Hurricane Irma takes direct aim at Florida

At least 14 deaths have been attributed to Irma, Reuters reported: Four people died in the U.S. Virgin islands; one person died in Barbuda; another person was killed in Anguilla; four bodies were recovered on the French-Dutch island of Saint Martin; three people were killed in Puerto Rico; and a surfer was reported killed in Barbados.

Cuba started evacuating tourists, including 36,000 visitors to its northern resorts, Reuters added.

Puerto Rico still had hundreds of thousands of customers left without electricity.

Turks and Caicos lost communications as the storm struck, but the full extent of the devastation there was not immediately clear.

Late Thursday, the National Hurricane Center issued hurricane warnings for South Florida and the Keys, as forecasters predicted a sizable portion of the state will be affected when Irma reaches the state during the weekend.

Major roads in South Florida were congested most of Thursday, as Floridians heeded Gov. Rick Scott’s order to leave an evacuation zone that is home to 500,000 people.

Some predicted that Irma could eclipse 1992’s Hurricane Andrew as the storm that haunts Floridians long after it ends.

“The effect of Irma on the state of Florida is going to be much greater than Andrew’s effect,” said Weather Channel senior hurricane specialist Bryan Norcross, who was a local television meteorologist hailed as a hero during Andrew. “We’re dealing with an entirely different level of phenomenon. There is no storm to compare with this. Unless you go way back to 1926.”

An update at 8 a.m. Friday from the National Hurricane Center showed Irma with wind gusts of 150 mph. The storm was moving about 16 mph, the hurricane center said

The hurricane center said its storm surge warning covers Jupiter Inlet southward around the Florida peninsula to Bonita Beach, as well as the Florida Keys.

Its hurricane warning covers Jupiter Inlet southward around the Florida peninsula to Bonita Beach, as well as the Florida Keys, Lake Okeechobee, and Florida Bay.

In addition, a storm surge watch has been issued for the east coast of Florida, north of Jupiter Inlet to Sebastian Inlet and for the west coast of Florida north of Bonita Beach to Venice.

A hurricane watch has been issued for the east coast of Florida
north of Jupiter Inlet to Sebastian Inlet and for the west coast of
Florida north of Bonita Beach to Anna Maria Island.

Meanwhile, the government of the Dominican Republic has discontinued the hurricane warning for the country’s northern coast, the hurricane center said.

In the U.S. Virgin Islands, hurricane victims received assistance from three U.S. Navy vessels deployed to the U.S. territory: the USS Wasp, USS Kearsarge and USS Oak Hill.

The Navy crews aboard the ships were able to offer medical support, security, heavy lift capabilities and other assistance, a U.S. Navy release said.

Earlier Thursday, Gov. Scott urged hundreds of thousands of people to evacuate before Hurricane Irma makes potential landfall — as forecast models on Thursday predicted the storm moving further west, more directly in the state’s path.

“If you live in any evacuation zones and you’re still at home, leave!” Scott warned at a news conference Thursday. “Do not try to ride out this storm. … We can’t save you once the storm hits.”

Scott said that regardless of their location, people should be ready to get out. The governor noted that Florida’s western coast “will still have hurricane conditions.”

The storm is expected to travel west in the coming days, and will remain a Category 5, or possibly drop to a 4, according to the NHC.

With winds that peaked earlier at 185 mph, Hurricane Irma was the most powerful hurricane ever recorded in the Atlantic, and has killed at least 13 people, including four deaths in the U.S. Virgin Islands, according to the Associated Press.

“Look at the size of this storm. It is wider than our entire state,” Scott said. “Every Floridian should take this serious and protect your family.”

Gov. Scott said he’s activated 4,000 members of the National Guard in Florida, and all 7,000 will be deployed on Friday.

Shifting forecasts have also raised the threat to the Southeast from Irma, prompting emergency declarations in the Carolinas and coastal Georgia, including areas that haven’t suffered a direct hit from a major hurricane in more than a century.

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal ordered a mandatory evacuation starting on Saturday from the state’s Atlantic coast ahead of Hurricane Irma, including the city of Savannah. Nearly 540,000 residents on the coast were ordered to evacuate inland.

