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Tragedy strikes Disaster riddled Miami
The Bible promises there will be disasters, plagues and unsurpassed evil as His return draws nigh… As His disciples we are called to be a Holy Priesthood, set apart, not like the World; His witnesses to the light that shines bright within our heart.
Before our Ash Wednesday service we prayed for 17 students gunned down in FL. At breakfast not one person talked about the horrible massacre near Miami, not one television station mentioned it? Mainstream media rewards sin as acceptable, even good. This morning Fox News headlines reported the latest Clinton debacle and “Pence slams ABC News over ‘religious intolerance.’” What is our country coming to I thought?
In the information age have multiple hurricanes, natural disasters and atrocities like Columbine and Parkland made Christians and non-Christians alike numb, even indifferent to sin and suffering? Surely it seems today the unregenerate man and woman is doing what is right in their own eyes?! We are the minority living in a post-Christian society. But our actions, our words and prayers can and do make a difference!
Hurricane Irma was not only the strongest storm in Atlantic history, it hit 3 of the top 5 most likely cities to be devastated by a massive storm: Miami, Key West and Tampa. Irma was the last in a long list of hurricanes to hit Miamians, a loving people desperate to know our Lord Jesus, sharing their own rich cultural heritage yet hardened by all life can throw at them.
I understand Miami is 95% unchurched. One in ten homes still have tarps on their roofs five months after Irma. Thousands of refugees from Hurricanes Irma and Maria are still displaced and crime is on the increase. And now there is widespread grief and fear from yesterday’s High School shooting added to PTSD and emotional stress that everyone faces in the wake of a hurricane. Add to that Miami is No. 1 for being hit by hurricanes averaging one or more each year and seeing category 4 and 5 major storms on a regular basis*. The need in Greater Miami is great!
Irma Relief has many opportunities to serve victims and refuges alike through two Anglican churches and a future outreach boutique to house and distribute semis full of clothing, makeup and relief supplies. The Care Bag Ministry continues to grow touching thousands of lives for the Lord. We are seeking teams and individuals of all ages and abilities. We have seen youth groups, college teams, golden years, disabled and everything in-between. Professionals, skilled and unskilled volunteers, evangelists, prayer warriors, healing teams, hospitality and food ministry teams all serving our Lord together.
Our greatest need is prayer followed closely by more volunteer help. We are praying for a large warehouse at an incredibly reasonable rate or free. And we need your support, financial and in-kind donations. ARDF has been very generous but their funds are limited and need to be replenished through generous contributions from churches and individuals like you.
Jesus was no stranger to witnessing atrocities in his day. We may forget 100% of the world had no personal relationship with God? He told us the fields are white and laborers are few: “Then He said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into His harvest,’” Matthew 9: 37-38. The need for an unsaved world to be reconciled to God is just as real today. We are called to be His witnesses, His body in action helping the world in need. Perhaps you can join us or your church can send down a mission team? Oh the blessing of seeing tears of joy as a family is helped or when one comes to faith in Him!
The need is great here. This Lent please remember ADPR&rsquop;s Irma Relief Ministry in your prayers? Pray many hundreds of lives will be touched by His saving love? Won’t you prayerfully consider our many outreach opportunities, how you can help and support this incredible ministry?!
Your servant in Messiah’s Love,
Rev. Frederic Sterry Smith
1333 Old Dixie Hwy, Suite 5
St. Augustine, FL 32084
* Top 5 US cities most vulnerable to hurricanes, by AccuWeather:
We will continue to monitor Hurricane Chris.
Should we see a significant change or determine that both lives and livelihood may be threatened to our northnern neighbors, ADPR will keep you informed and rally the necessary resources and mission teams.
“Given barely enough ocean heat content (sea-surface temperatures around 80 degrees Fahrenheit), low wind shear, and its location south of a plume of sinking, dry air known as the Saharan air layer, Beryl intensified quickly from a tropical depression at 11 a.m. EDT Thursday to a Category 1 hurricane just 18 hours later.
According to the National Hurricane Center (NHC), wind shear has increased and combined with a very dry environment likely causing Beryl to weaken.”