As the death toll in the Philippines reaches over 3,600 from last week's devastating Typhoon Haiyan, Christian aid organizations continue to work endless hours delivering necessary supplies, such as food, water, and medicine to victims, 900,000 of whom have been displaced by the natural disaster. Christian relief agencies such as Integral Alliance and Food for the Hungry have told The Christian Post that while they're offering immediate assistance to those in need, they're also preparing for what is expected to be a long and arduous reconstruction period.
On November 8, Typhoon Haiyan, known in the Philippines as Yolanda, struck the island country in Southeast Asia with unprecendented strength and scope, flattening entire towns in its path, hitting the Eastern Visayas region, covering the islands of Leyte and Samar, the hardest. According to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, the latest data includes 3,621 confirmed deaths, 1,140 missing and 12,166 injured. Additionally, several roads and bridges have been completely swept away, forcing some victims to travel hours by foot just to reach safe drinking water. Media reports indicate some survivors are drinking coconut water to stay alive, and experts have estimated the damage cost to be around $15 billion.
Integral Alliance, an international network of 19 Christian relief organizations and an affiliate of the World Evangelical Alliance, has launched a joint disaster response with 18 of its members, working either directly on-ground in the Philippines or through fundraising efforts in other parts of the world. Fiona Boshoff, International Director of Integral Alliance, told The Christian Post that right now the most immediate needs of Typhoon Haiyan victims are "water, food, medicine and shelter." more >>
In September 2012, Gateway Church of Christ had just celebrated its first birthday. Originally five families, the now 50 person church was eager to continue fulfilling its mission by establishing a stronger presence in their Morganville, New Jersey community.
Their opportunity came a little more than a month later when Superstorm Sandy battered the New Jersey and New York coastlines, downing power lines, uprooting trees, and flooding hundreds of homes and businesses.
Five miles away from Gateway, Union Beach, a small coastal town, received the storm's absolute wrath. Ninety percent of the town - 2,600 people on two square miles of beachfront - had been submerged in the water. Two thousand of Union Beach's 2,500 homes were damaged and another 175 totally washed away. The town also lacked the financial capital that many of Jersey's other cities held, as the majority of Union Beach's population was working class. more >>
A 31-year-old Texas man who works as a rodeo clown is thanking God for his "miracle" after he survived being struck by lightning twice on Saturday and has vowed to start attending church more frequently.
"I give everything to God," Casey Wagner told CBS. "I owe everything to Him, He's the one that kept me alive. I can tell you one thing, I'm going to start going to church more."
Wagner said he was attending a Rednecks with Paychecks event in Saint Jo, Texas, when Mother Nature unleashed the double whammy of lightning on him and brought him the closest he has ever been to death. more >>
Several faith-based relief effort crews from the Salvation Army, the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team and Convoy of Hope, a relief organization, have been dispatched to aid victims in several flood-stricken areas of Colorado, after torrential rains inundated a vast majority of the state nearly a week ago.
At least eight people have been killed by deadly flooding that swamped 17 counties, while over 500 continue to be unaccounted for, which state officials say could be an issue of "book-keeping and cross-referencing," according to ABC News. In addition, thousands have been forced to evacuate their homes while nearly an estimated 18,000 houses have been damaged.
Salvation Army response units have been in Colorado for days now and have provided over 10,000 meals to residents while they continue to establish short and long-term evacuation shelters that will remain open for the next 30 to 90 days. more >>
Yosemite's Rim Fire was started by a hunter's illegal fire, the U.S. Forest Service stated Thursday. Officials have not released the hunter's name and he has not been arrested.
The latest report contradicts earlier rumors that that the fire was started by marijuana growers. That original claim first surfaced two weeks ago when Twain Harte Fire and Rescue Chief Todd McNeal asserted in a community meeting that the blaze was likely the result of a cannabis farm.
"We know its human caused, there's no lightning in the area," he said in remarks documented by a YouTube video. "[We] highly suspect that it might be some sort of illicit grove, marijuana grow-type thing." more >>
Firefighters now have 30 percent of California's Rim Fire contained with full containment expected by Sept 10. While hot weather and aggressive winds have stymied efforts to control the fire, a reversal of climate conditions, combined with increased moisture in the air, have helped firefighters make significant progress.
"[The weather has] given us a greater opportunity to get in there and strengthen our containment lines," Cal Fire spokesman Daniel Berlant told The Los Angeles Times.
The weather's role has been critical: in two separate 24 hour periods last week the fire burned 30,000 and 50,000 acres. In contrast, in two days this week, the fire burned 10,000 and 5,000 acres. In total, the fire has destroyed more than 40,000 acres in Yosemite National Park and 187,000 acres overall. more >>