A Vineyard pastor in the line of Hurricane Michael has hunkered down ahead of the storm and is ready for whatever the natural disaster throws his way.
"We are praying for God to take out the destruction power from Hurricane Michael, preserve life and property and that this will be an opportunity for our community to draw closer to God," says Lyle Peluso, pastor of Dothan Vineyard Church in Dothan, Alabama. Dothan is in southeast Alabama along on Florida panhandle.
Though the storm just made landfall Wednesday afternoon, Peluso and others deployed resources earlier in the week.
Peluso says he has team leaders on standby to monitor the church family's needs tomorrow morning, and next to monitor the needs of their neighbors and neighborhoods. They've also organized a "Chainsaw Gang" to help those with fallen trees and are asking for volunteers to assist as needed.
Dothan Vineyard Church also operates a separate nonprofit called Living Hope Community Center in the downtown area.
After the storm passes through, Peluso says they will open the center's doors, provided it is safe, to hand out resources to anyone in need.
The church is will be collecting food donations, clothing donations, sleeping bags, blankets, pillows, sweatshirts, jackets and shoes among other items to pass out to victims after the storm.
"We haven't seen the worst yet, so we have no idea what we will face," Peluso says. "Our responses could change drastically. This is a historic storm, right now 150 mph winds. ... The thing we need most from everyone right now is prayer support before, during and after the storm."
To donate to the Dothan Vineyard or Living Hope Community Center, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Other major charity organizations have mobilized to minister to storm victims.
"As Hurricane Michael makes landfall, World Vision is preparing to respond with aid to those impacted by the potentially catastrophic storm," according to a World Vision spokesperson. "Today, World Vision will start shipping urgently needed relief supplies of food kits, hygiene kits, clean water, blankets, diapers and other personal care items from its warehouse in North Texas. Over the next 24 hours, we will ship relief supplies to reach around 3,000 of the most vulnerable people impacted by Hurricane Michael."
Two truckloads of supplies are currently on their way, from Convoy's World Distribution Center in Springfield, Missouri, and advance staff are already in Florida ahead of the storm. Additional disaster-response team members will move in on the heels of the storm and will set up a central distribution site as soon as the storm clears the area. The site will have food, water, hygiene kits and other disaster relief supplies available.
"The predicted storm surges in combination with damaging winds could cause catastrophic destruction and mass power outages. Convoy of Hope is prepared to provide emergency resources immediately following the disaster," says Jeff Nene, Convoy of Hope's national spokesperson.
Samaritan's Purse staff members are keeping a close eye on Michael and its path, and are prepared with equipment, ready to respond to help those in need. The organization has touched base with church partners in the path of the storm.
"Even as our teams work hard to help those affected by Hurricane Florence, our eyes are on the Gulf Coast," says Samaritan's Purse President Franklin Graham. "Michael is the worst hurricane to hit the Florida Panhandle in the last 150 years. We are praying for everyone in its path and preparing to help in Jesus' name after the storm passes."
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