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Long-term relationships helped the group aid the Rohingya while the UN and others were shut out.When Hlaing heard that the “extremely severe” Cyclone Mocha was barreling toward Sittwe township on the western coast of Myanmar, she worried about her family and the 105,000 other displaced Rohingyas living in camps on the low-lying floodplains. Where could they go to shelter from the storm?From the Thailand office of the Partners Relief and Development, Hlaing (who asked to only be identified by one name for her security) started sending updates about the cyclone’s strength and location to the group’s local contacts so they could alert the rest of the Rohingya community in the area. Team members on the ground urged people to evacuate to schools or temples that could withstand the wind. Hlaing’s family was able to shelter at a school across the street from their home.Through the organization’s local network, Partners sent money to secure 200 bags of rice and provide for other needs ahead of the storm. “We expected the worst,” said Brad Hazlett, president of Partners. “There didn’t seem to be any way for the people to escape, and we’ve had other experiences where people were restricted from escaping the path of the cyclone.”As the storm lashed out with 150-mph winds on Rakhine state Sunday, Hlaing continually checked Facebook for updates but saw no news about the camps.Then on Monday night, she finally heard from Partners’ local contact: “Everything in the camp is destroyed,” he said. He sent pictures of piles of bamboo where homes used to stand, broken bridges, downed trees. He also visited her family to check up on them: They were unhurt, but the roof of their house had blown off.The full extent of the damage caused by the storm—which ...Continue reading...
On Sunday, the senior pastor of Covenant Presbyterian Church in Nashville, Tennessee, delivered his first sermon since his 9-year-old daughter was killed in a mass school shooting in March.
A school board in Maine has rejected a church's application to hold worship services at a high school as part of a long-term lease.
Jewish groups are calling for the City University of New York's law school to be defunded. This after a graduation
One formed me. The other entertained me. On a sunny March afternoon in 2014, I found myself jumping on the L train from Manhattan to Williamsburg to interview a young, urban pastor named Carl Lentz in his luxury waterfront apartment. A trendy evangelical magazine wanted me to profile him. With its nightclub venues and award-winning worship music, his Hillsong church was attracting thousands of diverse young people from around New York City.Lentz is now featured in an FX documentary, The Secrets of Hillsong, which examines his string of affairs and the embattled church he left behind. The four-episode exposé features a solemn and emotional Lentz sharing that he was sexually abused as a child, admitting to moral failings (from sexual indiscretions to drug abuse), and describing the conflict among Hillsong leadership and staff.The documentary dropped the same day that another New York City pastor made headlines: Redeemer Presbyterian Church’s founder, Tim Keller, died of cancer on May 19.In the mid-2000s, both Redeemer and Hillsong drew flocks of spiritually curious New Yorkers, and both brought in around 5,000 attendees weekly across several services. For two years during college, I attended both churches simultaneously. After growing up as a homeschooled pastor’s kid in New England, I moved to New York City for undergrad. But it wasn’t just the star-studded Manhattan sidewalks that grabbed my attention; it was also the churches led by rapidly rising evangelical stars, including Keller and Lentz.Since then, the evangelical church has been waking up to the pitfalls of platforming and creating celebrity pastors. We’ve watched many of them fall hard into sin after they were groomed for leadership at a young age and given too much power ...Continue reading...
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