A few days ago, Hurricane Harvey touched down and barreled through the state of Texas creating chaos, destruction, flooding, and loss. As I write this, torrential rains are still falling, rescuers are still bringing victims out from submerged homes and cars, and a multitude of shelters are filling up with survivors.
News reporters are claiming that the amount of devastation from this storm is “unprecedented” in comparison with previous hurricanes. Many are comparing the amount of damage from this storm with that from Hurricane Katrina back in August of 2005.
My heart breaks for those people. When I see the actual photos and videos, I know there is no media distortion of the reality. It’s simply bad down there. Real bad.
Like many others, I am pondering my options to help. Living in an opposite corner of the country from where this tragic storm is happening makes me wonder how I can find some practical way to send assistance.
Along with the theme of the book I am currently writing, I will continue to encourage all that there is always some way to make a difference with whatever financial or other resources one has.
I’ve seen large organizations like Samaritan’s Purse sending tractor-trailer loads out on their way to Texas, almost as soon as the weather forecasts predicted a monster storm. Samaritan’s Purse is a non-denominational evangelical Christian International Relief organization based in Boone, North Carolina. Money donations received throughout the year enable this organization to be ready for disasters when they come.
I’ve read about local churches in my area, including my own, collecting supplies. They are gathering baby supplies, pet supplies and food, cleaning supplies, and non-perishable food items. It is easy enough to drop stuff off at a church that is organizing and funding their transport to Texas.
The news reports are showing local Texas folks using their own motorboats, Sea-Doos, and Jet Skis to rescue people trapped in the rising waters. These people are doing what they can with what they have.
I know of people opening their homes for those who have lost their homes. It is no small commitment to take folks in to live with you, yet I know this is pleasing to the Lord.
Many churches and groups, large and small, have united in prayer for those affected by the storm. Although there will be some loss of life, I am sure prayer is a major factor in minimizing those losses.
And finally, as I continued my ongoing Bible study on the book of Job this morning, I came across this interesting verse:
Is it possible that a simple, kind smile can be helpful to others? I confidently answer that with a resounding YES. I can think of many times in my life when I was going through a very rough time. I didn’t need advice; I didn’t need material things; I just needed some compassion and support. A genuine smile did that for me on many occasions.
Kindness and an abundance of Christ-generated smiles can go a long way towards helping, loving, and restoring.
Now that is something we can all do.