When Hurricane Dorian ripped through the Bahamas Labor Day weekend, I wanted to help and to invite our readers to help, as we have done before so many times over the years. We were able to immediately send $20,000 through our nonprofit partner, Christian Life Missions. I am hoping thousands of you will want to help.
We will give every dollar to this effort. We are working with Convoy of Hope, the respected humanitarian organization from Springfield, Missouri. I've been friends with the founder Hal Donaldson since the early 1980s, and we have covered the work of Convoy, which has sent more than $1 billion worth of aid to the needy over the past two decades.
By way of background, I'm sure you are aware of the devastation Hurricane Dorian wreaked on the Bahamas several weeks ago. The Category 5 hurricane sat over the Bahamas for over 20 hours, causing unthinkable damage. The official death toll is 52, but officials expect that number to increase since 1,300 people are still missing.
And in addition to the tragic deaths, thousands of homes and other buildings were razed to the ground during the storm. People are in great need of shelter and basic necessities. Thankfully, several humanitarian organizations are rising to the occasion, including a Christian nonprofit called Convoy of Hope.
I had the opportunity to interview Convoy of Hope CEO Hal Donaldson about what the nonprofit is doing to help the Bahamas. When I interviewed Donaldson, he had just returned from the Bahamas, where he saw the devastation firsthand.
"Imagine a 23-foot surge and the devastation that will do to an island that doesn't really have mountains," Donaldson says. "I've been to disasters all over the world, and this is one of the worst I've seen because of how broad it is, how wide it is, how many miles it covers.
"Block after block of homes have been destroyed. Because of the water, people are gutting out their homes and piling everything in the streets. There's no electricity, no running water. So citizens are truly dependent on organizations like Convoy of Hope and other great organizations that are responding at the time."
Donaldson says churches in the U.S.—including Christ Fellowship in West Palm Beach, Florida, and Stephen Furtick's Elevation Church in Matthews, North Carolina—are pitching in to help Convoy of Hope. These churches are sending volunteers, supplies and money to get the job done.
"People asked me in the last 24 hours, 'Did you see the devastation?'" he says. "And I said, 'I did. But I also saw the church in action—the church representing Jesus in a desperate situation and people hearing that Jesus loves them.
Donaldson is grateful for how people and corporations are responding. He says companies like Bass Pro are making huge commitments to the Bahamas through Convoy of Hope.
One of the main ways Convoy of Hope is helping is by providing resources. The nonprofit has been turning churches into distribution centers. By the time Donaldson and I spoke, Convoy of Hope had already sent 30 plane loads of supplies and around 20 containers of food, emergency supplies, water, water filters and solar lanterns. People can learn how put together a hygiene kit for the Bahamas simply by visiting convoyofhope.org.
On that website, you can also get regular updates on what's happening on the ground and how Convoy of Hope is directly responding to the needs.
"These disasters have a short shelf life in the media," Donaldson says. "A week passes, and they're already on to a different story. Meanwhile, you have thousands of people in the Bahamas who are trying to put their lives back together. And what also happens is that a relief organization—some of them leave when they can no longer raise dollars."
Thankfully, Convoy of Hope has made a long-term commitment to helping the Bahamas. But the ministry needs help.
That's why Charisma Media's nonprofit arm, Christian Life Missions, has given $20,000 to Convoy of Hope for the Bahamas. I encourage you to join us in contributing whatever you can to the cause. The Bahamas is hurting deeply, and any amount you can give—whether large or small—can help make a difference in someone's life.
If you want to contribute to Convoy of Hope's work in the Bahamas, click here to donate through Christian Life Missions as the Holy Spirit leads you. I believe we can change thousands of lives in the Bahamas if we work together! My wife and I have personally given and we hope you will too. If your church wants to participate, you can do it through Christian Life Missions (and we will pass it along) or you can give directly to Convoy of Hope.
For more information on the suffering in the Bahamas and what Convoy of Hope is doing to help, click here to listen to my full interview with Donaldson. And if you believe in what the ministry is doing, be sure to share this article on your social media and spread the word.
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