TBN Commissions "Mercy Strike Force" for Compassionate
Outreach in New Orleans
Released on = October 4, 2005, 1:23 pm
Press Release Author = by Dave Bohon, WDC Media
Industry = Non Profit
Press Release Summary = Immediately following Katrina, as Henderson prayed at his
home in Colorado Springs about what he could do to help, he felt prompted to call
Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN), with whom he has partnered in ministry for over
Press Release Body = Oct 4, 2005 (New Orleans) --- Ken Henderson admits that his
25-plus years of ministry in some of the toughest places in the world didn't quite
prepare him for what he witnessed when he first entered New Orleans in the aftermath
of Hurricane Katrina. "It was worse than many of the Third World countries I've been
in," he recalled, "and it broke my heart as I saw one of America's largest cities
virtually in ruins."
It has also offered Henderson and a small army of Christian relief workers an
opportunity to minister God's mercy and love in a tangible way to a group of people
in desperate need.
Immediately following Katrina, as Henderson prayed at his home in Colorado Springs
about what he could do to help, he felt prompted to call Trinity Broadcasting
Network (TBN), with whom he has partnered in ministry for over 20 years. Recalled
Henderson, "I got through to Jan Crouch and she quickly responded by asking me to
gather a team of ministers on behalf of TBN to take both practical aid and a message
of hope back to the survivors in New Orleans."
"We felt strongly that we needed to get Ken and a 'quick response' team on the
ground in New Orleans as soon as possible," said Paul Crouch Jr., Vice President of
Administration for TBN, who with a gift from TBN for $25,000 officially commissioned
Henderson and his team during TBN's September 6th "Behind the Scenes" program. "We
saw them as a kind of mercy 'Strike Force,' ministering God's love and compassion
with an urgency the situation called for."
That "Strike Force" included veteran outreach ministers like Doug Stringer of
Somebody Care in Houston, Bishop Bart Pierce of Rock City Church in Baltimore,
Maryland, and Jerry Davis of Street Reach Ministries, as well as representatives
from groups like Operation Blessing, Oasis of Hollywood, and Christ in Action.
With several trucks filled to the brim with donations from citizens of Colorado
Springs and surrounding cities, Henderson's team linked up with Don and Sondra
Tipton and their emergency relief group Friend Ships, which was already on sight
setting up cook kitchens and relief operations. "We used Friend Ship's 180-foot
cutter the Hope , docked on the Mississippi River, as our base of operation," said
Henderson, "and for the next several days we went practically non-stop, providing
meals, emergency supplies, cleanup, home repairs – as well as much needed prayer --
to thousands of Katrina survivors."
After a brief respite back in Colorado Springs, where Henderson and wife Solveig are
packing up to move their family and ministry to Solveig's native Norway, Henderson
returned to New Orleans September 29 th to continue working with the ongoing relief
operation. "Our goal is to overwhelm the people of New Orleans with the love of
God," explained Henderson. "When people are in great need and despair, they're often
the most open to the mercy that's available through Christ. That has been our hope."
Henderson noted that while the media has largely focused on the anger and confusion
some of the survivors have felt over their loss and displacement, he and his team
have witnessed very little of that from those they have been in contact with."Overwhelmingly we have witnessed humility, thanksgiving, and a lot of kindness from
every Katrina survivor we've dealt with," he said. "Personally I've found myself
weeping with deep compassion from the Lord after long days of ministry to these
grateful people. I can tell you that my life and the lives of my dedicated team
members will never be the same after the privilege we've had to be the hands and
heart of our Heavenly Father, helping to minister healing and hope."
He added that he and several other ministers are already making plans to return to
New Orleans with a larger army of street ministers just prior to the 2006 Mardis
Gras for a ministry festival they'll call "When the Saints Go Marching In."
Explained Henderson, "It will be a time when dedicated men and women of God will
descend on the New Orleans area to provide music, food, and the saving message of
Jesus Christ. We're planning a massive evangelistic outreach."
Henderson pointed out that New Orleans has gained a reputation – much of it deserved
-- as one of the most godless cities in the nation. "Mardi Gras, Bourbon Street, and
much of the general lifestyle of many here – it seems like there has been an
intentional effort on the part of some to cultivate a pagan culture in New Orleans,"
With Hurricane Katrina much of that was swept away, followed with roundups by
military and law enforcement of the criminal element who stayed behind for easy
looting in the aftermath of Katrina. "The law enforcement and soldiers sent in after
Katrina literally swept the city clean," said Don Tipton of Friend Ships, who with
the help of a gift from TBN for $200,000 has ministered to countless thousands since
Katrina. "The Church now has a window of opportunity to come in with a force to New
Orleans to pour God's mercy on these people. While that certainly includes the
relief we've been supplying here over the last several weeks, that's got to be
followed up by an army of courageous Christians who are not afraid to come here and
share the gospel."
TBN co-founder Jan Crouch noted that the ministry of compassion that Friend Ships,
Henderson, and others have been providing to Katrina survivors has the potential to
soften hearts that might otherwise be closed to the gospel message. "Our Heavenly
Father is all about mercy," she said. "Ministering to someone's immediate physical
and emotional needs will very often open the door of someone's heart just enough so
that the message of the Savior's love will be irresistible to them. That's our
earnest prayer for these dear people."
For a more on how you can be part of the ongoing ministry of relief and love to
survivors of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, visit www.friendships.org/hurricane or
For more information about TBN, visit www.tbn.org .
Web Site = http://www.tbn.org
Contact Details = WDC Media PR Firm
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