On Wednesday, October 10, 2018, Hurricane Michael made landfall in Mexico Beach, Florida with sustained winds of 155 miles per hour. With winds that strong, that made it nearly a Category 5. Michael is one of the strongest storms to ever hit the American mainland.
Utter devastation was left over after Michael was gone. When you see the graphic pictures you see homes and businesses completely engulfed by water. From the pictures and newscasts, you can see towns completely wiped out. Michael didn’t discriminate. Michael took everything in its path and didn’t think twice about who or what was affected.
I personally can attest to the tragedy that has been seen on the news. My own hometown was hit directly by Michael. Not only my hometown but my dad’s hometown also was hit hard. Marianna, Cottondale and Panama City all were my stomping grounds when I grew up, and all saw Michael’s wrath.
All of the residents said they would definitely evacuate next time. It was a terrifying experience for them all as they waited all night for the storm to pass not knowing what they would be left with when it was over.
Our small, quaint towns of Cottondale and Marianna will never look the same. Today, I have a sister whose home is destroyed. Her daughter’s family also lived with them and she had two babies with one on the way. So I know firsthand about the struggles going on in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael.
Fortunately, there are caring people that are willing to go out of their way to help. Organizations like the Association of Evangelical Gospel Assemblies (AEGA) are taking donations. They are then dispersing one-hundred percent (100%) of the donations given to those in need because of Hurricane Michael.
AEGA states, “There are untold billions of dollars in damage. There are dozens of lost lives and thousands of people from the Gulf Coast, the Florida Panhandle, southwest Georgia, and southeast Alabama have been displaced. Many homes have been lost and there are still people without everyday essentials as of October 22, 2018.
Together, the AEGA leadership along with the AEGA Southeast Regional Bishop and Area Coordinators will identify specific needs and disperse the funds raised to make sure the relief gets directly to those in need. One-hundred percent (100%) of all funds given for the Hurricane Michael Relief Fund will be dispersed to those in need. AEGA nor its partners retain any portion of the funds for administrative costs or other expenses.”
The Association of Evangelical Gospel Assemblies, Inc. (AEGA Ministries International) was founded in 1976 and is a non-denominational ministerial fellowship headquartered in Monroe, Louisiana. Our vision is for soul winning, church planting, missions, and Christian education. Today AEGA is a respected Association with several divisions having ministers and churches in over sixty countries.
From the beginning, AEGA has been committed to mission work throughout the world. Projects include church planting, developing Bible schools, disaster relief, feeding the poor, sponsoring needy children, an annual Christmas Box delivery, and a dynamic medical mission outreach. The AEGA World Missions Department has always shown great compassion and has been instrumental in sending millions of dollars in medicines and supplies around the world. Thousands of souls have been touched and brought into the Kingdom through this outreach alone.
With organizations like AEGA, it’s possible for communities to come together and rebuild. I don’t know what my hometown would do without the willingness of organizations such as AEGA. My hometown is working hard to make life normal again, whatever their new normal will be for the moment.
“I would like to personally thank all who give toward this tremendous need. In times like these, we must come together not only to pray but to put feet to our prayers. I know there are many organizations helping during this time, but it is not enough, more is needed. The devastation is so large it will take years to rebuild, but lives will be changed forever. You can be part of putting a smile back on someone’s face when they feel all hope is gone by showing God’s love through a helping hand.” says Dr. Jan Harbuck, AEGA Vice-President/Board Member, Monroe, Louisiana.
My family and friends are all thankful for people like Dr. Jan Harbuck who are willing to “show God’s love with a helping hand.” She’s willing to go that extra mile for someone in need. I could never thank her enough for being a willing servant for Christ. It’s in our hour of need that we really see Christ extended in His children. We need to be an example for those that don’t know Him and be His hand extended. We should open our hearts to those in need.
AEGA Minister, Rev. Adam Davis of Adam Davis Ministries, Dothan, Alab., states: “As a former police officer I have seen many things and the devastation of this hurricane surely is at the top of the list. Any amount given helps because we are better together! We are stronger together! We can help represent the hands and feet of Christ, the goodness of the Father to a hurting people. In the midst of terrible tragedy, the MASTER remains. It isn’t the PRESENCE of the storm that proves or disproves HIM; it’s the fact that, THROUGH HIM and BY HIM ALONE we RISE ABOVE IT. After the storm; He is the power to rebuild, the power to sustain, the strength to continue. He is the PERPETUAL PEACE we seek”.
We can be stronger after the storm if we stick together and help each other out. Lend a hand once in a while. If you see your brother or sister struggling, give them a hand to help them up. We need to stop kicking each other while we are down. It’s in our struggles that we find His presence more abundant. It’s in those times that He’s usually carrying us, and we don’t even realize it. I myself find it difficult to see until the struggle is over. Then when I look back, I can say, “Oh, yes! There you were Lord! You were there all along! Thank you for that!”
AEGA South East Regional Bishop Rev. Ricky Martin, Pastor of Sanctuary of Praise Church, in Dothan, Alab., describes his thoughts: “I woke up this morning beside my beautiful wife. I was able to take a warm shower, then fix breakfast and then get ready to go to the store to work. As I walked out of my home I noticed how hot and humid it already was. I immediately thought about the thousands who will be gearing up to go work on someone else property even though they need to be working on theirs. I thought about the humidity and how with very little effort they would be soaking wet. I thought about all the sorrow, discouragement and hopelessness they will see today. Then I thought how pleased our heavenly Father must be to see his church working together to help their fellow man. These folks don’t ask if you’re Baptist, Methodist, and Pentecostal or even if you know Jesus at all. They don’t care that you are white, black and brown. They don’t care where you come from. Today it won’t even matter whether you go for Alabama, Auburn, Florida State or any other team. Today we are all on one team, united under one goal and that’s to get our neighbors back to some kind of a regular life again. I won’t argue whether God brought Michael or not, but I know He definitely will use it for His glory. If you can’t work then give.”
You can help. Any amount given helps because we are better together! We are stronger together! We can help represent the hands and feet of Christ, the goodness of the Father to a hurting people. I have personally spoken to those that have lost everything because of Hurricane Michael. Every time I see the pictures of my hometown destroyed, the tears come creeping back. It hurts that I’m not there helping them clean up, but this is a way that I can help. This is a way that we can ALL help. If you can’t help restore power, cut up trees that have fallen on houses or pass out water and food; then give.
People’s lives have been forever changed, however, with organizations like AEGA lending a helping hand, moving on goes a little bit faster. In order for that to take place people like you have to give. You can click here to give. Imagine if it were your home or your parents home that was demolished. Wouldn’t you want someone to lend that hand and have a loving heart? I choose to believe that there are angels around us, and AEGA has proven that to be true. My personal thanks to AEGA and their staff for all that they are doing. You are appreciated by this writer.
***AEGA Fellowship www.aega.org offers ministerial credentials, chaplain endorsement for Military, VA, hospital and Federal Prisons. We offer subordinates status for the 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status under our group exemption to Churches, Evangelistic Ministries, Missionary Organizations, Counseling Centers, Music & Worship Ministries, Christian Schools, and Bible Colleges through the AEGA Fellowship and our group that cover non-church ministries Paragon Christian Alliance Int’l, Inc. AEGA also established a cowboy church fellowship call ICCAN – International Cowboy Church Alliance Network.
By Angela Parker
Special to SGNScoops website
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