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Hurricane Patricia pounds Mexico; churches responding

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Jailisco, Mexico

This satellite image taken at 1:45 p.m. EDT on Friday, Oct. 23, 2015, and released by NASA, shows the eastern quadrant and pinhole eye of Hurricane Patricia moving towards southwestern Mexico. The Category 5 storm is strongest ever in the Western Hemisphere, according to forecasters. (NOAA GOES Project/NASA via AP)

Although the category-5 hurricane — the strongest ever recorded by the U.S. National Hurricane Center — had weakened before making landfall, the damage was extensive. The super storm destroyed homes, uprooted trees, and flooded streets. The rains also caused mudslides in areas and flooding, particularly in rural areas.

Two people died, and four others were reported missing in Jailisco. Dozens sustained injuries.

The storm affected tourist areas, including Puerto Vallarta, which is known for high-end resorts but is also an area where half of the people live in poverty.

Nazarene churches and communities have also been affected, particularly in the Mexican states of Jalisco, Nayarit, and Colima. Pastor Bernardo Vázquez reported that the Nazarene church in Melaque and the church in Barra Navidad were affected. There is no safe drinking water and no power in their area. They are looking for families from their congregation who were unable to take refuge in the churches.

Pastor Jose Manuel Zavala of the Church of the Nazarene in Puerto Vallarta said that some families have safe places to stay, but others are waiting to be evacuated. The church is being used as a shelter. Four Nazarene churches are in that affected area: Churches of the Nazarene in San Patricio Melaque (Jalisco, Puerto Vallarta (Jalisco), Mision Manzanillo (Colima), and Mision del Monteón (Nayarit).

Church leaders in Mexico are requesting prayer and support. Carlos Saenz, director of the Mesoamerica Region, said, “Please pray and intercede for Mexico and the Nazarene family in the affected area.”

How you can help:

Pray

Please pray for people who have lost their homes and livelihoods. Pray for children and others who are especially vulnerable during disasters. And pray for congregations and church leaders as they work to meet the needs of their neighbors in Jesus’ name.

Give

To support Nazarene response efforts, give to the Hurricane Patricia Disaster Response Fund. Donations will be used to meet immediate needs, such as water, food, and shelter, as well as long-term recovery and rebuilding efforts.

To send donations by mail, find your country below.

In the U.S., make checks payable to “General Treasurer” and send them to:

Global Treasury Services

Church of the Nazarene

P.O. Box 843116

Kansas City, MO 64184-3116

Be sure to put 125458 in the Memo area.

In Canada, make checks payable to “Church of the Nazarene Canada” and send them to:

Church of the Nazarene Canada

20 Regan Road, Unit 9

Brampton, Ontario L7A 1C3

Be sure to put 125458 in the Memo area.

For additional countries, give through your local church or district, designating your gift to the NCM Hurricane Patricia Relief Fund.

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