Although we don’t hear much about this in the news, especially in light of all the many other disasters around the world, South Asia has experienced unprecedented flooding in the past few months.
Heavy rains raised the water levels of 18 rivers, submerging most of the 20 districts in the north. More than 3.3 million people are homeless in a nation already suffering. The floods claimed the lives of more than 1,200 people, and many more are still missing. Millions of lives are still in danger, as well as their homes, agricultural production, and livestock. These recent floods break all of the previous records, which says a lot.
Most victims lost all their belongings and now are struggling with a lack of food and drinking water, shelter, and medications. Hundreds of thousands remain homeless and hungry.
The water situation is also grave. Out of desperation, many people are being poisoned by drinking contaminated well water, which has infiltrated the wells.
Additionally, many roads and railways under water, making transportation and delivering supplies difficult to impossible.
Another tragic situation in this already overcrowded nation involves the migration of the Rohingya people fleeing from Myanmar due to religious persecution.
Our partners in South Asia, along with our Mercy, Inc, ministry, visited several Rohingya refugee camps last week. Cindy described the situation as “one of the most heartbreaking places I have ever witnessed!” Reports estimate that more than 68 percent of the women and young girls have been raped, and thousands upon thousands have been brutally murdered!!
They’re living in tarp cities with mud floors. The Rohingya people are suffering with much sickness. Our partners are providing clean water and rice, along with some medical help, but so much more help is needed! Please pray what you can do for these people!
Our partners in South Asia have the capacity to do more for the victims with your help. Would you consider donating to our relief fund to help provide life-saving supplies?
Give here today to help flood victims, #408239.
To donate to the Rohingya people online, click here and type: #408246, Rohingya Refugee Relief Fund.
To give by check to either project, send to:
One Mission Society
PO Box 1648
Monument, CO 80132
The Cuban people now face one of the saddest moments in the past few years.
On September 8, the northern coast of Cuba was slammed by Hurricane Irma. It made landfall, with winds of nearly 160 miles per hour … the first Category 5 hurricane to hit the country since 1937.
But in the midst of this crisis, there is hope.
Norberto, the president of our partner denomination, shares what he has seen firsthand on this island nation.
In the midst of the destruction, we want to learn from the example of Jesus … we want to love those who need our love. For this reason, we are helping those who are suffering. We know that God can turn this crisis into opportunities and the problems into blessings.
To date, we have started 10 community kitchens to feed the needy. The churches are serving the communities as a light in the darkness. Volunteers are seeing new ways to serve the people and testify of God’s love at the same time.
While Irma did much damage, the Cuban church stands together today to rebuild the fallen walls and to give witness to the victory of the king of kings.
"Blessed to Bless." That’s what I saw when I entered one church that had been badly affected by the storm. I never thought that I would see that phrase on a church wall that was almost destroyed. The pastor’s family lost nearly all of their belongings and had no food to eat. They went two nights without sleeping. Yet, the phrase echoed in my mind: "Blessed to Bless ..."
The pastor of this church and his family knew that Irma was going to change their lives, but they never imagined that the change was going to be for good.
Today and every day, the church feeds 180 people, and their contacts continue to grow. Many are asking, “Why do you do it?” The pastor responds, “Because God loves me, and I want you to know that he loves you too.” God has blessed this family, and they want to bless the people that live there.
The people are beginning to feel encouragement and hope. You can hear laughter and see happy faces while the church serves them with love.
Another story that fills me with joy happened when I visited a church in which most of the building was destroyed, but part of a wall that remained said, “Instruments of Change 2 Timothy 2: 21.” The pastor had just started a series on discipleship to teach them that sanctification is God's instrument to achieve good things from the hearts of the people. After the ravages of Irma, the church is beginning to understand firsthand the meaning of the words: "agents of change."
Today, members of this church cook for more than 200 people daily. Most of the church members volunteer with the community kitchen, and they are instruments for change in the hearts of the people as they serve and love in Jesus’ name.
The message of the Gospel becomes real when people can see what God has done among his people. To God be the glory!
If you would like to donate to relief efforts, give here.
Natural disasters will happen.
