A worldwide pandemic, coupled with recent extreme weather conditions during the month of August 2021, makes one wonder: When is it ever going to end?
We have seen cases of Covid-19 continue to rise as the more contagious Delta variant leads to spikes in infections and hospitalizations across the globe. In the U.S., southern states experienced a surge in cases, with many hospitals at or near capacity. According to a recent New York Times article, Florida, Louisiana, Arkansas, Missouri, Mississippi, Alabama, and parts of Texas are reporting some of the highest case rates in the country.
A magnitude 7.2 earthquake stuck the Tiburon Peninsula in the Caribbean nation of Haiti. At least 2,200 people were confirmed dead, 12,260 were injured, 136,800 houses and buildings were destroyed or damaged, 24,400 people were displaced, and 650,000 people required humanitarian assistance.
Floodwaters inundated Middle Tennessee, where Waverly, a city in Humphreys County, Tennessee, was the hardest hit. Search and rescue efforts were suspended after identifying 20 people who were killed as a result of water topping the banks of area waterways and flooding the county. Among the dead were 7-month-old twins, swept out of their father’s arms by floodwaters, and 55-year-old Linda Almond Bryant. Bryant started a Facebook Live video. “We’re being flooded right now,” she said as water pushed debris by a door. “Really scary.” It was the last video she appeared to post to her Facebook page. The flood claimed her life, according to her son.
Flash floods swept across western North Carolina in the wake of Tropical Depression Fred. Five people were killed and one person was missing in Cruso, NC, where homes were swept off their foundations. The flood caused at least $300 million worth of damage and destroyed 225 structures in Cruso. This figure did not include damage in the towns of Canton and Clyde.
Ida, a category 4 Hurricane, blasted ashore in Louisiana as one of the most powerful storms ever to hit the U.S., knocking out the New Orleans power grid, blowing roofs off buildings and reversing the flow of the Mississippi River as it rushed from the Louisiana coast into one of the nation’s most important industrial corridors. Hurricane Ida made landfall exactly 16 years to the day after Hurricane Katrina slammed into the state to become one of the deadliest and the costliest hurricanes to hit the U.S. in recorded history.
The devasting Caldor wildfire that set California ablaze has caused thousands of people to quickly flee South Lake Tahoe as the resort city came under an evacuation order and the wildfire raced toward the lake. Our Zephyr Point Presbyterian Conference Center in Nevada, has so far been spared from the furious wildfire raging in California and the Tahoe basin, and has become a safe haven for more than 100 people. At least 729 structures, including nearly 490 homes, have been destroyed by the Caldor Fire.
I am pleased to announce that through our Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA) program the Presbyterian Church (USA) is responding to the COVID-19 Pandemic and to each of the natural disasters mentioned above.
Due to the connectional nature of our denomination, you and/or your congregation may join with other presbyterians and help support our Church’s response using the links below.
PDA pulled 2.7 million dollars from reserves to seed the COVID-19 ongoing response fund, both in the United States and internationally. These are funds that have been given by donors to PDA’s general fund, meant to meet the response needs of disasters, small or large, that are not able to be funded by special appeals.
Support the COVID-19 response with designated gifts to DR000148
Working closely with Presbyterian World Mission, our traditional partners on the ground and ACT Alliance, PDA is responding to emergency needs such as WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene), emergency power generators, shelter, food, first aid and more.
Support the Haiti Earthquake response with designated gifts to OG100000-Haiti
PDA is responding to this disaster and processed initial assistance grants to meet emergency needs.
Support the Tennessee Flooding response with designated gifts to DR000191
NORTH CAROLINA FLOODING
PDA is working with Presbyterian leadership on the ground as they assess the flood damages caused by Tropical Depression Fred.
Support the North Carolina Flooding response with designated gifts to DR000191
PDA is responding to Hurricane Ida. The initial assessment of the damage is staggering. The needs of those impacted is changing daily due to lack of access to power, refrigeration, water and housing.
Support the Hurricane Ida response with designated gifts to DR000169
PDA is responding to U.S. wildfires.
Support Caldor Wildfire response with designated gifts to DR000165
PLEASE NOTE: If you would like to serve on a response team that is mobilized to help people who are suffering due to natural disasters, then please contact Elder Laura Jordan, the moderator of Trinity’s Disaster Assistance Team (TDAT), at 803-466-8440. If your church has a disaster assistance/response plan in place, please share that information with Laura, as well.
Danny C. Murphy
Rev. Dr. Danny Murphy, SR.
The ultimate aim of Trinity Presbytery is to equip and empower our member congregations to become communities of faith, hope, love, witness and service, so that those who do not know Jesus might come to know, love and serve him and so that those who do know Jesus might come to love him more intimately and serve him more faithfully.