- Presbyterian Churches throughout Nebraska send 9,000 pounds of emergency goods.
- The effort is part of the PCUSA’s dedication to assisting in disaster response.
- The immediate availability of supplies come from the work of congregations throughout Nebraska who pack and prepare for disaster as part of their mission.
Sept. 18, 2020 Omaha, Nebraska
Presbyterian Churches across the state of Nebraska sent 9,000 pounds of emergency goods to DeRidder, LA for clean-up and recovery. The items included clean-up buckets filled with cleaning materials, hygiene kits, and light blankets. The prepared items will provide the necessities to families who are starting to put their lives back together. Rev. Jon Sloan, Pastor at First Presbyterian Church in Omaha, spearheaded the effort to build a local supply that could be deployed immediately. According to Sloan, the effort of the churches is “to help a community devastated by natural disasters with the rebuilding and recovery process.”
First Presbyterian Church in Deridder, LA received the supplies on September 14 under the leadership of Rev. Jerald Egbert. Rev. Egbert is on the front lines of hurricane recovery and is providing a staging area for assisting the devastated Lake Charles area which is thirty miles south. A former Master Sergeant in the U.S. Army, Rev. Egbert explained that “the level of destruction is not unlike that which I have seen in combat. I am now familiar with the people in my community experiencing the same pain as that experienced in combat.”
The supplies made an immediate effect on the area as people had all of the essential tools for the clean-up and those necessities of life. As hurricane survivor Debbie Sarah noted, “This is invaluable to the work and mission of the church. Not only our own church members but those in the community who are in desperate need.”
While the toll of the hurricane is incalculable, there is a joy in receiving emergency supplies from people in another state and another place. Rev. Sharon Rees in Minden, NE commented, “Participating in this disaster relief reminded my congregation in Minden just how much impact they could make for good. Their efforts have helped turned a path of destruction into a journey of hope.” It is a reminder of how we can take care of each other. It is a time of putting the pieces together in a time when natural disasters seem to be taking us apart.
Presbyterian Churches from throughout the area have gathered, compiled, and delivered the items including, Faithful Shepherd Presbyterian Church, First Presbyterian Church in Omaha, Discovery Presbyterian Church, Bethany Presbyterian Church, West Hills Presbyterian Church, Faith Presbyterian Church, Presbyterian Church of the Cross, Presbyterian Church of the Master, Good Shepherd Presbyterian Church in Lincoln, Homestead Presbytery, Presbytery of Missouri River Valley, and in Beaver Butler Presbytery PA, Bethany Presbyterian Church and Grace Presbyterian Church. Also, Westminster United Presbyterian Church in Minden, NE, and Hickman Presbyterian Church in Hickman, NE have added financial and logistical help. These churches are members of the Presbyterian Church USA.
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