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Rapha International, Healing Hands International announce merger


In the past two decades, Healing Hands International and Rapha International have shipped medicine, food and relief supplies to more than 80 countries combined.
 
On June 1, the two ministries announced plans to continue that mission together.
 
Nashville, Tenn.-based Healing Hands and Fort Worth, Texas-based Rapha, both associated with Churches of Christ, are merging into a single humanitarian relief effort.
Rapha will change the name of its Texas facility to Healing Hands International at the Rapha Center, said Sid Allen, president of Rapha International.
 
“Rapha and Healing Hands International have come to that place in their history where the two organizations can accomplish their mission better together than independently,” Allen said. “Better stewardship of resources and utilization of leadership are two good reason why this merger makes sense.”
 
Allen and his wife, Jenetta, founded Rapha in 1998 along with Ron and Marilyn Holland to “demonstrate the love of Jesus through providing assistance, lifestyle improvements and training for people around the world” according to a news release. The ministry has shipped aid to people around the world — including victims of the 2004 tsunami in Southeast Asia and the January earthquake in Haiti. In 2008 Rapha sent a container of medical supplies to North Korea.
Rapha’s full-time workers — Sid and Jenetta Allen, Marilyn Holland and Brenda Jones — will continue to work in Texas for the combined ministry. Art Lynch also will join the team in Texas, said Alisa Van Dyke, marketing director for Healing Hands International.
 
Church members launched Healing Hands in 1991 to distribute humanitarian aid to people in need around the globe. In addition to its shipping efforts, the ministry has drilled more than 400 clean water wells and trained thousands of men and women in agricultural techniques including drip irrigation and food preservation. Currently the ministry has 10 full-time and four part-time workers in its Nashville office.
 
Over the years, the two ministries have partnered in several projects, said Randy Steger, president of Healing Hands.
 
“We are looking forward to combining our resources with Rapha to help people around the world,” Steger said. “The wonderful idea about working with Rapha is that many of (its) workers are former missionaries who understand what it takes to help people in an impoverished community.”
 
The merger marks the second time Healing Hands has spanned both sides of the Mississippi River. For seven years the ministry operated a warehouse and had staff workers in Abilene, Texas. In 2006 the Abilene office became an independent, faith-based humanitarian effort, Global Samaritan Resources.

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    I am a student here in Manzini, Swaziland, doing my Biblical studies and graduating this December 9, 2010. I am a Preacher and Executive Director and Founder for Orphan organization. Therefore, am looking for support. Hevvens.
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    Kamzalanga Church of Christ
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