Wilfredo and Glorimar Corps are long-time RBCers originally from the town of Aibonito, in the center of Puerto Rico.
As most of us are aware, Puerto Rico as recently been devastated by two hurricanes. When they visited Aibonito a week ago, Wilfredo and Glorimar were dismayed to discover both the extent of the damage and that much of the aid sent to Puerto Rico has not reached inland, where their town in located. Many families there are hurting, as well as a large senior assisted-living facility that is unable to provide three meals a day to its residents.
Twenty-two years ago, Wilfredo and Glorimar planted Primera Iglesia Bautista de Aibonito (First Baptist Church of Aibonito) in their garage. The church continued to grow even after the Corps left Puerto Rico for the mainland United States. Today, we have the opportunity to partner with this church to bring much-needed aid and supplies to the people there. The church has procured a waiver from the Puerto Rican government that will allow us to send a large amount of supplies and aid without import taxes. Wilfredo and Glorimar will be on-hand in Puerto Rico to receive our shipment of donated items, transport them to Aibonito and deliver them personally to people in need.
On Sunday, October 22, from 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., we will have a truck parked in front of the main building on the traffic circle where you can drop off aid and supply items you see on the list below. The goal of this project is to provide some basic necessities to sustain the people of Aibonito for the next 30-90 days, the estimated time frame until power and basic utilities will be restored to the town.
Here is a list of what we need:
- Power generators
- Extension cords
- Personal water filtration systems
- Drinking water
- Lamps (solar- and battery-powered)
- Non-perishable food items (canned food or items that don’t need refrigeration and can last 60-90 days)
- Powdered milk
- Baby formula
- Baby diapers
- Batteries size D, AA, and AAA
- Battery-operated fans
- Mosquito nets
- Mosquito repellent
- Solar-powered chargers (for phones and other electronics)
- Adult diapers
- Tarps (any size, the bigger the better)
- Power inverters
- Bed sheets (all sizes)
- Over-the-counter medication (Tylenol, Pepto Bismol, etc.)
- Clothing (not heavy or winter as PR is tropical year around)
- Personal hygiene items
Feel free to donate any of the items above in bulk as we are planning on a large container in which to ship them.
Finally, if you order anything from Amazon, please consider using smile.amazon.com, where you’ll find the exact same shopping experience as Amazon.com, with the added bonus that Amazon will donate 0.5% of the purchase price to RBC’s Benevolent Fund. You use the same account on Amazon.com and AmazonSmile, so your shopping cart, Wish List, wedding or baby registry, and other account settings are the same. On your first visit to AmazonSmile, simply select Reston Bible Church as your charitable organization. The website will remember your selection, and then every eligible purchase you make from then on will result in a donation.
We are looking forward to seeing how God will use the people of RBC to share Christ’s love with recent victims of natural disasters, first in Texas and now in Puerto Rico. Thank you for your willingness to help so many hurting people.
We are thankful for many who seek justice and love mercy. Over the past year, we have been able to contribute to both of these organizations because of your generosity.
An opportunity has arisen to show the love of Christ to Hurricane Harvey victims in Texas.
Christian Fellowship Church and RBC are teaming up with Samaritan’s Purse to sponsor a trip to the Corpus Christi area (one of the hardest hit) on November 5-11. Samaritan’s Purse is providing meals, lodging and tools — all you need do is get there. We estimate the cost to be $475 per person, which includes airfare and ground transportation while there. We have reserved a block of 15 plane tickets that must be purchased by Wednesday, October 4, on a first-come, first-served basis. The tickets are non-refundable, and background checks are required. If you have other questions about this work trip, please contact Dale Peak at email@example.com.
Participants must be 18 years of age to register. Participants 17 and under would only be allowed to participate if a parent or guardian was participating in the trip as well. Registrations will be on a first-come, first-served basis and space is very limited. Once registered, a link will be sent to each registrant to fill out the paperwork required by Samaritan’s Purse. You would not be considered officially registered until all paperwork is filled out completely. Please note that this is very appropriate, high-energy / low-skill work during the first phase of disaster response.
From Samaritan’s Purse
Thank you for partnering with Samaritan’s Purse as we minister to families whose homes were damaged during Hurricane Harvey. Far beyond the physical help you will extend to the homeowners, the spiritual and emotional support you offer to them is even more important. We hope your volunteer experience is rewarding and life-changing. Harvey made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane with sustained winds of 130 mph. Harvey remained a powerful storm and has brought torrential rain to Texas in the days that followed. Our response to this storm includes debris removal, roof tarping and mudouts.Join Wait List Download More Information
Please pray for the hope of Christ to reach theses devastated regions.
For those of you who have been here 10 years or longer, you probably remember our extensive involvement with disaster relief following Hurricane Katrina (sending a dozen work teams and a truckload of food and other supplies). At the moment, we ask that you pray, pray, pray for the victims and for an effective response that demonstrates God’s grace and love. Disasters like this often provide many opportunities for people to talk about Jesus Christ because of their joyful endurance, hopeful spirit, and works of love.
Here’s where we currently stand. As we did with Katrina, we are waiting until things settle down somewhat to determine our course of action. We certainly do not want to be in the way of early response teams, FEMA, etc. as they continue to rescue people and sort out needs. We also must find a church or churches in the area to partner with. We have learned from experience that this is the most effective way to extend our help from so far away. When it is safe for us to enter affected areas, we may once again send work crews to help clean up and repair. However, we need to wait until the danger has passed so as not to complicate the ongoing rescue operations. For example, many churches there are currently overwhelmed by acting as temporary shelters housing evacuees. They cannot accommodate work teams right now. Some hotels are reporting 10 or more people per room with little more than the clothes on their backs. So, as hard as it is, we must wait patiently for the right moment to be the most effective – remember, we sent our first team to Katrina (I was part of that team) six weeks after the storm.
