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Helvis C. Moody Appointed as
Hurricane Harvey Relief Liaison

September 12, 2017 » Helvis C. Moody, Southwestern Union Young Adult/Youth Director and Prayer Ministries Coordinator, has been appointed as the Southwestern Union’s Hurricane Harvey Relief Liaison to assist in the coordination of volunteers with the ongoing relief efforts in the aftermath of the record-breaking storm.

“We are so thankful for the volunteers from across the Southwestern Union territory, as well as across the United States, who have asked ‘What can we do to help?’ We know that tens of thousands of lives have been changed forever even as the scope of damage to homes and structures is still being assessed. Hundreds of our members, churches, and schools have spent time collecting food, water, and clothing donations and transporting them to our area distribution centers where we have been able to provide for the immediate needs of people who had nowhere to turn. Many have donated time and hard work in tearing out flood-damaged drywall, sorting and salvaging furniture and equipment, and removing debris and disinfecting as needed. These volunteer efforts will be needed for some time to come in order to assist the people of Southeast Texas. The Southwestern Union is working in concert with the Southwest Region Conference, the Texas Conference, the North American Division, and the Adventist Community Services and Young Adult/Youth departments of these entities in order to coordinate our efforts both efficiently and with volunteer safety in mind,” said Moody upon his appointment as liaison.

As liaison, Moody and his office will act as a point of first contact, guiding and assisting the coordination of volunteer efforts of those entities and individuals from outside of the Southwestern Union territory who wish to volunteer; will maintain a database of projects and needs; and will provide ongoing updates regarding efforts.

Those entities and individuals wishing to volunteer who are within the Union’s five conferences (Arkansas-Louisiana, Oklahoma, Southwest Region, Texas, and Texico), may contact their conference’s Adventist Community Services departments and/or Young Adult and Youth departments to join the ongoing efforts within those conferences, or they may contact Elder Moody’s office for assistance.

For more information, contact Helvis C. Moody at 817.295.0476, or sfacundo@swuc.org

 


The Southwestern Union Responds
to Hurricane Harvey

September 1, 2017 » The Southwestern Union, Southwest Region Conference, Texas Conference, and North American Division are working closely with pastors, teachers, volunteers, and members who have been affected by Hurricane Harvey. We are humbled and grateful for the prayers, words of encouragement, and offers of help that have been coming from across the country. Although Harvey made its initial landfall one week ago, the scope of the damage caused by 100+ mph winds and nearly 50 inches of continuous rain and dangerous flood conditions have made it difficult to assess damages to homes, churches, and schools. Life-saving activities continue to be ongoing and we pray for the safety, peace, and comfort of all who have been affected.

 

What We Know

Approximately 60 counties in Texas were affected to varying degrees by flooding, wind damage, and tornadoes caused by Hurricane Harvey. The area, which spans a distance of approximately 300 miles along the Gulf Coast, includes 6 Seventh-day Adventist schools and 90 Seventh-day Adventist churches and companies with a total Adventist membership of 17,838. We are monitoring the effects of the storm in Louisiana and the extent of damage is not yet clear. While details are still coming in, the following schools and churches have reported damages:

 

Southwest Region Conference:

  • Schools:
    • Excel Adventist Academy in Missouri City, Texas
  • Churches:
    • World Harvest Outreach Seventh-day Adventist Church, in Houston, Texas
    • Sugar Land Spanish Seventh-day Adventist Church in Houston, Texas
    • Hebron Seventh-day Adventist Church in Houston, Texas
    • Mount Olive Seventh-day Adventist Church in Port Arthur, Texas
    • Emmanuel Temple Seventh-day Adventist Church in Beaumont, Texas
  • One pastor was affected by property loss caused by the storm.

 

Texas Conference:

  • Schools:
    • Triangle Adventist Christian School in Groves, Texas
    • The Oaks Adventist Christian School in Cypress, Texas
  • Churches:
    • Baytown Spanish Seventh-day Adventist Church in Baytown, Texas
    • Huntsville Spanish Seventh-day Adventist Company in Huntsville, Texas
    • Houston International Seventh-day Adventist Church in Houston, Texas
    • Houston Spanish Alief Seventh-day Adventist Church in Houston, Texas
    • Houston Spanish Southaven Seventh-day Adventist Church in Houston, Texas
    • Houston Spanish West Seventh-day Adventist Church in Houston, Texas
    • Houston West Seventh-day Adventist Church in Houston, Texas
    • Houston Gulfhaven Seventh-day Adventist Church in Houston, Texas
  • Seven pastors and three teachers were affected by property loss caused by the storm.

 

If You Want To Help

  • Donations: Right now, the best way to help is with a monetary donation. Consider making a donation to the following:
  • Groups: Many groups have expressed a desire to come to the affected area to assist in cleanup and rebuilding efforts. Currently the best place for groups to volunteer is with Adventist Community Services. Contact Southwest Region Adventist Community Services at 469.987.5366, and Texas Adventist Community Services at acs@txsda.org.
  • Individuals: Many volunteers who have access to flat-bottom boats and amphibious vehicles have participated in search and rescue operations. Anyone interested in these activities should thoughtfully consider the needs and resources available in the affected area and should contact the city and/or county officials of the desired area of service prior to travel.

