Please pray for the hope of Christ to reach theses devastated regions.
For those of you who have been here 10 years or longer, you probably remember our extensive involvement with disaster relief following Hurricane Katrina (sending a dozen work teams and a truckload of food and other supplies). At the moment, we ask that you pray, pray, pray for the victims and for an effective response that demonstrates God’s grace and love. Disasters like this often provide many opportunities for people to talk about Jesus Christ because of their joyful endurance, hopeful spirit, and works of love.
Here’s where we currently stand. As we did with Katrina, we are waiting until things settle down somewhat to determine our course of action. We certainly do not want to be in the way of early response teams, FEMA, etc. as they continue to rescue people and sort out needs. We also must find a church or churches in the area to partner with. We have learned from experience that this is the most effective way to extend our help from so far away. When it is safe for us to enter affected areas, we may once again send work crews to help clean up and repair. However, we need to wait until the danger has passed so as not to complicate the ongoing rescue operations. For example, many churches there are currently overwhelmed by acting as temporary shelters housing evacuees. They cannot accommodate work teams right now. Some hotels are reporting 10 or more people per room with little more than the clothes on their backs. So, as hard as it is, we must wait patiently for the right moment to be the most effective – remember, we sent our first team to Katrina (I was part of that team) six weeks after the storm.
If you feel led to do something now, there are options for you. If you want to go or give, we recommend contacting one or more of the following:
- Samaritan’s Purse is currently on the scene assessing the damage. We have teamed with this organization in the past and have been richly blessed by it.
- The American Red Cross is taking donations to help victims and asking people to donate much-needed blood at local drives.
- World Vision is assembling Family Food Kits.
- SPCA is helping families connect with lost pets.
Finally, if you have family members who have been severely affected by Harvey in the greater Houston area, or by Irma in Florida, please let us know. If and when we do send teams, we would love to start by rebuilding homes of your loved ones.
Please address your immediate questions to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and continue to pray for Houston and Florida!
This post has been updated in response to the impact of Hurricane Irma in Florida.