If you feel led to do something now, there are options for you. If you want to go or give, we recommend contacting one or more of the following:
- Samaritan’s Purse is currently on the scene assessing the damage. We have teamed with this organization in the past and have been richly blessed by it.
- The American Red Cross is taking donations to help victims and asking people to donate much-needed blood at local drives.
- World Vision is assembling Family Food Kits.
- SPCA is helping families connect with lost pets.
Finally, if you have family members who have been severely affected by Harvey in the greater Houston area, or by Irma in Florida, please let us know. If and when we do send teams, we would love to start by rebuilding homes of your loved ones.
Please address your immediate questions to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and continue to pray for Houston and Florida!
This post has been updated in response to the impact of Hurricane Irma in Florida.
Many weeks ago, we made an announcement that Dr. John Brewer and been recommended for termination as principal of Dominion High School. By now, many of you know that the Loudoun County School Board concluded their discussions last Monday and voted 6-3 to reinstate John as principal beginning April 17.
On behalf of John, his wife Rachel and their daughters, they wanted us to pass on their deepest gratitude for the outpouring of support and prayers you showed them during the time of uncertainty. The LORD Jesus answered our prayers by having the School Board reinstate John as principal, and so we rejoice with the entire Dominion community that he will be back serving there soon.
While we care about John returning to his position as principal, we care even more for the reputation of his character when it is maligned. The incomplete facts found in newspapers, web sites and uttered elsewhere is partially due to not having access to all the facts. So much of what has been written and said could easily leave people suspicious of John’s basic character and integrity on a number of fronts.
A few things to bring to your attention: Several weeks ago, an independent hearing officer chosen by the Loudoun County School System heard two days of testimony from the Superintendent, school attorney, John and his attorney. The testimony centered on eight specific charges on why John should be terminated as principal. The hearing officer concluded that none of the specific eight charges – considered either individually or collectively – warranted termination. In summary, the hearing officer ruled 8-0 in favor of John as it pertains to termination. Nevertheless, the hearing officer did recommend some form of probation.
In order to place John on any form of probation, legal technicalities required that his current contract first be terminated so a new contract with terms of probation could be offered. That is the reason the board first voted 9-0 to terminate John. The first vote was not to agree with the Superintendent’s recommendation to terminate, but to satisfy legal requirements regarding his current contract. If this technical procedure had not been required, then the School Board would have voted once with six members voting to reinstate John and three voting to terminate him.
John acknowledges that there are some process and procedural matters that he should be more cognizant and alert to. Keep in mind that in his many years in the Loudoun County School System, there is no pattern of problems, even in those areas that he will be more attentive to. Furthermore, he has never ignored or treated lightly any allegations of misconduct by any teacher or student, and he has never coerced or manipulated any student to ever attend Reston Bible Church. It is also noteworthy that the teacher who was the catalyst for all this applied to multiple school systems around the country including the one in Florida. Each of them, except Florida, contacted either LCPS or John to further inquire why the band teacher abruptly resigned. After hearing a fuller explanation, all of them declined to extend an offer. Again, only the school system in Florida did not perform the due diligence all the other school systems did.
This does not constitute our full opinion on this saga or address other important issues, but we hope as you think of John and Rachel in the future please continue to pray for them, the Dominion High School community and everyone involved in LCPS administration according to each one’s need. John and Rachel have been an excellent example of the admonishment in 1 Peter 2:12-23, which we hope you’ll take some time to read.
This month, we have the opportunity to reflect on the sanctity of human life.
And that is certainly a topic worthy of reflection. Such a phrase represents far more than just a political issue or a cultural debate. Rather, it is a reminder of the value placed on us by God Himself.
All life is miraculous and amazing, a dazzling display of the Creator’s intricate design and handiwork. But human life is uniquely precious, significant, and sacred. How do we know that? Because Scripture, from beginning to end, reveals the profound esteem given to Adam’s descendants.
Human life is sacred because it is made in the image of God. “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them” (Genesis 1:27).
Human life is sacred because it is elevated above the rest of creation. “Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows” (Matthew 10:31).
Human life is sacred because God takes special care to craft each one. “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:13-14).
Human life is sacred because it is eternal. “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever” (Psalm 23:6).
Human life is sacred because Christ was willing to pay an inexpressible cost to redeem it. “But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5).
Human life is sacred because all of heaven celebrates when a sinner repents. “Just so, I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents” (Luke 15:10).
Human life is sacred because it is made for God’s glory. “Everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made” (Isaiah 43:7).
Human life is sacred because God loves it beyond measure. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
A question that may be at the forefront of our minds this month is: When does life become precious, sacred, and valuable? Is it when we’re holding a crying newborn at the hospital? Right before birth? When we see little arms and legs moving on an ultrasound? When we hear the first heartbeats? At the moment of conception?
Or maybe long before? “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world” (Ephesians 1:4).
Science may be able to speculate about when life “begins,” but only the Creator of life can assign it true worth. And He has assigned it immense worth. Incomprehensible worth.
So this month, and every month, we reflect on life. We marvel at life. And much more so, we marvel at the One who formed us.
Here are some post-election considerations from Pastor Mike as we interact on social media. As you interact with those around you – even (or especially) those with whom you disagree – consider how you might live out these these words from Colossians 3.
If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming. In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all.
Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.