Hurricane Harvey has already displaced thousands in south Texas and Louisiana, and the rains and flooding are expected to continue throughout the week to come. Archbishop Beach is calling the Church to pray, give, and prepare.
Meteorologists are warning that while the winds have now died down, the greater danger could come from the continual rain that the region will receive.
Bishop Clark Lowenfield and The Anglican Diocese of the Western Gulf Coast are based in Houston, Texas and will be coordinating the relief effort among Anglicans in the region. Bishop Lowenfield, who was forced to evacuate his home yesterday, said, “Thank you to all those who have been offering their prayers and expressing their concern to us. The impact of Harvey is already evident, and we are being told to expect days more of rain and ‘catastrophic flooding’. In the Houston area in particular, the devastation will take months if not years of recovery. Your gift to the Anglican Relief and Development Fund will mean that individuals in some of the most hard-hit areas will be able to put their lives back together once this is all over. Above all, I implore you to pray with us in this storm. As Psalm 29:10-11 tells us, ‘The Lord sits enthroned over the flood; the Lord sits enthroned as king forever. May the Lord give strength to his people! May the Lord bless his people with peace!’”
Archbishop Beach is calling the Church to pray, give, and prepare: “Now is an important time for the Church to step forward. First and foremost, please join me in praying for the people of south Texas and Louisiana. Please pray for all those in distress, those who are being called to extraordinary acts of courage, and those who are obediently engaging in small acts of faithfulness.
Second, please consider giving so that Christians in the area will have the resources they need to show their communities the love of Christ in tangible ways. We cannot anticipate today all that will need to be done in the days ahead, but we are blessed to have churches in the region who can be the hands and feet of Christ.
Third, whether you are in Texas, Louisiana, or in the states surrounding the region, please be preparing to serve. As the Diocese of the Western Gulf Coast prioritizes the needs, you will be hearing more about how you and your congregation can serve through volunteer work teams.”
Summer is always an intense time for me. The heat is tremendous and with air conditioning, a very limited commodity, it takes its toll. I remember flexibility being one of the characteristics that Peace Corps was interested in for potential volunteers. It seems to be the same for missionaries. This summer term I started with 2 classes and ended with 4. While I enjoyed the students and the classes, both additions were new to me so required more preparation and an extra day and a half in the capital every week. The pictures are students learning about plyometrics and my group in the clinical rotation on our last day as a group. The director of the program recently left on maternity leave, though she will be checking in here and there. Please pray for her and her first child, as well as all the professors as we head into a new term the beginning of September without our director helping to put out fires that inevitably crop up.
A few years ago, God granted me the opportunity to stay in housing at the seminary during my nights in the capital, and I therefore had the pleasure of sharing a bit in the community life with the seminarians. They were in their first year of studies then and we shared dinner and Morning Prayer regularly that year. Recently I had the distinct pleasure of joining them at their graduation. Their ordination will take place soon. Please join me in giving thanks to God for these hard-working servants who are heading into the world to spread God’s word and love to God’s people! May God bless, guide and strengthen their ministries and their lives!
Thank you for your support for this ministry! May you see God at work in your daily life!
Cathy Donahoe is a SAMS Missionary and Physical Therapist serving in the Dominican Republic.
We decided to use today and tomorrow to do
a number of things we need to do here in Johannesburg before trekking off to
Swaziland…one of which was to go to the University of the Witwatersrand to see
if we could find any references to my great-grandfather, Arthur Lomax, by
sifting through the many letters and reports to and from the SPG.
Unfortunately, the period we are looking at includes the theological fisticuffs
between Bishop Grey of Cape Town and Bishop Colenso of Natal…so there’s a lot
of material to look through!
But getting to the university was an
equally frustrating ordeal. Our dear Miss America GPS does not always know that
some roads are one ways…and she certainly has never driven in Africa! Who stops
at a red light here? One learns to weave through cars, and taxis, and
people…thankfully we have not encountered any livestock on the roads…yet. Our
nerves were shot by the time we got to the University gate. Thankfully everyone
was super friendly and super helpful.
But starring at microfilm after microfilm on
a small screen…turning the reels by hand from frame to frame…straining to read
the scribbles from yesteryear…scribbles made worse by poor copying…really took
the wind out of me. Of course we hit the rush hour traffic on the way back to
St Benedicts…why not throw that in for good measure? So, we may return tomorrow…but
for now, we are in recovery mode…
A delay is not always bad. It has been approximately two weeks since my return to Honduras. With it has come many emotions: joy with returning to familiar faces and places, peace with my decision to return, mild concern about readjusting to the heat and humidity, and wonderment at the welcome I received from some of my previous students.
