Olney Assists in the BahamasBy Michael Mortensen g91 Published: Dec 19, 2019
On September 1, 2019, Hurricane Dorian, one of the strongest Atlantic hurricanes on record, devastated the Bahamas, leaving thousands homeless, without power, or worse – dead.
Rev. Tom Olney g88, Pastor for Congregational Connection and Care at Palm Coast Bible Church in Palm Coast, FL, has volunteered as the Christian & Missionary Alliance Southeast District’s Disaster Relief Coordinator. In this role, he has visited the Bahamas twice to encourage and help local congregations as they serve those left homeless and without a livelihood due to the storm.
“After assessing the needs and helping come up with relief and recovery plans, I get vital first-hand information to those in our [C&MA] District and National offices who will make decisions about how best to use funds donated for the Bahamian people,” Tom explains.
“Our goal is not to come in and say, ‘Oh, you poor people. Here, let’s give you what we think you need.’” Instead, Tom tries to listen to what the local leaders are saying will be most helpful.
Tom has gone twice now to the Bahamas, and he anticipates going again in January, when he plans to visit the hardest-hit areas in Marsh Harbour or Abaco Island, meeting with leaders and discerning how he can partner with them for long-term recovery.