24 Jul 2021
This week on ANN.
The Adventist Church in the Franco-Belgian Union is responding after devastating floods in Germany and Belgium. More than 160 people are dead, and hundreds more remain missing after catastrophic flooding hit large parts of Western Europe. At least 133 people died in Germany due to the heavy floods across its western states. In Belgium, 24 were confirmed dead. Authorities warn the number could go up. Luxembourg, Austria, Switzerland, France, and the Netherlands have also been affected by the extreme rainfall but have not reported any fatalities.
According to reports, Belgium received extreme rainfall from July 12 through 15, which left a train of devastation to populated areas. At least 31 people died in the floods and 163 are reported missing. The Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) in Belgium has deployed volunteers from the Adventist churches to assist survivors in the most affected areas. ADRA worked with local authorities and social services to assess needs.
Adventists in the Columbia Union Conference, located in the mid-Atlantic region of the United States, are mourning the death of the president of the Allegheny East Conference, Henry J. Fordham III, and his wife, Sharon. They passed away early in the morning on July 18 due to a fire in their home in Douglassville, Pennsylvania. Their son, Shawn Fordham, was with them at the time of the fire, sustained minor injuries, and was taken to a local hospital, where he was treated for smoke inhalation. He is in stable condition and is expected to be released soon. The cause of the fire has not been determined and is still under investigation. The Allegheny East Conference is located within the Columbia Union territory. President of the Seventh-day Adventist World Church, Ted N.C. Wilson also released a statement of condolence on Facebook. [Our hearts go out to the grieving family members of the Allegheny East Conference. May the Holy Spirit comfort each of you, and may the Lord come soon!]
In Canada, the Adventist Church, along with the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA), is stepping in to provide aid after a devastating wildfire destroyed the town of Lytton in British Columbia. Following the evacuation order, the Adventist Church in British Columbia, local church members, and leadership, in partnership with ADRA Canada, sprang into action. Lytton went on to set an all-time high of 121.3 on June 30. The excessive heat jeopardized the lives of those in the area; then the fire came.
News of climate change becomes more dominant and widespread today, such as the flooding in Germany. ANN sat down with head science for the GeoScience Research Institute, Timothy Standish, to discuss how Seventh-day Adventist Christians should view differing opinions on climate change.
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