Veteran Minister of Mercy Bill Rushbrook: Dealing with El Nino

Bill Rushbrook has seen his share of problems, both national and personal. As a specialist in mercy ministries and disaster response, he has ministered in the name of Christ all over the country. Just over a year ago, his beloved wife, Ronni, passed away after suffering for three years from diabetes, renal failure, and amputations. Bill has been left with four children to raise.

At one time employed by the Mission to North America Committee of the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) to coordinate disaster response, Mr. Rushbrook is now the National Director of Disaster Response and Mercy Ministries for Presbyterian Evangelistic Fellowship (PEF).

He reports that he was recently given 17,000 pairs of new shoes which were trucked from Kansas to Miami to be shipped by boat to Zimbabwe. Accompanying the shoes was a proclamation of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

A container with printing presses, paper, ink, an automobile, and other supplies is being shipped to Uganda for PEF missionaries Archie and Eleanor Shelor. Food is being gathered from various Reformed churches-PCA, Orthodox Presbyterian, Reformed Church in the United States, and Association of Reformed Churches congregations-for an emergency shipment to Mbale, Uganda.

The recent inclement weather in the West, where he is based, has been keeping Bill busy with requests from the State of California and other agencies "to talk about 'El Nino', at no fee, of course." He writes that the "last big 'El Nino' we had in Northern California was in 1982 and I administered the relief for several denominations and now am considered an 'expert', when no one but our Lord knows what's going to happen!"

Mr. Rushbrook's rescue efforts have recently taken him to show compassion to flocks other than those found in church-that is, to literal sheep. He writes: "After 36 years (in June) of doing administrative disaster work, administering 26 national disasters, and being known world-wide for my expertise in disaster response, know what I'm doing? RESCUING SHEEP!! Our small town of about 5,000 is primarily dairies and orchards. The cattlemen hate sheep much like in the old Westerns we used to watch on Saturday

afternoons! They don't like sheepmen either because they smell like sheep (they do!).

"As a young boy in Stephentown, NY (36 miles east of Albany) we raised our own beef and I raised sheep. I know sheep quite well, so I'm in charge of finding high ground for pasture for a while. The problem...they're lambing right in the midst of it all! Now I'm a midwife too! So far, we've lost no sheep and no lambs!

"I've never been happier in a disaster! No bureaucrats, nasty victims, cranky Red Cross workers...just lambs! The problem is they see me and 'Baa,Baa' like mad because they think I'm 'MOM!!' I was in the local hardware store the other day and a dairyman called me 'BO PEEP' to get my goat. . .get it?"

[We commend Bill Rushbrook and his fine PEF ministry to our readers. Donations are always welcome. His address is: 2336 Autumn Lane, Escalon, CA 95320-2163; (209)838-6235;]