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BREAKING NEWS: Barnesville Church of the Nazarene Invites Community to Help with Hurricane Response
By Editor Becky Watts

BARNESVILLE - Hurricane Florence came ashore on Friday morning and left massive flooding in her wake. As the hurricane churned its way through the state, ideas were coming together on how to help those who were being affected by the storm. Barnesville and Lamar County know what it’s like to be affected by a horrible storm.

There is a difference between a tornado and massive flood waters, but the devastation behind tornadoes and flooding leave people in need. Barnesville Church of the Nazarene is working with churches across the state of Georgia as well as churches nationwide to get help who have been affected by the hurricane. This is the latest information on how you can help.

Barnesville Church of the Nazarene will be a local drop off point for those who want to send items to areas affected by Hurricane Florence. The District Office for the Church of the Nazarene located at 50 Lincoln Road Suite B in McDonough, GA 30253 is the second and the third is Adrian Camp and Conference Center located at 37 Meeks Road in Adrian, GA 31002.

Pastor Kevin Thomas from Barnesville Church of the Nazarene advised that as of right now, the plan is still to load the truck and deliver the goods on Monday, September 24, 2018. He said that we might need some volunteers to help with the loading process. If you are interested in being a volunteer, please contact Pastor Kevin through the church at 770-358-1314.

Prayers Answered and Prayers Still Requested

Pastor Kevin Thomas is the coordinator for Work and Witness trips for the Church of the Nazarene in Georgia. He was asked to serve as the pro temp Disaster Relief Coordinator for Hurricane Florence.

He sent out a plea for prayers and donations for those who have been affected by the storm in an email on Saturday. He began with a request for prayer and encouragement for those prayed before the hurricane hit the shoreline. “It looks like our prayers have already made a significant difference in the intensity of the storm, particularly the wind speeds. Our prayers can make a significant difference in the safety of residents, rescue and relief workers, and other first responders,” he said. “Our prayers can make a difference for Church leaders and volunteers as they try to render assistance. In short, “Our God is able to meet EVERY need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” And our God responds to the pleas and supplications of His people.”

Between Saturday and Monday, Pastor Kevin was placed in contact with the District Superintendents of surrounding districts, as well as coordinating personnel from Nazarene Compassionate Ministries (NCM), and the Nazarene Disaster Relief coordinators from several districts. Plans began to fall into place to help those who have been affected by the storm.

In the follow up to his email on Saturday, he wrote in an email on Monday: “Even in the midst of horrendous devastation, God is obviously answering prayers in amazing ways. The South Carolina District reports that there is little to no known damage to any of their churches, nor life-threatening situations for any of their members,” he said. “The greatest danger to this point is an immanent threat of failure of the Pee Dee dam near Society Hill, South Carolina. Evacuations have been called for downstream.”

He continued by saying, “Overall, the North Carolina Churches, Pastors, and people are also faring better than expected. The Wilmington Church, at the epicenter of the storm, has some moderate damage, but their Child Care Building is open, and they have Electricity, Water and Gas to the building. A number of people are taking refuge in the Building. While we were on the conference call, they received notification that the water was about to be turned off to the city. Several other churches have sustained damage, many Pastors and Staff homes, as well as Nazarene Laypeople, have sustained damage. A number of people are stranded, and all roads are impassible.”

How Can We Help?

In the beginning, bottled water and cleaning supplies were the top two items that were requested for hurricane response. After sending out the email on Saturday, the offer for the services of a semi and large trailer to deliver supplies to the affected areas as well as a driver to take them was made to the District. “That means that we can now open up the possibility of larger and heavier items,” he said.

So now, in addition to bottled water and cleaning supplies, other donated items like chainsaws, generators, diapers, baby wipes, formula, and other infant care items, feminine hygiene products, non-perishable food items, can openers, etc. can be taken to victims. Pastor Kevin said to keep in mind that donated canned items are of no use if they have no way of opening them. PLEASE NOTE: NO CLOTHES ARE BEING ACCEPTED AT THIS TIME.

He also noted that there is way to help facilitate the process of loading, stacking, unloading, and sorting, and it would be immensely helpful if donated items are packaged in cases, boxes, or pallets. He said that every single item is important and appreciated, but he suggested that local churches could help with this process by sorting, labeling, and possibly shrink wrapping items before delivering them to any of the three collection sites.

Another way to help will be helping with clean up when the waters recede. “We are encouraging the organization of volunteer work crews that will go and help with clean-up and restoration,” he said. If you are interested in being a volunteer, there are many ways to help out.

One way is through Nazarene Compassionate Ministries. Here is a notice from their website: “We appreciate the outpouring of support even as Hurricane Florence continues to cause massive damage. Volunteers will be a critical part of the recovery and rebuilding phase, but it’s too early to know exactly when and where volunteer support will be most needed. If you are interested in volunteering with the disaster response efforts, visit ncm.org/florence and click the “VOLUNTEER” button. Once the affected districts are able to receive volunteers, a representative will be in touch with you. If you desire to support the relief efforts financially, visit ncm.org/florence and click on the “GIVE NOW” button.”

There will be other ways to volunteer through reputable organizations as the waters recede and organizations are allowed to go in and help.

Closing

In closing, donations that are being accepted include water and cleaning supplies and bigger items like chainsaws and generators as well as diapers, baby wipes, formula, and other infant care items, feminine hygiene products, non-perishable food items, can openers, and similar items. Individual products are appreciated and will be transported, but it will be a help to those who are packing donations to pack items in bulk for easy transport.

Donations can be made Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Barnesville Church of the Nazarene which located at 744 Veterans Parkway in Barnesville at the corner of Hwy 41 and Thomaston Road by the railroad tracks. If you would like to leave a donation after office hours, please leave your donation under the covered porch and call the number on the door of the church to let Pastor Kevin know that you have left a donation at the church.

You can also deliver donations to the District Office for the Church of the Nazarene located at 50 Lincoln Road Suite B in McDonough, GA 30253 and Adrian Camp and Conference Center located at 37 Meeks Road in Adrian, GA 31002.

If you are interested in helping to pack up donations on Monday in Barnesville, please call the church at 770-358-1314.

UPDATE 9.20.18: Emergency First Response Team Organizing to Help in North Carolina

Pastor Kevin is organizing an emergency First Response Team to begin restoration efforts in North Carolina. Monday, September 24 through Thursday, September 27, 2018. He will be accompanied by Tommy Truitt and others from our District. If you are interested in being a part of that First Response Team, contact Pastor Kevin ASAP.

You also need to go on-line to https://www.ncm.org/florence and click on the “Volunteer” button. The process of registration is very easy.

Keep an eye on Pike County Times for updates!


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9.17.18
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