Minister Paula White-Cain's New Destiny Christian Center mobilized resources long before Hurricane Maria formed in the Atlantic.
The eye of Hurricane Irma passed over her church, New Destiny Christian Center, in Apopka, Florida. But it didn't matter. White and an army of anonymous volunteers she and her team have dubbed "Silent Soldiers" are actively collecting, transporting and distributing food to Hurricane Maria victims in Puerto Rico.
"This is a unique position we find ourselves in," White tells Charisma News. "We're working with Samaritan's Purse, those who want to be known, private sectors and great ministries who understand that this is what the church does best."
After Irma, NDCC collected 250,000 pounds of supplies to distribute to the community. They hit the streets to clean up, minister and serve. Now, they want to to the same with Puerto Rico.
NDCC along with Paula White Ministries is working with other ministries to aid the devastated island.
"We're working in collaboration with other ministries to bring the hands and feet of Jesus to the hurting people in Puerto Rico," Todd Lamphere, who works with White, tells Charisma News. "We have connected with organizations like Convoy of Hope, Sammy Rodriguez, and others who are already on the ground helping them with hubs and distribution sites. We're working with Fuente Church, Wanda Rolon [and] the Pentecostal Church of God International Movement, which has 540 churches in organization on the island. When you take a look at relief efforts, there are three phases: supply, transportation [and] distribution."
Lamphere spoke to Charisma News in the airport waiting to board a plane to Puerto Rico.
White-Cain says she has also worked directly with the White House to gather aid for Maria victims.
"I focus on the areas where I really am what I say called to do, work in the lane I have worked daily with the White House on relief efforts in Puerto Rico," White-Cain tells CN. "[I am told by Puerto Rican officials] how wonderful our government, our military, our national guard is, that they've all taken initiatives, and with [President Donald Trump's] faith advisers, I've spearheaded the efforts. There's always very important vital issues, and our focus is on bringing immediate relief and help and aid to people who need it. I can speak to the area of working with the White House down through FEMA to Homeland Security on down making sure we are coordinating and getting the help that is needed."
Though White serves on Trump's faith advisory committee, she says disasters like Maria prove humanity comes before politics.
"Everyone is working together," White-Cain says. "When it comes to what I know, one thing I know is about our president and one thing I know is about ministries. In times like these, this is non-partisan, not political. This is the church and what it does best. That to me has always [been] my lane that I serve in. I can facilitate. When it comes to helping people out of trauma and making a call to the White House, you can do that because you have a seat there. Really, thank God for incredible ministries, incredible humanitarian efforts, businesses, organizations, governments. No one is going into this asking if you're a Democrat or a Republican. This is a human need."
Though they are connecting with other organizations, White-Cain says NDCC and Paula White Ministries have functioned as a nucleus in collecting donations for the disaster relief. Her team has worked 20-hour days coordinating logistics from supplies to volunteers to planes, she says. Their goal is to find more cargo planes that can bring in more supplies. Once on the island, they are working with local churches to distribute.
"That is the beauty of the body of Christ coming together in a time of need, no partisanship," Lamphere says. "It's God's people doing God's work God's way. That is unity."
If you would like to help, consider these options:
- Give a donation to help the effort in Puerto Rico through Convoy of Hope
- Give towards Convoy of Hope supply drive by emailing Jnene@convoyofhope.org
- Give to Samaritan's Purse here.
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