Jun29WedJune 29, 2016
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Islamofacism marches on and the headlines with it as Istanbul reels from yet another Muslim massacre, yet the wounds of Orlando are still fresh.
Many churches have stepped up to help heal those wounds. One of the churches closest to the nightclub, less than a mile away in fact, is DISCOVERY CHURCH’S (DC) Central campus. Website: http://www.discoverychurch.org/.
I spoke with DC Central’s pastor, Ralph Howe, this week to learn what they were doing and how we could help. As of Tuesday, he explained, ONE ORLANDO, the public fund established to help the victims had raised $8m. That money, according to Orlando’s WESH news (NBC affiliate), will be distributed through area non-profit groups after the groups convene with the Central Florida Foundation to assess the needs, how each group plans to meet the needs, and where they have gaps in funding.
Equality Florida, the LGBT advocacy group which has also raised over $4m to date, will also be distributing funds to survivors and victim’s families via The National Center for the Victims of Crime Compassion Fund.
All of that takes time and will no doubt be linked to more LGBT advocacy, which is understandable. But those of us who follow Christ and want to help can do so immediately with the confidence that our gifts will be distributed quickly, with integrity to the gospel, by giving to support HEAL ORLANDO, DISCOVERY CHURCH’S fund.
Pastor Howe reports that HEAL ORLANDO has raised $14,000 to date, and some of that money has already been used to provide rental cars and hotel accommodations for victim’s families, many of whom are from Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. One such family, unable to access aid from anywhere, was camping out in order to be near their loved one. DISCOVERY CHURCH members located them and got them into a hotel. Also, because of the way terrorism riders are written in insurance policies, many will find that their health insurance won’t pay and some of the survivors can expect to spend six months in the hospital. HEAL ORLANDO hopes to help with some of those bills.
Finally, DISCOVERY CHURCH recognized something that had gone unnoticed in the news. Area businesses within a three quarter mile radius of PULSE were stifled for a week as law enforcement officials cordoned the area off for their investigation. Many of these are small businesses with limited cash reserves and employees who lost wages due to the investigation. DISCOVERY CHURCH sent teams out to visit the businesses and, in some cases, helped to pay these employees so that they wouldn’t be victims as well.
FCC will receive a special offering at the end of the service this week to send to DISCOVERY CHURCH’S HEAL ORLANDO FUND. If you would like to give directly to the fund, please visit: http://www.discoverychurch.org/give.