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster also declared a state of emergency. A major strike there would be the first in nearly 28 years.


GALVESTON TEXAS APOSTOLIC CHURCH DISASTER FUND


WORLD CHRISTIAN NEWS 4U  IS RAISING FUNDS FOR THE GALVESTON UPC CHURCH IN GALVESTON TEXAS PLEASE DONATE TO THIS WORTHY CAUSE

Here is a message from Sister Sharon Harrison who has related the damage there:

This is Sis. Harrison. Our church family has suffered many losses. Bro. Morton & his family had water to the entire 1st floor of their home& are staying in a hotel.They also lost 2 or 3 vehicles. Several other families had water in their homes. One family lost everything. We woke up to the bayou which is behind the houses across our street right at our front & back doors. Our garage had already flooded. This is all overwhelming since it’s unlike anything we’ve ever seen. We never expected to see the amounts of water we saw. One family waded out in waist deep water. Anything you could do would be appreciated because so many have lost so much. Thank you and God bless y’all.

YOU CAN DONATE BY CLICKING ON THE DONATE BUTTON BELOW. ALL FUNDS WILL BE SENT TO THE GALVESTON UNITED PENTECOSTAL CHURCH


If you would like to help with ongoing relief and recovery efforts, you may give to the following. Donations are tax deductible.

 

UPCI Relief Fund.

We will disburse money to affected churches in coordination with the district. Click here to donate NOW.

Here is the full URL:        https://give.upci.org/p-14486-hurricane-harvey-emergency-relief-fund.aspx

 

The South Texas District is mobilizing recovery teams to assess damage and assist churches and individuals in recovery. The district will also attempt to find temporary places for church services and housing as may be needed in the days ahead. The online giving portal is here.

The full URL: https://secure.accessacs.com/access/oglogin.aspx?sn=142376&f=614

 

The UPCI-endorsed disaster relief organizations, Compassion Services International www.compassionservices.org and Reach Out America

http://www.reachoutamerica.org. Their websites have links to their donation pages.

WHAT THE MISSIONARY’S KID’S SEE!

THE MISSIONARY’S KID’S VIEW! FOR YOUR EYES ONLY?

Forgiveness Revival
Editor’s Note- Recently I opened my email and found a letter from a Missionary’s Kid that really touched my heart. I am sure after reading it your heart will be touched also. So many times we do not know the hurt that our children feel when as a  Pastor, Evangelist, or Missionary Kid they suffer attacks or see attacks on their family from supposedly Saints of God or church people.  In many cases when one come’s to the Lord Jesus Christ and is filled with the Holy Spirit. They receive a powerful experience. Because of their respect of the man of God that revealed to them this wonderful experience with God, they then turn to their Overseer and will follow any teaching that they teach even becoming a Pharisee which Jesus Christ warned against. Matthew 23:13    Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves. I hate to reveal this but many of our early Minister’s could not read when they first came to God. As a result of this many began to preach their private interpretation of the Word of God sometimes even their own personal convictions that others had to keep as salvation issues. If you did not keep their commandments you were lost and many times judged. Forgiveness would sometimes be forgotten by those that followed the Pharisee walk even though those that were children of God had been forgiven.  One of these ideas was that if a Minister fell he could never get back up and continue in the ministry even though the Word of God in Romans 11:29 states that the gifts and calling of God is without repentance. (turning away from)  

During my tenure as a Pastor I forgave many former ministers that had fallen and tried to help them get back on their feet and fight Satan one more time. Some turn out well other’s tried to cut my throat, but the most important thing was I forgave them. You will not go wrong when you make forgiveness the most important ingredient in your walk with God. My Pastor Robert Glass spoke to me about forgiving and his statement was,” Brother Duke, the hardest ones to forgive are your Brothers and Sisters in the Lord and they are the ones that will hurt you most.”  It did not take me long to find that out and it probably will not take you long either. My prayer is that what this Missionary Kid went through might prepare other Missionary kids. God bless all of our Missionaries. 

