American Baptists Respond to Washington State Landslide

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American Baptists Respond to Washington State Landslide

VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS 3/28/14)—In response to a landslide that devastated Oso, Washington, American Baptist Churches USA has released an initial $2,500 One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS) Emergency Disaster Response Grant through American Baptist Home Mission Societies to First Baptist Church (FBC), Darrington, Washington.

Occurring on Saturday, the landslide destroyed structures and caused injury and death. Many individuals remain missing. FBC, approximately 10 miles from Oso, has been supplying food to displaced families, those housing the displaced and volunteers, the fire hall and community kitchen. On Wednesday, FBC held a community prayer service.

The grant will help with expenses associated with transportation, funerals, utilities and emergency services.

“Everyone in our community knows people who died or are buried in the slide and presumed dead,” says Michael De Luca, FBC’s pastor. “Several of our congregation come from Oso and cannot get to church or the Darrington community. The road to Darrington has been cut off and will not be open for three or four weeks. We were unable to talk by phone, use the Internet or do banking until emergency lines were installed, which took days.

“To get to work, many of our drivers must now take a three-hour round trip by way of Mount Vernon,” he continues. “With the high price of gas, we are trying to collect funds to help people get to work and back home. Another area of concern is for the many funerals that will be taking place in the near future.”

Donations designated to “One Great Hour of Sharing—Washington State Landslide” can be mailed to the attention of Kim Wilkins at American Baptist Home Mission Societies, P.O. Box 851, Valley Forge, PA 19482-0851. For more information, contact Wilkins at 1-800-222-3872, x2413, or Contributions can be made online here.

American Baptist Home Mission Societies—the domestic mission arm of American Baptist Churches USA—ministers as the caring heart and serving hands of Jesus Christ across the United States and Puerto Rico through a multitude of initiatives that focus on discipleship, community and justice.

One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS) is administered by the World Relief Committee of the Board of General Ministries, American Baptist Churches USA. The committee facilitates American Baptist emergency relief, disaster rehabilitation, refugee work and development assistance by establishing policy guidelines and overseeing distribution of the annual OGHS offering. One hundred percent of donations go to relief efforts; no dollars are retained for administrative costs.

American Baptist Churches USA is one of the most diverse Christian denominations today, with over 5,200 local congregations comprised of 1.3 million members, across the United States and Puerto Rico, all engaged in God’s mission around the world.