As residents in Moore, Okla., recover from the damaging effects of an EF5 tornado which ripped through the center of the state on Monday, a faith-based outreach organization is teaming up with celebrity singer Joe Jonas to provide relief to the local community.
Convoy of Hope, a faith-based nonprofit which works internationally to provide disaster relief and community outreach, is partnering with Joe Jonas of The Jonas Brothers on-site in Moore today and tomorrow to provide necessary supplies, including food, water, and emergency equipment to residents hoping to gain some stability after seeing their homes ravaged by Monday's tragic natural disaster.
After supplying the community with necessities such as food and water, Jonas and the nonprofit volunteers will transfer into supplying cleanup supplies, such as trash bags, so residents may begin to clean-up the damage caused by Monday's tornado, which tore through 13,000 homes, multiple schools, and a hospital, killing 24 people in its destructive path. more >>
An interdenominational missions organization is looking for nominations of unsung heroes, those who are tackling the issues of poverty, sex trafficking, HIV/AIDS, the need for clean water, homelessness and other needs in today's society, for its second bi-annual Epoch Awards to be held later this year.
"We want to uncover every rock of people doing incredible work around the world, but with little to no recognition," said Jeff Shinabarger, founder of Plywood People and event organizer. "Everybody knows somebody giving their lives for others that could really use funding to continue their effort. We want to honor those people that no one knows about and give them a platform to keep doing good."
Epoch (pronounced "Epic") Awards was birthed out of the heart of Tim Abare, COO of Adventures in Missions, located north of Atlanta in Gainesville, in January of 2011. Organizers say anyone can nominate an unsung hero who is actively serving others and whose bravery is rather unknown by going online to http://epochawards.com/nominations/nominate/. The nominations close next Thursday (May 30). more >>
As Thursday, May 23 marks the International Day to End Obstetric Fistula, The Christian Post highlights a global faith-based charity which has been working for the past decade to end this painful and embarrassing medical condition that affects 50,000 women in new cases per year, worldwide.
Mercy Ships is a faith-based medical charity that deploys the world's largest private hospital ship, Africa Mercy, to several ports along the coast of West Africa to provide local inhabitants with first-rate medical professionals, top-notch medical and surgical facilities, and sanitary conditions for recovery and healing.
Since 2003, Mercy Ships has performed more than 2,790 successful procedures to correct obstetric fistula, a medical condition which occurs during child birth, when the baby gets lodged in the birth canal. more >>
Oklahoma tornado survivor Barbara Garcia touched the hearts of many when her on-camera interview with a news network was interrupted by the discovery of her mini schnauzer, whom she thought had been lost in the tornado that had leveled her home and those of her neighbors. Now, Internet users are rallying together to try to pay for a new home for Garcia and her dog.
"Well I thought God just answered one prayer to let me be okay. He answered both of them, because this was my second prayer," Garcia told CBS News correspondent Anna Werner as she coddled her "poor little" schnauzer, who was discovered pinned under the wreckage directly behind the elderly woman.
Garcia had been explaining how she and the dog, Bazzie, had taken refuge in the bathroom when the powerful tornado smashed through their neighborhood in Moore, Okla., on Monday. While she got knocked around but remained conscious, Garcia found that she was alone once she emerged from the pile of sticks that minutes before had been her home — her mini schnauzer was nowhere to be found. Or so Garcia thought. more >>
After some harsh online criticism, Christian author and college chancellor John Piper deleted two tweets quoting scripture from the Book of Job in the Bible posted late Monday evening, the same day that a devastating tornado flattened an Oklahoma City suburb, resulting in at least 24 deaths.
"The reason I pulled my tweets from Job is that it became clear that what I feel as comfort was not affecting others the same," Piper was quoted as saying to members of Desiring God, a ministry he founded. His explanation was posted in a blog by Desiring God content strategist Tony Reinke.
"When tragedy strikes my life, I find it stabilizing and hope-giving to see the stories of the sheer factuality of other's losses, especially when they endured them the way Job did. Job really grieved. He really agonized. He collapsed to the ground. He wept. He shaved his head. This was, in my mind, a pattern of what must surely happen in Oklahoma. I thought it would help. But when I saw how so many were not experiencing it that way, I took them down," said Piper, who recently retired as lead pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minn. more >>
[Updated 10:45 am, May 21: An earlier version said at least 91 people were dead, but an updated report in The New York Times says that spokeswoman for the Oklahoma City medical examiner Amy Elliot's figures that at least 51 people were dead and 40 more bodies were being delivered is "no longer accurate." The confirmed death toll is 24.]
As darkness fell on the tornado-ripped community of Moore, Okla., and the severely damaged areas surrounding Oklahoma City on Monday, at least 24 people, including children, were confirmed dead as the search for survivors continued. Many undamaged and secure structures, such as churches, served as emergency shelters for those whose homes were destroyed as the result of the 200 mph winds. Government-funded disaster relief teams were joined by faith-based organizations, some already mobilized from previous disaster efforts, for immediate action.
A frantic search for students, teachers and staff at the flattened Plaza Towers Elementary in Moore, which was in the storm's direct path, continued into Tuesday morning. Reports indicate that 75 third-graders were believed to have been huddled when the tornado struck, with seven now confirmed dead, a number of students showing up alive at a nearby church, and many still missing. more >>