within a few weeks of each other…

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Please do not consider this the end of the story in Houston….The impact of this storm on the lives of millions of people and thousands of businesses is still being profoundly felt and experienced…

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There are truly no words to express the gratitude we feel having such a church as the OPC to come around us and help in our deepest time of need. I will never forget what God has done for us, and my faith has strengthened…

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The OPC’s Houston Hurricane Disaster Relief Ministry is on hiatus, July, August and September 2018. Planning and preparation will continue for the Hurricane Disaster Relief Ministry to resume in the fall and continue into 2019 as God leads and enables us…

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I know it’s been challenging and wearisome at times for many, but I hope you can all take great encouragement in what the Lord has done through this ministry…

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Our prayer is that through the outreach ministry of disaster relief and recovery, we in the OPC can help people find an enduring answer to the question of “why?” It will be manifested by the work we do of physical and material assistance we provide in the name of Christ, and by the testimony of the gospel that we proclaim

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From Jeff Davis, Site Coordinator: I was blessed to spend time with the team of 37 volunteers from the URC Youth Group in Dutton, Michigan. They proved to be very well organized and joyful in their work and play time…

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Every person that we helped was so genuinely thankful and appreciative of the work. But while the help that we gave was very beneficial to the people, the impact that these people made on us was so much greater than the help they could have received from us…

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The work here is unquestionably important and an incredible opportunity for us to reach people spiritually.  I am confident that our love in action has touched many, many people and has borne witness to Christ’s love…

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Great photos of a combined Reformed Mission Services and OPC team that traveled to Puerto Rico in May 2018 to work on damage caused by Hurricane Maria in 2017…

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Get all the details about volunteering for the OPC’s hurricane relief ministry that continues in Houston and Puerto Rico following Hurricanes Harvey and Maria in August and September 2017…

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What began as a frenzied effort to respond to the immediate aftermath of the worst hurricane to hit Texas in decades, and the worst flooding in the Houston area in living memory, has blossomed into a sustained work of mercy and outreach in one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the United States…

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These videos comprise a brief tutorial that presents ideas and methods by which to restore worship within the local and regional church, and demonstrate the compassionate love of Christ to the community, following a disaster…

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Now that daily life is returning to normal in Puerto Rico with the restoration of electricity, water, internet, etc., more attention can be directed to buildings and property that sustained damage in the storm…

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Daily devotions set the tone for the outreach aspect of this ministry which is focused on being the hands and feet of Jesus. This leads to occasions almost every day for evangelistic conversations…

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On behalf of those in Key West, we wish to express thanks for the concern, prayers, volunteers, and gifts sent…

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Hurricane Maria exposed our vulnerability and revealed the power of God. Spiritual needs have now come to the surface, and the restoring power of Jesus is seen even more clearly . . .

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NEW HORIZONS, February 2018: “We know that God calls us to do our work with devotion, and we want to spread the gospel where God puts us … Our goal is to be present and minister … “

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Lots of great photos of the hurricane relief volunteers who have served in Houston, Florida, and Puerto Rico (2017-2018)…

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Thank you to all of you who have expressed interest in traveling to Puerto Rico to help with disaster relief. How to respond to the disaster in Puerto Rico is proving to be difficult to figure out…

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NEW HORIZONS, December 2017: “Why has God blessed us? So that we would be a channel of God’s blessing to others…”

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NEW HORIZONS, December 2017: “We don’t want to be known as ‘OPC Building and Construction’….We want to be known as ‘OPC Building and Ministry…'”

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Thank you for coming and pulling out sheetrock, spraying vinegar and mold control, pulling out nails, demolishing bookcases, packing, cleaning, running errands, moving furniture, sweeping, repairing sheetrock . . .

