Thursday, May 26, 2011

In the face of disaster, what can we do?

I've been burdened by the tornadoes and their horrific paths of destruction. I first asked God what I could do when I saw the horrific images of Alabama. Then the weekend storms hit Joplin. A third of the town...gone.

It's almost too much to fathom.

But the burden wouldn't leave. So I kept praying. A donation didn't seem like enough, though I did that, too. I wanted to do something tangible. Something the kids could participate in like giving of clothes and books to those who have lost everything.

I mentioned an idea to my pastor's wife, and literally, in twenty-four hours God exploded it into something so much bigger. I love how He does that! Our church is a collection point for material goods to go to a church in Joplin where my pastor's brother serves as a worship pastor. I sent out a facebook message to 41 friends (don't you love social networking) and now three local churches are partnering with us. I worried about how we would transport the goods, and one of those churches has a box truck we can use. A friend has a trailer we can borrow. God saw all of this and has it planned!

So what can we do?
  • Pray. I absolutely believe prayer is key. I'm praying that God will lead the searchers to those awaiting rescue. I'm praying for peace and comfort to those who lost so much. And I'm praying for the storms to calm.
  • Give. There are excellent organizations like Convoy of Hope and Samaritan's Purse that are on the ground making a difference. For Samaritan's Purse, the link takes you to the donation page and enter an amount at the US line. For Convoy of Hope, you can also go to KLOVE's page for easy donating. These organizations are on the ground with critical food and water and the love of God. Samaritan's Purse is organizing volunteers, too.
  • If you want to help with physical items, there are many churches that will serve as collection points. If you're near West Lafayette, Indiana, bring them to my home church Bethel Christian Life Center. We will get them to Joplin Family Worship Center, for distribution
  • Desperately needed items:
    • Baby food
    • formula
    • diapers
    • kids' clothes from infant on up
    • toys and books are welcome too, but think small since we'll have to transport everything.
    • tarps in all shapes and sizes.
    • hygiene products -- everything from hotel sample sized to full sized
    • I'm also hearing that things like cell phones and chargers are critically needed, too.
 If you would like more information on how to help, contact one of the organizations listed above or email me if you're close to Lafayette.

I refuse to stand paralyzed in the face of disaster. Instead, I choose to do something and be the hands and feet of Christ to those in desperate need.

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