Above photo from Huntington, Long Island, NY's Facebook Page
All in all, in spite of Super Storm Sandy’s deep and wide devastation, I would say that our northeast congregations are doing quite well. Our churches have not sustained the kind of damage that coastal areas and New York City have experienced because our churches are located off the coast – some further inland than others. Still, many of our people are being challenged by loss of electricity, freezer foods and heat. The day temperatures are in the mid-fifties but the nights are around forty degrees so it can get chilly. Some of our areas will be without power for more days to come and possibly into next week.
Though I have not been able to contact all pastors/churches due to the power outage, I have heard that there’s been modest damage to parsonages and churches but nothing of significance so far. I have been encouraged as I’ve heard of our people reaching out to their neighbors in need. One church which has bathrooms/showers has opened them to the community. Today I spoke with a pastoral family making their home available to friends and neighbors to get cleaned up and take a warm shower. Yes, praise the Lord for generators!
Though I am deeply saddened by the storm’s devastation, especially along the coastlines, I am encouraged to hear about our Lutheran Brethren people pulling together to care for each other and those around them.
A few prayer requests:
- That our churches in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York regain their electrical power.
- That Our Tuscarora Inn & Conference Center (our Bible camp) regain power. The annual women’s retreat is scheduled for this weekend. It may be cancelled due to loss of power and inability to travel due to many fallen trees.
- That in the midst of challenging times, we would remember that God has many good purposes in all this (Romans 8:28).
- That we would still seek the Lord for opportunities to care for others and also share the Gospel (John 14:6).
Thank you for praying for us.
Eastern Regional Pastor