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As Christians, we must refuse to resign to feelings of helplessness and must instead stand in the great promises and instructions of our great shepherd, King Jesus – who has not left us helpless…

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Members of the Presbytery of New Jersey would like to see individuals and teams visit Puerto Rico to bring encouragement and to assist in outreach opportunities. There are many occasions to point to the true hope found in Jesus Christ…

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The conversation became an occasion for our Christian friends to testify how God has been helping them through their flood recovery. These kinds of conversations happen regularly and God continues to open doors for ministry…

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The Lord has already seen fit to use this storm for Pastor Bill Welzien and others to witness to neighbors and friends further, and our hope continues to be that the Lord would see fit to use this time to call others unto Him . . .

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Because of the work that we were able to do on behalf of our neighbors, the reputation of our works of service and our church have risen significantly…

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This is exactly what we want our outreach to look like: sharing the work with a family, combined with generosity in the name of Christ…

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The team was able to finish with the debris at Pastor Bill Welzien’s house and at the home of a friend of his. This friend, who doesn’t attend Keys OPC, was overwhelmed with the support shown to him and came to church the following Sunday…

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With no power, cell, internet, and unpredictable water…life has completely changed for this young family of seven and all in their community. It’s like civilization stepped backwards 100 years . . .

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I praise the Lord that none of our church members have suffered any property loss in these fires, despite several close calls. Now we begin the work in trying to help our community rebuild and especially minister to our fellow saints…

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Thank you for your interest in making a tax-deductible donation to the Disaster Response work of the OPC Committee on Diaconal Ministries…

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God’s grace was truly evident to us through the recent hurricane.  I would like to share a couple of tokens of that grace . . .

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Click here to print a Disaster Response “Call for Volunteers” poster to display at your church…

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After four days and and still little news to report out of Puerto Rico, we are concerned. We are not assuming that “no news is good news.” Please be in prayer for the 3.4 million inhabitants of this island, and in particular, those from our churches there . . .

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Ellen wrote: “Three angels named Jeff, Rick, and Kenley came over today. They left us delightfully encouraged, prayed over, and feeling rescued. God knew what I needed more than I did. Jesus blessing to you all.”

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The debris that is scattered everywhere is overwhelming….The sheer volume of the debris is substantial, as most trees across the Keys are either down or stripped bare…

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“… it’s a huge deal. Huge.” To her, the pastor-led volunteer group was a gift from heaven . . .

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What a great day this was with the team from Michigan and the Haitian Hurricane Heroes. Thanks for your prayers! Tomorrow we will be working in our neighborhood, The Shores. Please pray for opportunities to share the hope of Christ . . .

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We have entered homes and businesses inundated by flooding to tear out and clear away ruined furniture and household belongings, walls, floors, carpeting, cabinets, and plumbing. We are endeavoring to offer solace and support in the name of Jesus…

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Brothers and sisters, there is much to thank the Lord for with this initial report… More details will be forthcoming as more assessments will be made on others homes and property . . .

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Good morning from Naples on what will most likely be, simply put, a day of enormous calamity here in Southwest Florida . . .

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What seems like an impossible task that can lead one to despair can suddenly become bearable when the Lord’s people respond to the call to serve one another generously and without reserve. God has been good . . .

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It has been surreal here the last few days not knowing where this storm will make landfall: People are on edge all over town as I’ve seen loud parking lot arguments, road rage incidents, and shopping-cart-rage incidents in stores! Some gas stations have long lines down the street, others are completely empty because they have no more gas . . .

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Reports from around Haiti are encouraging. We are grateful for your prayers and the fact that the path of the storm was well to the north of Haiti…

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The structure of our church didn’t suffer any damage. All the members are OK, to my knowledge. The only problems are: electricity and water. We praise the Lord that He preserved us from that huge Hurricane . . .

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The financial gifts which have begun to be received by the OPC will aid in their recovery. These gifts will be used to purchase tools and supplies needed to remove the flood damage and debris . . .

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A number of families from two OP churches in the Houston area have been impacted by the flooding in various ways. This presents us with the opportunity to come alongside and help them to recover . . .

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OPC Disaster Response has been in contact with the OPC church leaders in the Houston area all through the weekend. Stay tuned to our Facebook page . . .

