Midsouth Churches Bracing for Hurricane’s Arrival

Post a Comment » Written on September 1st, 2008     
Filed under: News
BEAUMONT, TX (September 1, 2008) – Evangelical Covenant Church congregations in the Midsouth Conference are bracing for Hurricane Gustav and the damage it is expected to inflict across a wide swath of the Gulf Coast region, reports Conference Superintendent Garth Bolinder.

The storm made landfall earlier today near Cocodrie, Louisiana, and is already inflicting serious damage from wind and flooding in areas near New Orleans. Forecasters warned the storm could stall over Louisiana and northeast Texas for several days, which would “exacerbate the threat of heavy rains and inland flooding,” CNN news reports.

“Please pray for our friends down there who will be severely affected by this major hurricane,” Bolinder requests in an email this morning to Covenant News Service.

One of the churches – New Song Covenant Church in Beaumont – has scheduled its grand opening worship service this coming Sunday, September 7. Beaumont, a major oil-producing community on the Gulf in East Texas, was included in a mandatory evacuation order issued this past Saturday, Bolinder notes. All grand opening plans have now been put on hold, he adds. Bolinder asks special prayer for the church planting pastor, Rick Conrad, and his wife, Sherry, as they wait out the storm.

“Because most of the area being hit by Hurricane Gustav is in the region of the Midsouth Conference, please pray for the people of Louisiana, including New Orleans,” Bolinder asks. “This is our mission field, even if we don’t have any Covenant churches in the area – yet. Similar to three years ago, there will probably be many opportunities to help rebuild the area after the storm has passed.”

Prayer is also requested for Iglesia Evangelica Misionera in La Villa, Texas, and pastor Allan Serrano. “They are still recovering from the massive damage (especially flooding) caused by Hurricane Dolly when it passed through south Texas last July,” Bolinder points out. “We are beginning to form work teams to go down to La Villa to help with the rebuilding of the church building, as well as to help rebuild and restore some homes of our Covenant friends that were severely damaged by the hurricane and flooding.”

Merge Ministries in McAllen, Texas, under the leadership of Dale Lusk, will be coordinating the mission team projects with more information to be available soon. “Short-term mission teams – get ready,” Bolinder advises. “We will keep you posted about opportunities to help rebuild that come our way.” Covenant World Relief is also closely monitoring the situation and needs.

“Thanks for your partnership and prayer leadership as yet another natural disaster impacts the lives of millions of our fellow citizens,” Bolinder says in his closing emailed remarks. “May the Church arise to help people in need, and may many people turn to the Risen Jesus Christ in their great need.”

More information will be posted to this online Covenant news report as it becomes available. To read an earlier story, please see Storm Approaches.

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