February 29, 2016
By Aaron Weaver
DECATUR, Ga. — The Cooperative Baptist Fellowship has deployed veteran field personnel Eddy Ruble to assist relief efforts in the aftermath of Cyclone Winston, which struck the island country of Fiji in the South Pacific Ocean on Feb. 20 and is being called the “worst storm ever recorded in the Southern Hemisphere.”
The confirmed death toll stands at 42 and is expected to rise in the archipelago of 900,000 with more than 100 inhabited islands, according to the Fiji National Disaster Management Office. The United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) has estimated that more than 62,000 Fijians are homeless and living in evacuation shelters, and many communities are without water, electricity, essential medical services and shelters are running short on food and other supplies. Other sources have estimated that more than 120,000 children reside in communities affected by the category five-storm.
Ruble, who serves as one of CBF’s field personnel in Southeast Asia, is a seasoned disaster response expert. He is being deployed on behalf of APBAid, the development and relief arm of the Asia Pacific Baptist Federation and a CBF disaster response partner. Ruble will assist the Fiji Baptist Convention with making initial assessments and developing a disaster response kit and action plan to assist the Fijian’s efforts to help communities recover.
Ruble most recently led the Fellowship’s relief efforts in Nepal in collaboration with the global Baptist network known as BReaD (Baptist Relief and Development Network) following the devastating 7.8-magnitude earthquake in April 2015 that killed more than 4,000 people. In Fiji, Ruble will be the first on the scene from the BReaD network.
David Harding, who serves as CBF’s international disaster response coordinator, emphasized his gratefulness for contributions from individuals and churches that have long made the Fellowship effective and efficient in its disaster response efforts.
“We greatly appreciate Cooperative Baptists responding to human suffering from disasters no matter where it occurs in the world,” Harding said. “We are uniquely positioned to deploy Eddy to assist the wider global Baptist network, and work closely with local church partners to enable them to extend their response from relief to recovery and eventual transformational development.”
Donations to support CBF’s Disaster Response efforts may be made online at www.cbf.net/give or by mailing a check payable to “CBF” with 17000 in the memo line to:
Cooperative Baptist Fellowship
P.O. Box 102972
Atlanta, GA 30368-2972
CBF is a Christian Network that helps people put their faith to practice through ministry efforts, global missions and a broad community of support.The Fellowship’s mission is to serve Christians and churches as they discover and fulfill their God-given mission.