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Hurricane Harvey is expected to make landfall in Southeastern Texas on Saturday morning. Just to its east in Houston there are two OPC churches, an OPC Bible Study work, other sister churches, and more than 2 million people…

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The providential hand of the Lord has placed thousands of refugees within reach of various congregations of the Greek Evangelical Church who are actively seeking to be good stewards of this unique opportunity…

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Following Hurricane Matthew, Covenant OPC in St. Augustine, Florida, is overwhelmed by God’s many mercies. The past month has been a whirlwind (pardon the pun) in many ways . . .

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We thank and praise the Lord that His answer to many prayers last week was to spare the USA the level of devastation from Hurricane Matthew that was originally forecasted . . .

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NEW HORIZONS: July 2016: Be a friend. Ask questions. Listen to stories. Share a gospel word. Bring new friends to a spiritual Sabbath feast and introduce them to your Father and to your family. This is positive Christian witness…

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As reports come in, we will post them to the OPC Disaster Response Facebook page. As response plans materialize, we will communicate them via Special Editions of the S.T.O.R.M. Report, and post them here on our website . . .

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Stay tuned to the OPC Disaster Response Facebook page for updates on Hurricane Matthew . . .

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The Disaster Response Coordinator for the Presbytery of the South during Hurricane Matthew is Deacon Tim Phillips . . .

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We both knew, without exchanging words, that now the veil from her heart is removed. That she is free for the first time in her life. That Jesus has embraced her and given her a hope beyond understanding. Now she understands the reason for the love poured out on her since she arrived . . .

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The CDM has sent an initial gift of $10,000 to the PCNA Disaster Response Ministry that is hard at work ministering to affected PCA families and others in Louisiana…

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The CDM has engaged Rev. Al Tricarico to participate in its investigation of how best to minister to refugees long-term both in Word and deed….To date, the OPC has received over $31,000 in gifts designated for refugee relief…

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I personally was excited to return to Yamamoto after five years to see the progress made in recovering from the tsunami and the impact the Nozomi Center has in meeting the physical and spiritual needs of the community . . .

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We started the second week off by worshiping with our beloved Japanese brothers and sisters in Sendai. It felt like such a great honor coupled with much humility to worship with such dedicated believers . . .

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The Committee on Diaconal Ministries (CDM) wishes to express its thanks to the many individuals and churches that have sent in funds designated for Refugee Relief, now exceeding $18,000…

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We may not be able to understand the ultimate reasons for the catastrophe that is unfolding before our eyes, but ought we not view this, in part, as an opportunity set before us by divine providence to do what we can to minister to these refugees, especially fellow believers who are being persecuted for their faith . . .

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The OPC’s Committee on Diaconal Ministries is now accepting gifts designated for refugee relief . . .

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Even as it has been said that “the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church,” the refugee crisis is creating opportunities for a gospel witness in places and with people that previously seemed impossible to reach . . .

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The ministry being done in Japan is a slow and daunting feat but is greatly needed. Through the work done at the Nozomi Center, the Japanese can see the unique and selfless love of Christ and they want to know more . . .

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Pete Onnink, a carpenter by trade and volunteer youth leader at Covenant OPC in Orland Park, IL, saw the request for Hurricane Sandy relief work (ongoing almost 3 years after the storm!) and thought it would make a great youth trip . . .

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It is an encouragement to see the diaconal care and concern exhibited by OPC members as they persistently desire to demonstrate compassion towards those who are suffering, even in such far away places…

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We consider our brothers and sisters in Christ from OPC mission teams ‘missionaries’ instead of just ‘volunteers’ because of their dedicated service to bring Gospel to the town of Yamamoto by loving the locals in a tangible way…

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The truck stopped in front of my house. A young lady from Virginia, with a beautiful smile, offered me dumplings. I cried at her kindness. At that moment, I knew I was not alone…

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A fierce tornado recently destroyed the homes of the parents and sister of OPC Missionary to Uganda, Eric Tuininga. The F2 tornado struck their small town in eastern North Carolina at 4:00 pm on Monday, April 7, 2014 . . .

