Religion Today Summaries - September 6, 2005

Compiled & Edited by Crosswalk News Staff

Religion Today Summaries - September 6, 2005

Daily briefs of the top news stories impacting Christians around the world. In today's edition:

  • Samaritan's Purse Takes Convoy of Hope and Help to Katrina's Survivors 

  • Hurricane Katrina Relief Efforts Fuel Non-Denominational Evangelical Opportunities Amid Chaos

  • Reccord Visits LA Relief Sites, Urges Baptists To 'Step Up' Again 

  • Victims Of Hurricane Katrina Need Your Help!

Samaritan's Purse Takes Convoy of Hope and Help to Katrina's Survivors
Allie Martin, Agape Press

A spokesman for Samaritan's Purse says the Christian ministry is providing massive relief efforts to victims of Hurricane Katrina. A relief convoy, including three tractor trailers loaded with emergency supplies and life equipment, is in Mobile, Alabama, the first stopping point for the ministry's disaster response. Samaritan's Purse spokesman Jeremy Blume says emergency repairs are already under way. In addition to clearing trees and debris, Blume continues, the repair teams are spending time on numerous other tasks, such as "covering damaged roofs with weatherproof plastic, setting up generators to provide emergency power for the sick or elderly; [providing] clean water; and then, ultimately, pumping water out of homes in order to get to the process of being able to repair and rebuild." But as the crews go about the practical tasks of helping with physical relief and recovery for those affected by Hurricane Katrina, the Samaritan's Purse representative notes that they have opportunities to minister to people's spiritual needs as well.  He points out that, as they encounter and serve people devastated by loss of loved ones, belongings, or livelihood, the relief ministry's helpers will have many opportunities to share the love of Christ with displaced and discouraged disaster victims.

Hurricane Katrina Relief Efforts Fuel Non-Denominational Evangelical Opportunities Amid Chaos
Religion News Service

As the only nondenominational gospel tract ministry currently getting comforting messages into the hands of Hurricane Katrina victims, the 180- year- old ministry has always provided materials in times of crisis and seen many tragedies over the years. According to American Tract Society (ATS) Spokesperson, Donna Skell, “America grieves at the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina. Now we must gather our resources in order to help those who have lost so much. ATS wants to encourage churches, relief workers, and victims of the devastation with a tract written just for them.” Overall efforts are being made to help all evacuees who are staying at the Houston Astrodome and Dallas Reunion Arena. Already, 1,000s are being refused entry as they await in buses angry, tired and hungry. ATS President Dan Southern states, “Besides taking care of their immediate needs, thousands are going to require counseling and spiritual help. They need to know that in spite of it all, there is a God who loves them even when the unthinkable happens.” ATS provided nearly four million total tracts to churches and relief workers during the first few weeks of 9/11 in 2001. Recent efforts to Tsunami disaster areas overseas provided comforting messages of hope last January. For over 180 years the American Tract Society has provided over ten billion pages of Christian material in over 180 different languages. (

Reccord Visits LA Relief Sites, Urges Baptists To 'Step Up' Again
Mike Ebert, Baptist Press

North American Mission Board President Robert E. "Bob" Reccord visited Southern Baptist Disaster Relief sites in Baton Rouge and Covington, La., Friday, four days after Hurricane Katrina roared ashore. Baton Rouge has received thousands of evacuees from New Orleans and Reccord spent time with several as they ate lunches prepared by Southern Baptist Disaster Relief volunteers. The Southern Baptist relief effort now includes 1,200 volunteers in 130 mobile units from 26 states. Southern Baptist Disaster Relief leaders have said the response to Hurricane Katrina will be the largest in the 35-year history of Southern Baptist Disaster Relief efforts. "These people have literally lost everything," Reccord said of the evacuees. "The enormity of this disaster is truly stretching resources thin. We are pouring in everything we have, but if this effort is to be sustained, we are going to need Southern Baptists to step up as they never have before." The North American Mission Board sends 100 percent of contributions designated for disaster relief directly to those efforts. NAMB contributions may be made online at or mailed to the North American Mission Board, Box 116543, Atlanta, GA 30368-6543. A new toll-free number, 1-888-571-5895, has been set up for donations. Donations to the Domestic Hunger Fund may be made at or by calling (770) 410-6360. By specifying "Katrina Hunger Relief" funds donated will go directly to states affected by Katrina.

Victims Of Hurricane Katrina Need Your Help!
World Vision

Tens of thousands of children and families have been forced to flee their homes in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. They are grieving, as hundreds, perhaps thousands, are feared dead. The survivors are in shock. And they urgently need your prayers and your help! World Vision has already begun sending shipments of emergency supplies, including water containers, clothing, cooking equipment, personal care and sanitation items supplies donated by generous American corporations. World Vision is partnering with local churches and Christian agencies who are on the ground in the devastated areas distributing vital supplies, and offering prayer, counseling, and comfort for the victims of this disaster. And in the weeks, months and years to come, World Vision will stay for the long haul, partnering with local communities, churches and Christian organizations to help rebuild homes — and lives. Your gift today to World Vision's American Families Assistance Fund will ship and distribute these urgently needed goods to the families who need them most. Please join in prayer for hurting children and families in the Gulf region, and please send a donation of any size today. (