World Hope International (WHI) is mobilizing to respond to potential victims of Hurricane Dorian, a Category 4 storm impacting the Bahamas and potential coastal locations in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina. Communications are ongoing with district leaders as events unfold and rescue/relief needs are identified. As of this morning, Hurricane Dorian has been downgraded to a Category 3 storm.

Florida District Superintendent Patrick Styers asks The Wesleyan Church to pray for two Wesleyan churches located on Grand Bahama, 50 miles southeast of West Palm Beach, Florida — New Beginning Wesleyan Holiness Center and Lighthouse Wesleyan Outreach Ministries. Styers has heard from pastors of both ministries, the most recent occurring Monday, September 2.

“Reverend Raymond Simonze, pastor of a brand-new church, has evacuated to Freeport. His home on Eight Mile Rock was 20 feet underwater when he left,” Styers said. “Reverends Simonze and Rolle have endured two other hurricanes within the past 15 years. Dorian is anticipated by both to be the worse.

“Prayers are urgently needed for help in rescuing residents,” said Styers. “Practical help like boats that have done rescue. We don’t yet know the extent of the damage, but we believe there will be widespread devastation and a lot of work required to rebuild.”

WHI President John Lyon reports, “We are sending our pre-positioned water desalination equipment to the Bahamas on Tuesday with Keith Norris, WHI’s water director, and four volunteers. More volunteers are likely going to be needed later this week.

“If this storm hits the mainland, we will do something like we did with Hurricane Michael last year where we delivered supplies to churches with airplanes for churches to support those in need in their communities, and we’d love to support Wesleyan churches that want to support their communities”, said Lyon. “We will be working with partners to send volunteer aviation partners from St. Petersburg and Okeechobee, Florida. We plan to use these bases of operations to get supplies and volunteers to the Bahamas as well.”

Lyon anticipates issuing a request for volunteers after WHI gets a damage assessment.

For more information on WHI mobilization, click here.

Photo Credit: NOAA