From earthquakes in Haiti, Japan, and Ecuador to typhoons in the Philippines, flooding in India, and tsunamis in the South Pacific, disaster strikes and destroys ... lives, homes, buildings, and livelihoods. When disaster hits, OMS wants to be there early to help assess the situation and the destruction, find local help to partner with, and then respond with life-saving emergency aid, staying for the long term to help people recover and rebuild.
That's preparing for the best ... in a bad situation.
That's the OMS way.
The 2010 Haiti earthquake affected more than 3 million people — one of every three people. Today, almost 7 years since the quake hit, OMS is still building homes and restoring lives.
In recent years, OMS has also helped after the 2011 earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear disaster struck Japan, sent emergency relief kits to those suffering after the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami.
We also partnered with our OMS Philippines team after the 2013 Typhoon Haiyan that killed thousands in the Philippines. Today, there is a new church plant in the hardest-hit area as a result.
Most recently, we have helped with earthquake relief in Nepal and Ecuador. In Ecuador, we've now sent our first work team to help in the rebuilding process.
We cannot respond quickly or effectively without your help. So, OMS wants to be ready for when the next disaster hits. We want to be able to help families stabilize by providing assistance with shelter, clean water, food, hygiene products, and emergency medical supplies.
Would you help by saying YES this Christmas to giving a gift, in advance, for worldwide emergency relief?
LATEST UPDATE, as of Wed., May 18: Two NEW earthquakes rocked Ecuador on May 18, both registering around 6.8 magnitude. Both quakes occurred in the same area as the one a month ago. Please pray for the people of this region, who are very shaken up emotionally. ALL of our OMS missionaries and coworkers are fine. Please read below about the increased matching gift and how your gift today can be DOUBLED!
Monday, May 16 marks the one-month anniversary of the devastating earthquake that hit Ecuador. Often, when we do not hear the reports or see the images daily in front of us, we forget about what happened. And we forget that the people are still suffering.
Our OMS team, led by OMS missionaries Steve and Hannah Skinner and Guido and Kim Orellana, and including many national workers, church members and the youth group have set up a soup kitchen in Manta where the earthquake relief continues. Their goal is to feed and share God's love with up to 500 people per day!
The team in Manta is caring for its members by currently supplying 33 families with food, water, and hygiene items. All church members who have been displaced are either staying with family or have been relocated. The church hopes to start weaning this number down to 5 families as these families relocate and stabilize. The general population of the church is middle to lower class.
The team is going out several times a week doing street evangelism in various neighborhoods and handing out extra bags of food, water, and hygiene items.
We praise the Lord that the church has grown from an average of 90 in attendance to about 120 since the quake, and 18 people have given their lives to Christ in this church since the earthquake.
We had asked you to pray for Pastor Julio. He is doing much better, but please continue to pray for him as he leads these efforts.
One of the upcoming projects will be to fix the Manta church. We had originally reported that it had no damage, but have since found out that it sustained cracks to the structure.
GREAT NEWS!!! Our partner Dennis Hardin with Mercy, Inc (our OMS-related relief and development ministry), shared that we now have a matching grant of $100,000! Thank you, Lord! But for those funds to be used, we must secure donations from you. Please pray about how you might be a part of what God is doing post-earthquake in Ecuador.
To give, and have your gift matched 100%, click here.
Since the devastating earthquake hit Nepal in April 2015, our partners in South Asia have provided life-saving relief to the Nepali people. We are so grateful to the generous support of many donors, including hundreds of OMS supporters.
Philip and his team immediately reached out to the people deeply affected in a region that other organizations didn’t. They provided food supplies for 7,000 hungry people, they distributed relief kits among 1,400 families who survived the disaster, but lost everything because of it. And they gave medicine and medical supplies to many of those who were injured.
Over this past year, the people in the villages that were helped have expressed their deep gratitude, recognizing that they would not have survived this difficult situation without the assistance from our generous donors. As a result, these villagers experienced true Christian love through this support.
And more good news …
Among the communities served, 22 villages have accepted Christ as their Savior and were recently baptized! Our partners there are now selecting leaders and training them, using the Train & Multiply curriculum for multiplying disciples and churches.
The positive relationships built have set a firm foundation for our ongoing ministry in this area. God is at work in Nepal!
Continued Prayer Needed
Just a little over a month since the devastating earthquake struck Nepal, homes and lives are still in ruins.
