In an interview with CBN News, Makana Delovio, the pastor of New Hope Legacy Church on the island, observed that “as soon as the volcano broke, a group of pastors from many different denominations that “don’t agree on every except that Jesus died on the cross to save us from our sins and is how you get to heaven,” met to pray a develop a plan of action to help those affected by the eruptions.
He noted that Christians on the island are in a much different situation than those of us in the U.S. Mainland. Being confined to the island contributes to “a unique Christian community . . . The fact that you can’t get in a car and drive out of state brings us closer to one another.”
Chris Martin, the executive director of the Hawaii Pacific Baptist Convention, told the Baptist Press that the group is stepping in to meet immediate needs first, including food, housing, and mobile shower units. They are also trying to help people minimize material loses by moving valuables out of homes that are in danger of being overrun by the lava flow.
Ten members of the Puna Baptist Church have already had to evacuate their homes, two of which have been destroyed. Other church members have been housing the evacuees until longer-term arrangements can be made.
Samaritan’s Purse has been supplying respirator units that are becoming a necessity for the “lash” air created with lava reaches salt water and forms a toxic combination of lava, ash, and steam. Local churches are distributing thousands of N95 ash masks to mitigate inhalation of toxic air.
The greater and eternal reward is that the best time to help people is when they know they need help. There are still many native Hawaiians who link the volcano to a goddess named Pele. Humanitarian assistance is a good thing but sharing with frightened people who need to know Jesus Christ, the One True God is the ultimate opportunity for Christians on the island and other believers ministering to the thousands whose spiritual needs far outweigh their material losses.
Pray for victims of the volcano and for those who are ministering to them in the name of Jesus.
Note: Most, if not all, of the people who have lost their homes so far, have no homeowners’ insurance – something quite difficult to get when you live near a volcano.
- Christian Daily, Hawaii volcano eruption brings Christian communities together in evacuation efforts
- CNN, Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano spews lava
- Christian Headlines, Hawaii’s Kilauea Volcano Erupts Forcing Evacuations of 1,700 people
- CBN News, ‘Hands and Feet of Christ’: Christian Response to Hawaiian Volcano Disaster
- PJ Media, Southern Baptists Are at It Again, Providing Disaster Relief During Hawaii’s Volcano Eruption
- Baptist Press, Hawaii volcano blasts churches into action