Nazarenes respond after deadly wildfires in Hawaii

Nazarenes respond after deadly wildfires in Hawaii

by
Nazarene Compassionate Ministries
| 17 Aug 2023
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Maui Power pole down

The deadliest wildfire in the United States in more than 100 years has devastated the centuries-old community of Lahaina on Maui, Hawaii, claiming at least 110 lives at the time of this publication. 

The cause of the fires is still unknown, although it is suspected to be caused by issues with electrical lines. The fire was spurred on by dry grass from an ongoing drought, combustible non-native grasses, and 80 mph (128 kph) winds from a passing hurricane that helped the fire spread as quickly as one mile per minute in some areas. As of this week, the fires are 85% contained. Search teams continue to comb through areas that are safe to enter, looking for casualties. 

More than 3,200 people have registered with the federal government for aid, and that number is expected to rise. Relief efforts to provide temporary housing and emergency relief are underway, but a fuller scope of needs will become available in the coming days. Residents face challenges with limited cell phone service and access to electricity, and many are still unable to visit their damaged homes due to relief efforts. In some areas, water has been contaminated. 

Two Nazarene churches in Maui, Pukalani Community Church of the Nazarene and Kahului Church of the Nazarene, immediately began serving their neighbors. Both churches are hosting evacuees and providing needed supplies, food, water, and support. So far, over 6,000 crisis care kits have been mobilized to the island from Nazarene warehouses on the mainland.

“Our state has been hit by devastating wildfires in several locations, none worse than West Maui, where the historic town of Lahaina has risen in flames,” said Rick Powers, superintendent for the Hawaii Pacific District. “Our pastors and churches in Maui are working to respond to the disaster. Kahului and Pukalani churches have opened their facilities to shelter evacuees from affected areas. When the road to West Maui opens up, there will be a large influx of injured, houseless, and desperate people. . . This is a time to support our neighbors through prayer, giving, and volunteering as we’re able.” 

How to help

Pray

Pray for all who are mourning the loss of loved ones, homes, and livelihoods. Pray for swift assistance for all who are in need of support. Pray for survivors as they heal from physical wounds and traumatic memories. Pray for the most vulnerable, especially children, women, the elderly, and those with disabilities. Pray for churches and leaders as they respond with compassion. To send a prayer or note of encouragement, go to ncm.org/pray.

Give

Churches and individuals around the world can provide support through the Maui Wildfire Response fund. Donations will be used for immediate needs, such as blankets and food, as well as long-term recovery and rebuilding efforts.

To send donations by mail:

In the U.S., make checks payable to "General Treasurer" and send them to: 

Global Treasury Services
Church of the Nazarene
P.O. Box 843116
Kansas City, MO 64184-3116

Be sure to put 140029 in the Memo area.

In Canada, make checks payable to "Church of the Nazarene Canada" and send them to:

Church of the Nazarene Canada
3657 Ponytrail Drive, Mississauga, ON | L4X 1W5

Be sure to put 140029 in the Memo area.

For any other country, give through your local church or district, designating your gift to Maui Fire Response fund.

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