A team of Upper Columbia Conference ACS DR volunteers has joined other groups to help in distribution efforts in Houston, Texas.
The Upper Columbia Conference is enhancing its outreach ministry by involving the Spokane Valley Adventist Church Community Garden as an official ministry of Adventist Community Services. The purpose of this project is to teach gardening to the community, inspire culinary experimentation, and provide food to those in need. "This is a wonderful opportunity to see how God is working in opening more and more doors," said Patty Marsh, UCC ACS Director.
The idea of transforming a two-acre plot of vacant land into a community garden was started by Rupert Salmon, a member of the Spokane Valley Church. He and his team started on the project in February of this year by building beds. They are working in partnership with the Latter-day Saints, Catholics, as well as the Mormons in the area.
Community gardens have been a part of ACS ministry for a very long time. Particularly, the Northern CA Conference has been proactively engaged with its opportunity under Dr. Gordon Botting's leadership. There are approximately 40 churches that have developed community gardens in the NCA Conference. "The Spokane Valley Adventist Church is being a recognizable, tangible, and a visible sign of God's mission in Spokane," stated Sung Kwon, NAD ACS Executive Director.
The North Philadelphia SDA Church hosted a two-day free AMEN clinic event offering free medical and dental services to the community. More than 100 volunteers from the church and the community took part in this event, providing care to around 200 people. “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care,” said Marquis Johns, pastor of Allegheny East Conference’s North Philadelphia church. Church leaders partnered with the Adventist Medical Evangelist Network of physicians and dentists who dedicated their time and services at the medical and dental clinics. Not only were the patients blessed by this event, but the volunteers also found pleasure in being of help and service to others. Upon hearing the success of the clinics, a member of the community contacted Pr. Johns and pledged $5,000 toward having the church host another clinic in the near future.
The NAD ACS Disaster Response Team is currently participating in the Voluntary Organization Partnership Day which is being held in Washington, DC today. This event is hosted by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and National VOAD. The purpose of this event is to promote and recognize the services provided by voluntary, community, and faith-based organizations to disaster survivors. During the day, various organizations and groups from within FEMA will be part of an exhibit showcase that will be open to the public. There will also be informal discussion panels on disaster-related topics and an opportunity to meet with subject matter experts.
The state of Wisconsin has experienced devastating floods in the past few days. As the torrential rains continue to pour down, the tally of damaged homes keeps rising. There have been reports of more than 4200 homes damaged or even completely destroyed. Businesses were also heavily impacted by the flood; 26 businesses are reported with damage and 11 businesses were fully destroyed.
Multiagency resource centers have been opened throughout the three counties that were affected in the southeastern area, to meet the needs of the survivors. Each county has local organizations that are taking care of the donations for that county. Volunteers have been meeting at the Mt. Zion Christian Church at 7:30 and 12:30 daily to go out and help with cleanup. The West Central region of the state was also heavily impacted by flooding and damaging winds. Four shelters have been set up in that area.
Let us remember all those who have been affected by this disaster.