ADRA worker near the epicenter provides water to first responders.

Adventist Development and Relief Agency supplies humanitarian aid at Ground Zero

Beirut, Lebanon

Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) response teams in Lebanon are providing essential emergency supplies to recovery workers and survivors of the massive explosion in Beirut’s port. The huge blast that struck Lebanon’s capital city on August 4, killed at least 190 people, wounded more than 6,500 people, and left more than 300,000 people homeless.

“Responders say they have never seen anything like this before. The images look like a war zone. The first dispatched ambulance teams were killed by the explosion. We are delivering water and essential equipment to firefighters and civil defense workers,” said Gunther Wallauer, ADRA regional director for the Middle East and North Africa. “We are providing bedding supplies, so they have a place to rest; they need cots, tents, generators for lights since electricity is out in most of the city. We know there’s devastation in several neighborhoods close to the epicenter. Our teams on the ground are quickly assessing the situation to provide immediate aid to children and families.”

ADRA teams are assisting at least five neighborhoods, including schools surrounding the blast zone, deploying humanitarian support, including water and food, to victims.

“Our prayers are with the Lebanese nation, especially the children and families affected by this catastrophe and all who lost loved ones and are injured. We have been on the ground since the coronavirus outbreak helping the Lebanese community cope with the health and economic challenges of the pandemic and are ready to provide additional support during this added crisis,” said ADRA’s president Michael Kruger. “We are committed to increasing our emergency response activities to provide life-saving essentials to those in need of assistance.”

ADRA is working with church volunteers, local authorities, and partners in Beirut to coordinate the relief and recovery operations. To assist with ADRA’s emergency response in Lebanon, please visit [ADRA]

Adventist Health rapid response aids in California wildfires

Roseville, California, United States

Statewide emergencies are in effect along the west coast of the United States as multiple wildfires rage across the states of California, Oregon, and Washington. These fires are a result of record-high temperatures, electrical storms, and sustained high winds, combined with carelessness and malice. Hundreds of thousands of people have been forced to evacuate. Over 50 persons have been killed and dozens of people are unaccounted for.

Residents living on and near the campus of Seventh-day Adventist institution Pacific Union College have been evacuated and Adventist Health St. Helena has evacuated hospital patients to nearby medical facilities. Adventist Health is providing emergency assistance to health associates in need, and the Adventist Health Rapid Response fund helps associates and communities with devastating disasters and emergencies. “Together, we can ensure our team of healthcare heroes receives the critical support they need,” officials added.

“At this time, we ask our brothers and sisters in Christ to join us as we pray for the continued protection of all, including those on the frontlines who are battling the wildfires,” said Northern California Conference president Marc Woodson. “We claim the promise in Deuteronomy 31:8, ‘The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged’ ” (NIV).

Sadly, Tom Duffy, 40, a firefighting pilot and beloved Seventh-day Adventist lay leader from Montana, was killed in a helicopter crash on August 24 while helping to fight a wildfire in Oregon’s Mount Hood National Forest. Our sincere prayers are extended for his wife, Robyn, and their three children. [Kimberly Luste Maran, Adventist Review/Jay Wintermeyer, Gleaner Now]

The Holy Spirit inspires breath of life ministry to COVID patients in Peru

Libertad area, Peru

When local pastor Rolando Quinteros Zuñiga hosted an initiative in Peru, titled “40 Days With the Holy Spirit,” little did he know that it would be the inspiration for literal breath to be administered to persons suffering from COVID-19.

Amir Cotrina Sánchez, a taxi driver and member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church had, as a result of COVID-19, experienced weakness, chills, and tiredness and felt a sudden lack of oxygen. Worried, his family members had given him a portable oxygen canister so he could recover. He found that he did not need to use it, and his health was restored by taking medication.

Hearing that many people were dying from a lack of oxygen in Trujillo, Sánchez took along the canister he had not used to help people when necessary while driving his taxi. This led the company where his relatives had purchased his oxygen canister to send him a package of portable canisters to share with his passengers in case of need.

“A passenger got into the taxi with breathing problems, but at the nearest hospital, she was told they couldn’t take care of her,” Sánchez shared. “On the way to another hospital, the young woman began to cough and choke. I told her, ‘Please use this oxygen canister.’ And she managed to quiet down and make it to the hospital.”

So far, Sánchez has managed to help almost 40 people. Some fellow taxi drivers also call him when they need his help, which he gives without asking for anything in return. As he gets acquainted with his colleagues who do not feel well, he prays that they recover quickly. [Margiory Salinas, South American Division, and Adventist Review]

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November 2020

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