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It started with vision.
It continues with leaders.
The Christian Emergency Network (CEN) formed after Sept 11, 2001 to help the body of Christ respond more biblically, intentionally and collaboratively to national emergencies. CEN began with several Mission America Coalition (MAC) members and 10 national ministry leaders who were moved to unite together to reach our world for Christ when emergencies occur (which are historically pivotal times for those without a personal relationship with Christ). During a crisis 90% ask the question "Where is God in this?" It is at this providential moment hurting people will be turned toward Him or reject Him completely - most often for a lifetime. CEN was originally called Operation Eternal Hope then later changed to become Christian Emergency Network when it recognized that all emergencies were opportunities for Christians living out the Hope of Christ.
Because they were impressed events like 9/11 or other natural emergencies may continue and believed that our nation had become sorely under-prepared after WWII...and that the Greater Church was likewise not ready spiritually, emotionally, mentally or physically (especially in the benchmark of maturity to stand as faith-sharing disciples), these Christian leaders believed their first role of leadership was to alert Christians to BE AWARE of the times, to BE READY for them, and then to BE THERE praying for the victims, caring for them in sensitive ways, and then sharing the Hope found only in Christ.
The original CEN pioneers committed to meet every month for four years to develop the basis of the CEN ministry - each one with their unique expertise and contacts to the network. Christian Broadcasting Network, CDR Radio Network, Family Life Radio Network, Christian reporters, Mission America Coalition along, The Salvation Army, Gospel Rescue Mission, National Prayer Committee, Campus Crusade Cru, BGEA Rapid Response Team, Luis Palau, Zondervan, and NeedHim.org -- all ten ministries gave guidance to the founding and implementation of the Christian Emergency Network.