August 30, 2008
Jesus vs. Gustav
American church girds for battle with massive hurricane due to hit Cuba, Gulf Coast.
Update: Saturday, Aug. 30, 2008, 8:30 a.m.
Here's what the Voice of America reports:
The U.S. National Weather Service says hurricane Gustav has increased in intensity, with winds reaching 180 kilometers per hour as it crosses the Caribbean towards Cuba. More than 80 deaths in Haiti, the Dominican Republic and Jamaica have been attributed to Gustav, which is now being called a "major hurricane." It is expected to hit western Cuba Saturday, and is heading toward the southern United States, including New Orleans, which was devastated by hurricane Katrina exactly three years ago.
Don't think that hitting Cuba won't hit the church. The Cuban charismatic movement seems to be evident in every nook and cranny of Cuba. In fact, I had lunch last week with a Christian leader involved in minisry on Castro's domain. And, he told me that Christianity in Cuba continues to explode, growing year after year. Born-again military officers, doctors, lawyers, government officials are giving up on their careers and doing church-planting, island-wide.
Today, Gustav is expected pay a memorable visit to Cuba. No visa, no hotel reservation, no permit from the US Treasury to spend dollars there.
There's this update from the Salvation Army about the US Gulf coast.
Preparedness for Gustav begins as Hurricane Katrina's third anniversary approaches Alexandria, Va. (August 28, 2008) - Salvation Army personnel throughout the Gulf Coast are mobilizing to respond to Tropical Storm Gustav, expected to develop into a serious category three hurricane by early next week. Army units in Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas have 100 mobile feeding units and three fully-equipped 54-foot field kitchens ready for immediate response. Additionally, The Salvation Army is prepared to supplement Gulf Coast states with 70 canteens from inland states, as was necessary in response to Hurricane Katrina. In total, The Salvation Army is prepared to provide a minimum of 560,000 meals a day as necessary.
"The Salvation Army is prepared to respond immediately to the needs of survivors, emergency aid workers, and volunteers in communities affected by the storm's landfall," said Major Gene Hogg, Divisional Secretary for Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi. "The Army recognizes how difficult these circumstances can be and will do everything in our power to assist individuals and families following this storm as we do in these communities 365 days a year."
In addition to feeding, The Salvation Army is prepared to provide:
Clean-up kits containing brooms, mops, buckets and cleaning supplies
Missing persons support through The Salvation Army Team Emergency Radio Network (www.satern.org) and
The Salvation Army encourages all residents of areas in Gustav's path to prepare an Emergency supply kit, an evacuation plan and stay informed to all warnings and evacuation orders. Disaster response professionals recommend having a three to five day supply of food and water for each individual of your family as well as flashlights, medication, and battery powered radio.
"It is imperative that residents of New Orleans and the central Gulf Coast region heed all warnings and orders associated with Tropical Storm Gustav, regardless of its path," said Captain Ethan Frizzell, Area Commander for The Salvation Army in New Orleans. "It is important that each of us prepare now for Gustav."
The Salvation Army asks people who want to help those affected by Hurricane Gustav to visit www.salvationarmyusa.org or call 1-800-SAL-ARMY. Monetary donations are needed to meet survivors' most immediate needs.
Pray against Gustav.
PS CT readers are welcome to post updates on the messages section about ministry resources. If you are in the path of the storm and have on-the-scene updates, email me directly: TMorgan@christianitytoday.com