CHICAGO, IL (April 30, 2015) — Clergy from the west side of Chicago are gearing up to provide assistance for the international humanitarian crisis in Nepal that stemmed from Saturday’s earthquake.
The death toll from Nepal’s earthquake rose to over 5,000 on Wednesday, four days after the massive quake ripped across this Himalayan nation, leaving multiple thousands of people shell-shocked and homeless.
Faith leaders, along with a representative of World Vision and members from Chicago’s Nepalese community, held a press conference in Chicago on Thursday to announce a plan by a group of west side churches to support recovery efforts for Nepal and to challenge Chicago’s faith community at large to participate as well.
The pastors will hold special prayers at their individual houses of worship this coming Sunday for the nation of Nepal and will raise special offerings to support the recovery efforts.
The pastors are making the clarion call across the city, they are asking that all churches of Chicago join them in supporting this cause.
These 15 local faith leaders are a part of an organization called the Leaders Network, a west-side-based social justice organization. The organization is partnering with World Vsion, one of the largest Christian relief organizations in the world.
“There’s no way a crisis of this magnitude could occur and the church not respond. That would be shameful, especially with such a glaring need. This nation can’t recover without help from the world. I’m glad many from the faith community of Chicago are supporting,” stated Rev. Ira Acree, pastor of Greater St. John Bible church.
This organization has a relationship with World Vision that extends more than a decade, partnering to provide financial relief during the tsunami of 2004, and emotional and financial relief during the crisis of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. In 2005, Pastors Marshall Hatch, Cy Fields and Acree led a hurricane relief effort that galvanized more than 20 west side African American churches in Chicago and raised more than $50,000 in support of the crisis. Later World Vision and the clergy visited the Gulf Coast to assess the progress of the recovery efforts.
Pastors are hoping to see a similar response with the crisis in Nepal by the faith community.
“I cannot begin to comprehend the pain and suffering that’s going on in Nepal. I can only ask myself what can you do to help” Steve Epting pastor of Hope Community Church.
“In this time of civil unrest, there is a need to show compassion that redeems hope in humanity and provides relief to catastrophic devastation.” Added Pastor Fields, of the New Landmark Church and president of the Leaders Network.
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About World Vision:
World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization conducting relief, development, and advocacy activities in its work with children, families, and their communities in nearly 100 countries to help them reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. World Vision serves all people regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, or gender. For more information, please visit www.WorldVision.org/media-center/ or on Twitter @WorldVisionUSA.
- Clergy asks all of Chicago churches to hold special prayers and raise offerings of support.
- Faith leaders and members from Chicago’s Nepalese community held a press conference in Chicago.
- Nepal “can’t recover without help from the world. I’m glad many from the faith community of Chicago are supporting,” said one pastor.