Here is a copy of that letter:

February 21st 12:00 a.m. I was awakening by a strong presence in my room. I am not able to explain in words the feeling I was experiencing. So I won’t even make the attempt to explain.
As I laid there I began to pray for Gods help because of the overwhelming guilt that I’ve experienced, due to my shortfalls in my walk with & without God Almighty.
I was brought up in a home of a Pentecostal preacher and experienced & seen wide ranges of standards – beliefs – and in many cases, very judgmental views within the Pentecostal churches. I truly believe in the message that the UPC teaches. Yet through all of the good, there is a large gap in the area of forgiveness, towards struggling brothers & sisters in the Lord. I felt impressed in my heart, that revival or lack thereof is predicated on how we look at people. Judging the book by its cover, if I may.
I want to share a couple of life experiences that I (Missionary kid) have witnessed, while traveling around the country with my parents. As a very young boy, I was observant to things that were said and or happened while visiting Pentecostal churches. Here are a couple examples that plague me and disturb my mind. I recall one incident when a church either cancelled or did not except our invitation to be with them while on deputation. It was all about perception, and not the condition of a person’s heart or walk with God. The minister said that the photo of my parents looked like my mother had cut her hair. This never was the case and was very detrimental to our family. This was said to other ministers and of course this went around to other churches. Unfortunately as we all know, bad news travels fast and in many cases believed by many. Another incident that stands out and bothers me to this day, was when an assistant pastor had got divorced (no fault of his own) yet many churches condemned him and would not allow him to preach in their churches. We have ministers that have fallen from the grace of God and later come back to Pentecostal church only to be shunned. It is a bigger problem than most ministers want to accept. You’re alienated from the click. We serve a mighty God that forgives us daily, yet our churches refused to do so, in many cases. We must be cognate that God forgives us at the same measure we are willing to forgive others.

I often wonder how the Apostle Paul, Apostle Peter, Danial, King David, Jonah & others would fair in our organization after their sinful acts, Denial of Jesus and running from God. Why do we make it more difficult to come back to our Lord and Savior “Jesus Christ” than God himself does?
I promise if compassion was given and welcoming arms were stretched out for the hurting and those that stumble and the judgmental spirit would subside we could help many souls return home. I speak from experience.
I feel God spoke to my heart and this is why I am writing. To have revival, God impressed on my hearts it must start with forgiveness of others and restrain from being judgmental even to the extent of placing our personal convictions on one another. If it’s not biblical then it shouldn’t be forced on to others. As I said earlier, you cannot judge a book by its cover. I know many individuals with beautiful long hair; dresses to their ankles, yet carry a very nasty spirits (attitude) condemning fellow saints because they don’t dress like them. And I’ve seen others not dressed so prim & proper, praising and worshiping God Almighty & carrying a beautiful spirit. Why is this? Maybe it’s what is on the inside (of the book). Don’t take this wrong. I believe in holiness standard. Not man made standards.
I am not much of a writer but felt I had to say this, in hope this falls in the right hands. I don’t even have a clue who to send this too at this point but I’m tired of running from God and want to do his will in my life. I have never been wakened from a deep sleep with such a strong presence in my room as has just happened to me.
I do ask for all the prayers of the saints and ministry that I may be used of God and that I may impact someone to serve the One and only True God “Jesus”.
May God do a work in the last days, and my prayer is that I may help harvest the field and not continue to bury my talent.
I want to win family and friends. If we can only show compassion and forgiveness revival will come to our churches. I know this is a word from the Lord. I know this because of the power I felt in my bedroom that woke me from a deep sleep. I have not served the Lord like I should but God knows my heart better than I even do. Right now my heart is heavy with grief of my past and shamefulness of what I’ve done in my life. I want to do his will moving forward.
Please pray for my family & I
God Bless you all,

IN CLOSING PLEASE NOTE THAT THE BEST WAY FOR OTHER’S TO DESIRE YOUR STANDARDS ARE FOR THEM TO BE SEEN AND NOT FORCED DOWN THEIR THROATS AND THAT YOU HAVE A SPIRIT THAT IS OF GOD (SWEET SWEET SPIRIT)