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It has been 18 months since Hurricane Sandy hit the eastern seaboard of the USA, wreaking havoc in its wake. The OPC was able to respond to this disaster, thanks to our on-site coordinators and many other volunteers who contributed their time and skills to help OP families and their friends and neighbors deal with the aftermath of the storm

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Today marks the third anniversary of the most powerful earthquake in Japan’s recorded history. On Friday, March 11, 2011 at 2:46 PM JST, a triple disaster was set in violent motion. Most of us here in eastern Japan witnessed the devastating power as our homes shook, cracks appeared in walls and ground, and the sky turned a sickening color. Fewer

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Thanksgiving is a wonderful time for reflecting on the Lord’s goodness to us over the past year. His gift of goodness does not always come to us wrapped in the most obvious of packages. It does not always come painted with colorful flowers and glowing sunshine. Rather, we may find that we have to peer through the dark clouds and

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Following the news of the destructive tornadoes that ripped through the Midwest on Sunday, November 17, 2013, we were thankful to hear from the Presbytery of the Midwest that our OPC churches and congregations had escaped harm…

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We have been once again stunned by the magnitude of a natural disaster, as one week ago Typhoon Yolanda swept across the Philippines. Consistent with the response of the church to past disasters, there seems to be a ground-swell of longing to help…

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This storm and the kids coming to help our church family, I believe brought us all together, two churches that needed help. We learned so much about each other during this heartbreaking time. We all learned what gifts God has given each of us. God has given us at Faith Bible a wonderful new beginning . . .

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None of our people were directly affected (caught in the blast). At least two people were working close by, but they are safe. I have not heard of anyone in the greater OPC family that was affected . . .

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Stephanie Avellino wanted to help. “This one seemed to hit close to home,” she said, referring to Super Storm Sandy. Members in her extended family had been impacted by the hurricane. But as a small business owner herself, Stephanie wanted to reach out to Shore businesses affected by Sandy . . .

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Many different volunteers have come to help with the Hurricane Sandy disaster response efforts in Toms River, NJ. A certain trend has been exciting to see and is worthy of special note . . .

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Weather continues to be a challenge for residents of the Jersey Shore. At this moment the area is bracing for Winter Storm Nemo (the lost little clown fish? the rogue submarine captain of Verne’s imagination?), expecting between four to 10 inches of snow and moderate coastal flooding . . .

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It was the “holy chaos” created by the early church’s zeal for mercy ministry that occasioned the first diaconate. It has been a similar zeal for ministries of mercy in the OPC, and the potential chaos that can accompany it, that has occasioned the need for a denominational Committee on Diaconal Ministries . . .

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The storm surge flooded homes and churches, shoved houses off their foundations, sparked fires, dumped yachts on roof tops, downed cell towers and tree limbs, and exploded transformers, knocking homes into the dark and cold

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We are very grateful to the four teams, to those who planned and managed the project, to those who organized the teams, and to the OPC members who prayed for and contributed to the work . . .

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Please don’t stop praying for us here in metropolitan New York in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. It is one month ago today that the storm hit with its greatest force (and for the duration of most of that day). While the rest of the country gears up for Christmas, we are still surrounded by clean-up and house re-building efforts

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Those of us on Team #2 have felt that the Lord has indeed deemed it His will for us to spend 14, 24, or 28 days away from our loved ones to help a community of believers reconstruct a physical building to serve as a church where God’s word can be proclaimed and His children brought to a knowledge of

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While it’s one thing to acknowledge that God is sovereign in all matters great and small, good and bad, it’s a whole other thing to be able to rest in that under such difficult circumstances. And this is where the church must step in. We must reach out to our brother and sister in need and minister to them .

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It is hard to believe that we are now in the third week of events connected with Hurricane Sandy’s destructive march through New Jersey and New York beginning on October 29, 2012. The experience is a kind of corporate bereavement process with the successive stages of shock, disorganization, and reorganization . . .

