Tsunami Disaster Relief for South India

I received the following email from the senior pastor at our church this morning. I am posting it here for any interested, without modification (including formatting):
I sent our first $100 check off today. And, when I talked to the elder mentioned below this morning, (brother Gene Dampier) he told me that their preacher took off for India at 7:00 AM this morning (12/30) with $40,000 in his pocket to distribute. Dan
Below is an email from Don Iverson outlining support for the Tsunami victims. Don is an elder for the Banner Elk church of Christ in Banner Elk, NC. For more information, telephone numbers and email addresses are provided.

The Banner Elk church of Christ has been actively working in south India (the state of Tamil Nadu) for more than ten years. At present, more than 8,000 have died in this area as a result of the December 26 tsunami. More than 100,000 families are displaced or homeless. The second hardest hit area was Kanniyakamari, off of the southern tip of India. More than 600 died in this city alone. We have one school of preaching there, as well as numerous faithful congregations.

OUR OBJECTIVE:

  1. We must be compassionate, but primarily we intend to use assistance as a means of teaching about the only True and Living God. This is an opportunity to turn many minds from the false gods of Hinduism.
  2. We will seek to assist brethren who have been directly affected, as well as victims outside of the Lord’s body (Galatians 6:10).
  3. It is estimated that 40% of those who perished in India were children.
  4. We also suspect that many children are now left homeless. With the children’s home established by the Banner Elk congregation in Chettipalayam we have a wonderful tool that God has provided so that comfort and homes can be provided for these little ones.
  5. Our initial effort will be to assist in providing water, food, and clothing for victims. We have hundreds of Indian preachers who are self-supported who we can assist with a salary for a few weeks in order that their time can be freed to counsel and work with those who are grieving, especially in the hospitals. It will cost $2 per day per man to support these brethren.

Because our primary work has been training faithful gospel preachers and establishing self-sustaining congregations of the Lord’s church, we now have a network of brethren in south India who are grounded in the truth. These brethren will be a key element in properly helping the tsunami relief victims, while being under the oversight of the Banner Elk elders. Don Iverson, one of the two elders at Banner Elk, will be leaving for India on Thursday, December 30. Don was in India three times during 2004. Brother Iverson graduated from East Tennessee School of Preaching in 1977. He is a faithful gospel preacher. Five schools of preaching, started through the work of Jim Waldron, are supported through the Banner Elk church. Don teaches in these schools.

WE NEED ASSISTANCE

We are asking congregations and individuals to assist us with one-time contributions. A full financial statement will be provided to all contributors. Upon his return from India, Don will be available to speak or meet with churches to update brethren on the progress of this effort. Don is self-supported. All funds will go directly for victim relief.

MAKE CHECKS PAYABLE to Banner Elk church of Christ. Earmark your contribution for “India Tsunami Disaster Relief.”

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION

Cathy Iverson (Don’s wife) is available at (828) 963-5172. The number for Gene Dampier (elder) is (828) 898-6143. Don’s e-mail address is doniverson@juno.com. If you are able to assist, it would be helpful to contact us in advance to let us know your contribution is coming. Time is very important.

Banner Elk church of Christ

India Tsunami Disaster Relief

P.O. Box 1413

Banner Elk, NC 28604

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Some thoughts on Christmas

I’ve been holding this in. If you’ve watched a lot of TV the last few months, you may have noticed a lot of reference to some generic “holiday”. You hear calls to buy your wife a Lexus for the “holiday”. I remember last year a commecial for a pet store where the couple were putting together toys for their dog and admonishing each other to stay quiet because “It’s his first holiday”.

Now, you can tell by the background snow and trees and hot chocolate pretty much what holiday it is that they’re referring to. It’s not New Year’s Day. As far as I know, our culture still has the courage to refer to New Year’s Day by it’s proper name.

If we can no longer call this day by it’s proper name, why don’t we all just go back to work then? I read in one column that we’re not having an orgy of consumerism in expectation or celebration of the Winter Solstice. Whether you believe in Him or not, the purpose of this day has to do with Jesus Christ. I know, it used to be a pagan festival known as “Saturnalia”, and it still has many of it’s pagan influences, but like it or not it’s now Christmas.

If we can no longer call it Christmas, then as I said before, let’s either celebrate Saturnalia or go back to work. I bet most people enjoy the time off whether they care if it’s Christmas or not.

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First Post

OK, I broke down and started a blog. I have no idea what to do with it, or even if I’ll let anyone know anything about it. I chose the title of Watchtower because of Habakuk:

Hab 2:1 I will stand upon my watch, and set me upon the tower, and will watch to see what he will say unto me, and what I shall answer when I am reproved.

Habakuk had some questions to ask God. He did. This was the position he took while waiting for a response. His world was not too different from ours. His society was in a downward slide, and he kept asking God why He doesn’t do anything. God replied that He would use the Chaldeans to chastise Israel. Habukuk’s reaction was along the lines of “NO! Anyone but them! They’re worse than we are!”

So here I sit, waiting for reproof from the Almighty, and trying to figure out exactly what to do with a blog.

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