Because it is no longer in the news or shared through the media, we can be innocently fooled into thinking that the problem is better. It is not! The people of Nepal are still frightened, devastated, and without hope.
An estimated 2.8 million people are homeless. When we asked our ministry partners where these people were staying, they said ... "Under the stars."
With that in mind, our team has made two conscientious decisions:
1. We will serve the most remote areas where other ministries are not. This region, close to the China border, is very mountainous and hard to reach. Almost 100 percent of the people in this region lost their homes.
2. We have set plans in motion to begin providing housing to the people in this region. In less than three weeks, the monsoon season will be upon them. We need to quickly purchase materials to begin constructing quonset housing (see photos).
The tin material, being shipped from India and purchased in Nepal is reasonably priced, but it is quite expensive to transport the items to these remote, mountainous regions. Total cost per house, which should last between 10-15 years, is about $500. The structure is made of tin roofing, metals poles, and plastic on each end.
If the situation in Nepal is tugging at your heart ... or God is tugging it, please respond by giving generously today. You can give safely and easily online. Or you can send your gift to:
One Mission Society
P.O. Box 1648
Monument, CO 80132-1648
Acct. #408117 - Nepal Earthquake Response
Our team on the ground in Nepal continues to call us every few days, or as they are able, to give updates of the situation there two weeks post-earthquake.
Here's a recap of what has happened and a few updates ...
One team member shared with us that his group had departed for Nepal so quickly that he had only taken two pair of pants and two shirts ... and no food with him. They arrived in Nepal less than 60 hours after the earthquake. Because there was no hotel space available at that time, they spent the first few days in a tent.
Three days after the earthquake, a large amount of food was purchased (several ton) and a feeding program was started. They have been feeding about 3,000 people a day. They are also distributing food for others to cook.
One of the churches, in a very rural area about 5 hours from Kathmandu, was destroyed and seven members were killed as they were having church service. More than 2,500 people were killed in that area. The team is sending three ton of food a day to that town to be distributed.
We were told that one of the reasons so many buildings collapsed is because they were built from brick and mud, no cement was used between the bricks. A huge challenge for the country is the fact that they have not experienced a disaster of this magnitude in more than 80 years, so they are not experienced in how to respond. That's why we are so blessed to have Philip and his team on the ground there. Several of that team have a lot of experience in responding to disasters. The team has now divided into three groups so they can work in more areas.
To date, 8 of the 18 pastors, who are ECC workers, have been located. One team member visited a hospital where one pastor’s wife had both of her legs amputated, and, they have not yet found the pastor/husband.
More than 35,000 meals had been provided as of earlier this week. Shelter is a pressing need. The overall needs now and in the future are enormous, but it also may well be one of the greatest opportunities our team has had to not only help people physically but also spiritually. Because of so much trauma, there is a need to train and send in people to do counseling, which will provide an opportunity to provide hope that only Christ can give. The spiritual needs of the Nepali people are certainly a priority as the team is praying with the victims. Please continue to pray for the people of Nepal. And pray, too, for our team on the ground--that the Lord would sustain their energy and strength.
If you'd like to donate to Nepal, please give here.
One Mission Society ministry partners are already on the ground in Kathmandu, helping Nepali earthquake victims.
With more than 4,600 people dead (and that number continuing to rise), 9,000+ injured, and 8 million affected by the devastating 7.8-magnitude earthquake that hit Nepal on Saturday, April 25, your help is desperately needed today.
Nepal earthquake victims need your help. Give now.
Supplies are scarce. Our workers report that food, water, blankets, medical supplies, and shelter materials are most crucial at this time.
Currently, $160,000 has been raised by OMS and our partner ministry Mercy, Inc., but much more is needed ... and needed quickly. In emergency situations like this, hours and even minutes matter.
Engaging a volunteer network of more than 20 churches in Nepal, our team on the ground has already distributed medical supplies, and we hope to begin distributing food and other emergency aid tomorrow.
With a tragedy of this magnitude, we need your immediate help. Your donation will be sent directly to our trusted workers in Kathmandu to be used for immediate needs, including sharing the hope of Jesus.
OMS will post weekly updates here on how your dollars are helping the people of Nepal.
Join us in praying for the families impacted by the tragic loss of life and homes in the Kathmandu area, and please give generously to help as they recover.