Vineyard USA And Disaster Relief
How does Vineyard USA respond to major disasters across the US? Read current news here, and how, as an association of Kingdom-minded churches, Vineyards are ready to serve when crisis hits.
Extending the Kingdom of God through church planting and missional living.
Vineyard churches are known around the world for our compassionate response to those who are at their deepest point of need. We have a long history caring for those impacted by natural disasters, meeting both physical and spiritual needs in communities needing immediate help.
As relief work continues in Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico, British Virgin Islands, Mexico, and California, here are main contacts if you have questions about how you can help further.
Convoy Of Hope (all areas)
Regional & Local Efforts
Phil Jeansonne, South Central Regional Leader (contact here)
Kevin Fischer, Florida Regional Leader (contact here)
From Bubba Justice, National Coordinator
VUSA is constantly getting updates from Convoy of Hope. On Friday (Sept. 15) I spoke with Convoy’s director of operations.
He told us that due to the nature of Irma and Harvey they were treating them differently. In Texas, Convoy has made a 2 year commitment and will be facilitating volunteer teams starting in about 30 days.
The New Orlean’s Vineyard’s mercy response is currently facilitating up to 100 people per day in Houston.
In Florida, Convoy will be distributing emergency supplies for the next 60 days. They are working with volunteers in churches who are within 2 hours of either Fort Myers or Daytona Beach. They will not be facilitating out of town volunteers as of now.
IF YOUR CHURCH WANTS TO…
Help Florida and PR/BVI immediately: You can donate to Convoy of Hope.
Send a team immediately: New Orlean’s Vineyard’s mercy response in Houston is your best option.
Send a team long-term: Convoy Of Hope in Houston is an option. New Orlean’s Vineyard will also continue their work there.
If you have any questions, you can contact me directly (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Overview: Vineyard USA & Disaster Relief
Vineyard USA deeply values the ministry of the local church when disaster hits. Our local churches are quick to respond to disaster, compelled by the teaching of Jesus and our theology of the Kingdom. At times of crisis, all over the country and the world, Vineyard churches get creative – and busy.
As National Director Phil Strout put it: “We don’t just watch the news. We say, ‘There’s the news; now what can we do?’ That’s what I love about the Vineyard.”
However, often the scope of the devastation created by hurricanes, tornadoes, wild fires, or earthquakes takes resources that are beyond the scope of what a local church – or even an extended network of churches – can effectively provide.
Our Partnership With Convoy Of Hope
In light of this reality, in 2014 the Executive Team (Board) of Vineyard USA decided to partner with disaster relief organization Convoy Of Hope in addressing crisis situations in the US and around the world.
In the past, we had sponsored our own disaster relief ministry (see Our History below), but aware of the scale of need and the limits of a church movement acting simultaneously as a disaster relief organization, our partnership with Convoy afforded us to the ability to partner with them in powerfully impacting people through an extensive, faith-based relief organization.
When disaster strikes, Convoy Of Hope immediately gets supplies and aid to affected areas.
In addressing a disaster, Convoy leverages their:
• Scalable distribution model,
• Disaster Response teams,
• Six international warehouses,
• Extensive volunteer network, and
• Mobile Command Center.
With these elements in place, Convoy has the ability to work with Vineyards in the process of impacting severely affected communities.
They also aid in the recovery phase, using volunteer teams from around the country to help individuals and churches gut homes after hurricanes and floods, rebuild after fires, address damage after tornadoes, and to get on their feet again.
Coming alongside of the local church (a high value for the Vineyard) and partnering with what they are already doing in their communities, Convoy assists by providing teams, clean up equipment, and food/water/other supplies via distribution points for many weeks or months in a devastated area.
What Is Their Mission As A Humanitarian Organization?
Convoy Of Hope is a faith-based, nonprofit organization with a driving passion to feed the world through children’s feeding initiatives, community outreaches, and disaster response.
As an international, humanitarian-relief organization strategically based in Springfield, Missouri, their goal is to bring help and hope to those who are impoverished, hungry and hurting.
How Can You Get Involved With Convoy?
Vineyards across the country are involved with Convoy. They take special offerings to contribute to their work, send volunteers, and look for ways to get involved via their continually updated website at:
You and your church can contact them there to see how you can donate and help.
Our History In Disaster Relief
In the past, Vineyard USA was directly involved in disaster relief through what was called Mercy Response.
Birthed in 2005 out of the tremendous need of those impacted by Hurricane Katrina, Mercy Response was a loose-knit group of Vineyard churches formed to coordinate efforts to assist those impacted by that natural disaster – specifically reaching out to and through Vineyard churches. Over time, Mercy Response became a sponsored ministry of Vineyard USA, ministering in various places in the country in disaster relief.
As was noted earlier, in 2014, the Executive Team (Board) of Vineyard USA determined that being a disaster relief organization was beyond its ability, especially when disasters were occurring simultaneously in multiple places in the country.
The assets accumulated for Mercy Response were given to the New Orleans Vineyard (also known as the Kenner Vineyard) to use as a ministry of their local church. Today, the New Orleans Vineyard serves Vineyards in various places through Mercy Response, a ministry of Vineyard New Orleans.
Through this ministry, Vineyard New Orleans ministers, primarily in their part of the country, by receiving and coordinating teams from Vineyards to serve impacted Vineyard pastors, churches, and members in the work of rebuilding after a disaster.
The Ministry Of The Local Church – Living The Kingdom
The theology and practice of the Kingdom of God is central to who we are as the Vineyard Movement, and it impacts how we see our role – in our towns and cities – when devastation occurs.
Jesus Himself modeled stepping into another’s pain in order to bring mercy, love, and real compassion to the situation. When Christ’s compassion touches an individual or a community’s needs through His Body, the Church – then real Hope can come into even the most difficult situations that people face.
Vineyards across the country – as well as around the world – continually prove how committed we are to this message of the Kingdom as we serve those who are most vulnerable in times of need.
Follow Stories & Stay Up To Date
Want to follow what is happening across the Vineyard? Here are some helpful links:
1. Sign up for our Vineyard USA Digital Magazine (a monthly email), on our website.
2. Follow our Vineyard USA Facebook page for regular updates.
3. Search our Vineyard USA Library for stories on how Vineyard churches creatively respond to crisis with compassion in their area of the world.
3. Watch videos and read more about our partnership with Convoy Of Hope here on our website.