 

Offering Opportunities

  • Southwestern Union Offering: On September 2, 2017, churches across the Arkansas-Louisiana Conference, Oklahoma Conference, Southwest Region Conference, Texas Conference, and Texico Conference will take up a special offering to support ongoing relief efforts in the areas affected by Hurricane Harvey that includes joint endeavors of Adventist Community Services and resources designated to the relief and recovery work of affected churches and schools. Please remember to mark your offering “Hurricane Harvey.”
  • North American Division Offering: On September 9, 2017, churches across the North American Division of the Seventh-day Adventist Church will collect a special offering to support the relief efforts of Adventist Community Services (ACS) after millions in Texas and Louisiana were impacted by the catastrophic effects of Hurricane Harvey. On September 9, please remember to mark your offering “ACS - Hurricane Relief.”

 

Partnership Opportunities

Many churches and schools have asked what they can do to help. The Southwestern Union is creating church and school partnerships, adopt-a-classroom opportunities, and other fundraising projects. If you would like to partner with an affected school or church, or hold a fundraiser, please email Southwestern Union Communication Director Jessica Lozano at jlozano@swuc.org.

 

Adventist Community Services Activities:

Adventist Community Services personnel and volunteers are prepared to mobilize to the affected area once the situation stabilizes and state officials authorize entrance.

 

Southwest Region Conference ACS Activities

  • Distribution Center: The World Harvest Church in Houston, Texas, is an 1,800-member church led by Pastor Keith Goodman, which is open as an a ACS distribution center. Approximately 120 volunteers have been assisting with setting up the center, and student volunteers from Southwestern Adventist University and Oakwood University, along with many other volunteers, will be assisting with this continuing effort.
  • Lone Star Camp: Approximately 160 people are currently sheltered at Lone Star Camp in Athens, Texas, which is operated by the Southwest Region Conference. The Texas Adventist Book Center in Keene, Texas, has committed to providing food and resources as needed.
  • Volunteer Opportunities: Call the Southwest Region Adventist Community Services Department at 469.987.53661 to determine current needs and opportunities. Visit www.MySouthwestRegion.org for the latest updates.

 

Texas Conference ACS Activities

  • Mobile Distribution Unit: Texas Adventist Community Services’ Mobile Distribution Unit (MDU) was dispatched to San Antonio on Tuesday, August 29, where volunteers distributed care items to survivors in shelters. The MDU then made its way south to Rockport, Texas, and is currently in Victoria, Texas.
  • Donations Center: Volunteers at the Texas ACS donations center in Keene, Texas, are actively preparing cleanup buckets, hygiene kits, complete clothing outfits, and other donations.
  • Volunteer Opportunities: Email the Texas Adventist Community Services Department at acs@txsda.org to determine current needs and opportunities. Visit www.TexasAdventist.org for the latest updates.

 

Southwestern Adventist University Response 

  • Disaster Relief Kits: Southwestern Adventist University is partnering with Adventist Community Services to raise funds and assemble disaster relief kits. Monetary donations are most needed to fund this project. SWAU is fundraising with a goal of $10,000 for the kits.
  • Distribution Center: Students and faculty are volunteering at the Keene, Texas,  distribution center. On August 30, more than 50 students and faculty helped load an ACS semi-truck headed for the Houston area with supplies. They, along with other volunteers, will continue to assist with sorting and packing donations.
  • The Oaks Adventist Christian School Cleanup: A group of students and faculty is traveling to The Oaks Adventist Christian School on September 2 to help begin repairs. The school sustained damage due to flooding. James Friesen is a principal at The Oaks and is leading the organization from there.
  • Sock and Underwear Drive: The Southwestern Enactus team has partnered with a local charity to provide supplies for displaced families relocating near the university. The Keene Seventh-day Adventist Church choir is helping to collect donations, and boxes for collections are being placed in the community.

 

Who To Contact

 

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Hurricane Harvey: How We Can Help

August 29, 2017 » The Southwestern Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists is working in collaboration with the North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists,  Texas Conference of Seventh-day AdventistsSouthwest Region Conference of Seventh-day Adventist, Adventist Community Services, Southwestern Adventist University and others to assist the needs of those affected by Hurricane Harvey. Many have been asking how they can assist with relief efforts. Because the situation is ongoing and dangerous, Adventist response teams outside of Houston remain on standby waiting for authorization to enter. At this time many areas are only accessible by boat. We will share more information and updates regarding churches and schools as it becomes available. Join us in praying for safety, comfort, and peace for those affected. You can help those affected in a variety of ways that include: 

 

Monetary Donations: Monetary donations can be made to 
Adventist Community Services at www.AdventistCommunityServices.org
Southwest Region Conference ACS-Hurricane Harvey: https://goo.gl/bUrFc9
Texas Conference ACS-Hurricane Harvey: https://goo.gl/F9CALq

 

Donated Goods: Monitor the City of Houston (https://twitter.com/HoustonTX) and Houston Emergency Management (https://twitter.com/HoustonOEM) Twitter feeds for the latest updates regarding the need for donated goods.

 

Volunteer: Many shelters housing displaced individuals have been set up outside of Houston. Volunteers and donated goods are also needed at these shelters. Contact those shelters first to determine what items are needed before delivering your donations.

 

Give Blood: Blood banks are concerned about their supplies due to the cancellation of many planned donations in the affected area. Consider giving the gift of blood by visiting www.CarterBloodCare.org and finding a donation site near you. 

 

Make an Offering: On Saturday, September 9, a special offering across the North American Division has been designated for Hurricane Harvey Relief. Please mark any additional contributions “ACS Hurricane Relief” on your offering. 

 

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