A new ministry has been pioneered by the Chinese Christian Herald Crusades (CCHC) to create a new force in the relief effort for the Chinese churches to show forth God’s love in case of emergency or natural disasters.
Herald Organized Relief Network (HORN) is one of the 2006’s new experimental units. In the past, CCHC has been involved in various massive fundraising campaigns for big crisis such as SARS, tsunami and hurricane Katrina. However, CCHC also looks to offer a helping hand at the very frontline on the site of emergency and natural disaster; therefore a new ministry is to be created to serve this purpose.
Laying out the blueprint of Herald Organized Relief Network (HORN) is currently in progress under the supervision of executive director and pastor of CCHC Rev. Pak-Cheung Lo and the chairperson of the planning committee in Los Angeles Elder Daniel Wong. The structure of Herald Organized Relief Network (HORN) will be set up step by step such that an extensive network of Chinese churches in the U.S. and across the world will be formed and developed into an organization similar to Red Cross.
CCHC has been inspired by the case of how a Chinese church in Texas successfully saved a group of displaced people in New Orleans during the hurricane Katrina, before they come up with the concept of such network, according to Elder Wong.
A Vietnamese church in Houston, Texas, sent a team to New Orleans to save over 100 Vietnamese who were displaced by the hurricane. The group was transported to Houston where the church provided shelters and helped people to look for jobs. Eventually, some of them have settled down in Houston while some others have returned to normal lives and went back to New Orleans.
The case has showed that with limited resources, a church can still offer great help in case of emergency if the mobilization is done well. Elder Wong suggested that with the extensive network of churches formed in all of the U.S., the churches that are closest to the site of emergency will send teams to offer assistance immediately while other churches near by can support by other means as well.
Meanwhile, Herald Organized Relief Network (HORN) has not started to promote the vision to Chinese churches yet. The first step is therefore to gather churches which have the burden, according to Elder Wong. CCHC will later start to offer training to the participating churches in terms of counseling and psychological skills. For the technical skills, they will receive training from organizations such as American Red Cross and other established relief agencies.
Elder Wong added that the vision would be introduced to local churches in different regions, probably beginning with the state of California as there are two biggest CCHC centers- Oakland and Los Angeles- to offer resources.
In order to operate the Herald Organized Relief Network (HORN), not only the medical professionals are needed, but the other related services such as catering may also be involved. Therefore, even CCHC Restaurant Ministry can contribute to the Relief Ministry as well, Elder Wong explained.
As the involvement of Chinese churches in the society is not as significant as that of American churches, Elder Wong said, "We wish to lead the Chinese churches to learn to become part of the society through this Herald Organized Relief Network (HORN)."
Elder Wong emphasized the ultimate aim of relief work is to preach the Gospel through Christian witnesses.
"Through serving the community, Christians demonstrate the love of God. We are not trying to preach the Gospel directly but to show people the love of God through every small piece of work that we do," Elder Wong exhorted. "Indeed, many people have been moved by the love of Christ and become Christians."