We often mark our lives by big events that happen in our family or even in the world. For example, we often ask each other, “Do you remember where you were on 9-11?” The events of September 11, 2001, will forever be ingrained in the memory of those who were alive and watched the tragic events unfold that day.
For me personally, another horrific event ingrained in my memory is Hurricane Katrina. In August of 2005, the Category 5 (the highest category) struck the Mississippi and Louisiana gulf coast and brought about one of the worst natural disasters in our country’s history. I lived in Jackson, MS at the time, some 175 miles away from the coast, and we still had 100 mph winds from this massive storm. The aftermath of this storm in New Orleans and small towns along the Mississippi gulf coast would prove to be the most devastating of all that occurred due to the storm.
I had the privilege to serve on multiple teams that were assembled from churches in the Jackson area to go down and help with the recovery of people’s lives and homes. It was the first time that I learned what it meant to “muck a house.” What that phrase meant was we were to take all the possessions of someone’s home, put it into a wheelbarrow and put it out for trash by the road. I remember weeping as I took what used to be some families photo albums and throwing them away because they were completely ruined.
The devastation and aftermath of that disaster is still heavily entrenched in my memory. But the thing that still amazes me, even to this day, was that it was the Church that first responded and came to the rescue of those who were devastated by the storm, not the government. I was thankful to be a part of a community of believers that came together to help in the name of Jesus. Out of all the brokenness and devastation, a church still meets today that was born out of the chaos.
My friends, today we have another opportunity, as the Church, to respond to another disaster in our country. The people of Texas and possibly Louisiana are suffering right now due to Hurricane Harvey. Once you have seen the devastating effects of water, you know that the flooding is just as bad, if not worse, than the wind. They are going to need help in a major way.
Lord willing, the waters are starting to recede and people are hoping to get back to their homes, their businesses and their churches to start the clean-up process. And this is where we can help!
One of the wonderful ministries of our denominations is the Mission to North America (MNA) Disaster Response Agency. This group of people is well-trained and experienced in helping the church mobilize and help during and after natural disasters. You may not know, but our denomination has a huge Disaster Relief warehouse in Rome, GA. This warehouse is well-equipped to help in time of need.
Several emails have already gone out instructing you on how you can help with the immediate need of providing Flood Buckets. Led by our own Brian Russ, our presbytery is jumping in to help provide these resources to first responders in the affected areas. The Houston area is a LONG way away from here but thanks to MNA Disaster Response, we can help by helping to provide these Flood Buckets, by praying and by donating to the relief efforts.
I encourage you to participate however you can with these opportunities we are sponsoring. I think these buckets are a GREAT way to involve kids in assembling them and praying for the homes where they will be used. Please let us know if we can answer any questions you may have about this opportunity.
May Triune God help us to be the hands and feet of Christ to a hurting people.
See you Sunday!
by His grace and to His praise,