As the people of Texas, Florida, and other states begin the long process of recovery, we are preparing to assist them in the name of Jesus. Be patient! We will be moving forward soon enough. In the future, we may be equipped for a more rapid response, but for now we must train. We walk before we run! I expect our first training event to take place in late September or early October.
AMBASSADORS FOR CHRIST – Here’s an important note – we are Christian workers rather than humanitarians, if you follow my distinction. We serve under the banner of our Lord Jesus with the dual purpose of helping our fellow man and making known our Savior’s name.
It’s a mistake to preach the gospel to needy people without also caring for their basic needs, and it would be equally mistaken to help disaster victims without preaching the gospel. Jesus’ compassion was expressed in such a way as to glorify himself as the Son of God, always pointing to himself as the at-hand and ultimate solution to life’s problems. We must do the same. That’s why a portion of our training will be devoted to a clear and simple expression of the gospel. We will lift our neighbors from the mud to give them comfort; we will lift Jesus before them to give them eternity.
DOCUMENTS – This WordPress site will be the repository for your updates, training materials, and other information. I will continue sending emails for the time being, with the link to the next update, but at some point you will have the choice of opting out of some of the emails, so you should go ahead and subscribe (or whatever they call it) to this blog. You’ll be better informed with (eventually) less annoyance.
HOW WILL WE GET THERE – I’m working on the issue of transportation. I’ve flown once to a disaster area, but usually driven. Both present opportunity and challenge. I expect we will use any and all means to get volunteers onto the field. Planes, trains, and automobiles! And buses.
COMMUNITY GROUPS – This is an opportunity for our Community Groups to rally around a missions project. The cost of lost wages and transportation makes active participation (ie. going) difficult for most folks. There will be some who can fully pay their own way, but I’m of the opinion that each Community Group should send a representative and contribute to the total cost of that volunteer’s trip. Like I said in the last update, there is no insignificant role in this endeavor. We pray, we give, and we go. Our CG’s should lead the way.
And if you’re not in a community group, perhaps this will be your time to start or join one.
GIVING – You will have continuing opportunities to support the relief mission. There may be occasional special offerings, but you can just as easily donate through the church’s website. There’s a spot on the donations interface where you can designate a gift for disaster relief. I don’t think it’s broken down further than that, i.e. donations to victims vs. funding for our volunteer efforts, but that may change as we advance in our preparations.
Stay tuned! We will be meeting face to face in a short time. And don’t forget that relief is a marathon effort. Our interest in serving is not a whim, not fueled by news coverage, not a matter of convenience. We are in this for the long haul, because that’s what disaster relief requires. We pray, we give, we go, working together to get the job done.
Published on Tuesday, September 19, 2017 @ 12:16 PM EDT