Several Miami-based churches have issued relief and spiritual care after a 12-story condominium building collapsed last week, with over 150 people missing in the rubble.
Pastor J. P. Funk, who leads Calvary Chapel Miami Beach, woke up to the news last Thursday concerning the building’s collapse, which was only about a mile away from his church.
“You can see the smoke from smoldering ruins reminiscent of 9/11,” he told Christianity Today.
Champlain Towers South in Surfside was home to an international plethora of foreign refugees, South American immigrants, and Orthodox Jews. At least two people from Calvary Chapel Miami Beach lived in the building, including the mother of one of its members.
Despite being unable to help in the early days of search and research because the disaster site was clouded by smoke and inaccessible due to law enforcement, the church was later able to secure permission to minister at a pop-up tent beside the collapsed condo.
“On Friday, along with [praying for miracles], our focus has been the compassion and presence of God in the midst of crisis at a human level,” Funk said. “We pray for the families to quickly recover their loved ones’ remains as this causes great anguish once it is most probable that they have perished.”
Casa, a Spanish-speaking congregation located right across the street from Chaplain Towers, offered up its building to law enforcement and called on its members to provide food and drinks to those in need.
On Sunday, Church by the Sea, in nearby Bay Harbor Islands, dedicated its service to praying for the disaster and collected relief funds.
“Strengthen us that we may help carry the burden of those who suffer, those filled with worry, concern and grief; and those who still wait to hear of loved ones,” ministers Rob and Barbara Asinger wrote on Facebook. “Make us bearers of hope and agents of healing. Let your love be known through all those who work to bring order to the chaos—the firefighters, emergency workers and police.”
Members from Christian organizations such as the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and Youth With A Mission (YWAM) also came down to Florida to provide further spiritual care.
“Pray for the family members of those who lived in the building waiting to hear if their loved ones are safe or not,” Franklin Graham wrote on Facebook. “The Bible tells us, ‘God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble’ (Psalm 46:1).”
As Christian Headlines previously reported, the 12-story condominium building in Miami, Florida, suddenly collapsed last Thursday, killing at least ten and leaving more than 150 people missing. At this time, the cause of the collapse is still unknown.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Giorgio Viera/Contributor
Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer. He is also the co-hosts of the For Your Soul podcast, which seeks to equip the church with biblical truth and sound doctrine. Visit his blog Blessed Are The Forgiven.