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Two weeks now have passed since the beginning of the reconstruction of the Reformed Church of Japan in Ishinomaki Japan by Team #1. The efforts of the team have been very effective as all the demolition required has been completed . . .

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Monday evening, October 29th, 2012, consistent with the predictions of many weather forecasters, Hurricane Sandy took her left turn and headed west directly for the Jersey Shore. The OPC is still recovering from the effects of that blow . . .

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Pray that we will have the human resources necessary to help our own families with damaged homes, and also to help their neighbors, as we are able. We want to show the self-giving love of Christ to those around us . . .

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What a joy it was to help one of our Long Beach families who had moved in with the wife’s parents here in Malverne. Both of her octogenarian parents have serious health issues – and they were without power. We were able to install a large generator with power enough to provide heating and lights for them. It was a

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Our Lord is master of all! We rely on His help in all things. Please pray for the many who are hurting from this natural disaster and that we might know how best to minister to our brothers and sisters in Christ and to bring that cup of cold water in the name of Christ to those who don’t yet

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God in his providence chose to spare the three Wildwood properties of any major damage. Although the main threat to the Boardwalk Chapel was the wind, the roof was found to be secure . . .

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We are so thankful for the prayers of God’s people, asking that the Lord raise up skilled workers to go to Japan to aid the church there in the refurbishment of the Ishinomaki Chapel. This will be the 3rd construction project that the OPC has undertaken this year . . .

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The recently constructed Nozomi Center, which was built to serve the people of Yamamoto, Japan, following the Tsunami of March 2011, has been open since May 5, 2012 — and now it has its own website, too . . .

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In God’s providence, the OPC has been ministering in Japan, and specifically in Sendai, for at least the past 50 years. As such, when the tri-fold disasters happened in the Sendai area of Japan, there was little question whether the OPC would be participating in the response to this disaster . . .

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Throughout our time in Sendai, God allowed us to see both deep sorrow and redeeming joy, emphasizing not only the area’s great need for His Word, but also the wonderful works He is doing there . . .

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It was a wonderful ceremony starting with a worship service and singing praises to the Lord and all praying together that this center would indeed be as David Nakhla said “a launching pad for ministers, church members, and teams from all over Japan and beyond to come and to spread the love of Christ, both in tangible expressions and in

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While the Japanese people paid attention to the tsunami warning, it seems they need to hear the warning, and the promise, of the gospel. Edie had mentioned that her students all notice that it is Christians that are helping with the relief. No doubt other people notice as well . . .

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Most important we have the confidence and belief that this is God’s plan for us in our journey and His plan for the Japanese people in and around Yamamoto. We strongly feel the Holy Spirit has worked in all of us a good thing by being here and we will continue to pray that the Spirit will work in the

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The Lord truly does continue to hold us in his hand. We rejoice in that we all remain healthy and anxious to complete the tasks that we believe the Lord has set before us. This is a tremendous opportunity for witnessing to this area . . .

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I am so thankful to report wonderful progress despite many obstacles to avoid and hurdles to jump. The teams thus far have been blessed with diligent and skilled participants and gracious leaders . . .

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Due to the fact that building material is twice the price in Japan as in the US, our intention was to ship the building materials from the US. Little did we know of the difficulties we would run up against in attempting to order, pack, and ship this material to Japan. Yet, God has been faithful to raise up just

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For a Christian visiting Japan’s capital city of Tokyo, one of the most heartbreaking sights is also one of the city’s biggest attractions. The famous Sensoji Temple draws some thirty million visitors each year, including throngs of Buddhists futilely worshipping Kannon—the purported “goddess of mercy” . . .

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We hope to see the material arrive in Japan by early November. At that time, we will need teams of skilled builders to perform the work. We are looking for electricians, plumbers, tapers, tilers, and carpenters. We anticipate a couple of months of work. This is a wonderful opportunity for those with these skills to serve in this kingdom work

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To see how Hurricane Irene touched, affected and impaired lives was what really did me in. People. Real people. Fathers, mothers and children. Families losing everything….To see it on such a magnitude is an experience one does not soon forget…

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