The first few days seemed “action packed”. My luggage was delayed until the next day, but thankfully it arrived safely and intact. Friday 18-Aug-2017 was the day of the tornado in Tela. I had returned home from school and sprawled haphazardly across the bed, as I replayed the day’s activities. I planned to stroll across to a nearby location to view the sunset and unwind after a hectic day, but for some unknown reason, I just could not readily spring up and bound out of the door as planned. Instead, I flowed into quiet thanksgiving and praise to God about my perception of blessings and favor that had unfolded for me in the recent days. I made a phone call to share my joy, and at the conclusion stated: “I’m going to head out now and view the sunset”.
I never got up… Instead, I was immediately startled by a sudden, large shadow moving rapidly across the window! I turned and realized that within an instant the sun had retreated and it was dusk outside – no gradual growing dark… instantly dusk. As I tried to process what I was witnessing through the window, my mind registered the sound of zinc sheets (from a roof) whirling outside and the simultaneous sound of what seemed to be a truck nearby or a distant train. A train? That sound was not right for this location – there were no trains! My immediate thought was to get on the floor, but before my muscles could even respond… as quickly as it started, the noise and swirling subsided.
I soon discovered it was a small tornado. However, the pictures made me sit upright and ushered me into more thanksgiving. Even though structural damage seemed minimal, I would have been sauntering down this very road, passing this very junction on my way to view the sunset if my original plan had unfolded. Taking a “praise break” – offering praise and thanksgiving to God had delayed “my plan” and kept me within the safe confines of my home. For that, I offered even more praise and thanksgiving. Indeed, a delay is not always bad!
Nothing like being in a hurry to get to
church only to find that the gate to the compound is closed! Louise and I were
afraid that if we get out of the car, the anti-high-jacking device would go off
again, so I turned the car off and proceeded to open one of the gates. The
guard, obviously startled out of a deep slumber, came staggering out of the
guardhouse to lift the boom so we could be on our way. Much to his chagrin, I
now had to go through the motions of getting the car started again…what a way
to start a Sunday morning.
As I have said before, Christ the King is a
large church that could easily seat about 600 people. The problem with that
size building is that when 400 hundred show up, it looks as if the church is
empty. However, Fr Erich’s parishioners are all extra friendly and we soon felt part of the
I preached on the life of Peter for a few
reasons. The most obvious was that Peter’s confession of Jesus as the Christ
was the Gospel reading. Another reason was because we teach through the life of
Peter in the LEAD training to demonstrate how Jesus made a rocking disciple-maker out of a rock of a
fisherman. In it we show how Peter, the erstwhile reluctant follower, became
Peter, the (bordering on boastful) brave…but as such he relied too much on
his own, personal rocklike abilities. He had to learn that taking his eyes off
Jesus would bring him more than just a sinking feeling…it would almost bring on
the total failure of his life as a disciple-maker.
After his humiliating denial of Jesus,
Peter returned to that which he knew best…fishing for fish…not people. Jesus
reinstated him by giving him a few visual reminders of how he first was called
to follow. The all night fishing failure, the miraculous draught of fish, the
coal fire, the three-fold question of allegiance…but it is Peter’s final
response that we want our disciple-makers to comprehend. It is no longer the
self-assured Peter that replies from the basis of his own firm footing…it is a
humbled and surrendered Peter who confesses that Jesus alone knows the
unknowable and unpredictable. This Peter is now ready at last to face the
uncertainty of a Church left without a Master because the ascended Master had
replicated Himself in Peter. Peter no longer relied on his own abilities and
expertise…on his being the one identified as the Rock…no, rather he relied on
the same three resources available to Jesus and us all: the Word, the Holy
Spirit, and prayer. By the time we get to the book of Acts we see a very
Obviously, the sermon was a wee bit longer
than Fr Erich had anticipated, but Group One had a refresher, Group Two had
part of their class-to-come completed, and the congregation had a small taste
of what the LEAD training is all about.
In spite of a late start, we did manage to
get through the rest of the material by lunchtime…and Fr Erich’s wife who had
once again made a delicious curry spoilt us rotten.
Folks here are asking when we will return
to teach this again…personally, I think our Gauteng Faculty are ready to
do an assisted training and then to take the plunge and fly solo. Every time we
have come up to do training in this area, we have been thoroughly blessed…we
have family here now…please keep them all in your prayers.