Posted by: OCI | February 4, 2011

NEWS: Severe Weather Affects OCI Ministries

Eastern Australia continues to suffer the brunt of severe weather. In January, many areas of Queensland endured heavy flooding that not only destroyed property, but also took lives. The dangerous weather continued on February 2, as Category Four Cyclone Yasi battered Australia’s northeastern coast.  The storm brought heavy rainfall, severe winds, and storm surge, leaving many communities without electricity.

OCI has four member ministries in Australia, two of which have been directly affected by the treacherous weather. Living Valley Springs, located in Kin Kin, Queensland, experienced the Brisbane floods. Gary Martin, director at Living Valley Springs, says their town became an island for several days. On January 11, the last day of a 10-day program at the ministry, guests couldn’t leave because of the flooding. Staff transported many of them over the mountains on old dirt trails to meet the airport bus at the highway.

The ministry has also dealt with cancellations due to flooded roads, but the staff are praising God that things were not worse.  A team from Living Valley Springs went to Brisbane for several days after the flood to help people clean out their flooded houses. Gary says that insurance companies are doing their best to deny claims based on the fine print in policies, and the ministry is starting a fund to help guests who are unable to come because of natural disasters.

The Medical Missionary Training Institute in North Queensland is currently without electricity. This ministry is about an hour away from Townsville, which sustained the most severe part of the cyclone. Bev Krogdahl, director of the Medical Missionary Training Institute, says many locals worked together to prepare for the storm and she was thankful, despite the damages, for the opportunity to witness and reach out to the community. The ministry’s buildings were not harmed. Bev was worried about the avocados and passion fruit in the orchard, but God answered her prayers. Even though other native trees in the orchard were damaged, the fruit remained intact.

Please continue to uplift these OCI ministries in your thoughts and prayers.


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