CLEVELAND, TN: With the National Hurricane Center calling the storm “extremely dangerous” and “potentially catastrophic,” Hurricane Irma is currently on a direct path towards the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Cuba, the Bahamas, and southern Florida. Classified already as a Category 5 storm with sustained winds over 175 miles per hour, the Florida Keys and the Miami-Dade County area could begin to feel the effects of the storm as early as Friday.
In anticipation of this massive storm, Dr. Timothy M. Hill, General Overseer of the Church of God, issued the following call to prayer:
“While our friends and family in Texas are still reeling from the horrendous flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey, we are now facing another storm in the Caribbean and along the Florida coast that could cause as much or more damage. We have been praying for Texas - and those prayers cannot stop as literally months and years of recovery lie ahead. However, I am now calling on the Church of God family around the world to pray for protection for all those in the path of this massive storm - potentially the worst storm to hit Florida in more than a dozen years.
Under the covering of the Florida-Tampa office, the Florida-Cocoa office, and the Southeast Hispanic Regional office, the Church of God has almost 1,000 churches in Florida alone that could be impacted by this storm, as well as tens of thousands of members. The Executive Committee and our disaster relief teams have already started the coordination efforts in Florida with Administrative Bishops Keith Ivester, Anthony Pelt, and Angel Marcial.
It is predicted that Hurricane Irma could be even more destructive than Hurricane Andrew which hit south Florida twenty-five years ago. Based upon the news reports, the footprint of Hurricane Irma is larger than the State of Ohio and could cause catastrophic damage across many island nations.
With a state of emergency already declared in Florida by Governor Rick Scott in anticipation of the storm, the Church of God disaster relief efforts will pivot to start staging supplies to assist in the event Hurricane Irma makes landfall. While our efforts will now include Florida and other island nations, we will not pull out of Texas as we continue to provide relief and assistance in all areas.
If Irma makes landfall as a Category 4 or higher storm, it will be the first time in the history of tracking storms that two hurricanes of that magnitude have ever hit the U.S. in the same season. So the need is great. Our nation and many island nations need your prayers. Our relief efforts need your financial support - and we need manpower to help keep these relief efforts functioning on different coasts.
I am calling on you today to help us. We can’t fund these efforts without you. Please join me as the church is ‘His hands extended’ to a hurting people.”
To contribute to the disaster relief efforts, click the link below.
Posted on Wed, September 6, 2017
by Kathy Clark filed under