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Pray. Pay. Stay. – Responding to Hurricane Harvey

A newspaper reporter called this week and asked, “Has your church planned a trip down to Houston?”

I responded, “No, we will be around to help for the long haul, but we have a different philosophy immediately after the storm hits.”

I explained to him that I grew up in Louisiana and my family was affected by hurricanes Rita & Katrina. A lot of well meaning people drove down to Louisiana during the immediate days following and brought car loads of stuff they had cleaned out of their closets. We learned through that event that in the immediate aftermath, as one of my colleagues explained, the best response was to “Pray, Pay, and Stay.”

Pray for those affected by the disaster. The effects of the trauma these floods and storms cause can last a lifetime. People are experiencing the worst moments of their lives right now. Pray diligently that they will find the physical and emotional support needed.

Pay by making a donation to the charity of your choice. Mine is Week of Compassion. Week of Compassion is our Disciples of Christ Fund that is actively working to assist in the aftermath of this disaster. On Sunday, you will be invited to donate to Week of Compassion Hurricane Harvey Relief so that we can DO something to help!

Stay put until the time is right. There will be a need for mission groups to go help for years to come and it is likely that we will bring a group at some point. But for now, it is best to leave the work to the specialists in disaster response. There are some exceptions, if you are going as a designated volunteer with an emergency response team like the Red Cross.

Josh Baird, the Director of Disciples Volunteering suggested this: Instead of sending used stuff down to Houston, why not collect that stuff, have a garage sale this weekend and donate the money to the charity of your choice? Imagine, he said if instead of being flooded with stuff, the city of Houston was flooded with financial assistance to help in their much needed physical recovery for years to come.

Our scripture on Sunday comes from Romans 12, and says, "Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good."

We know there is a lot of bad news going around and this week is no different. When bad things happen, I like Anne Lamott’s philosophy to “look for the helpers.” Let’s be those folks. On Sunday, we are going to do what we can for the people along Harvey’s path and pray with both our words and our gifts.
See you Sunday

If you would like to make an online donation to Week of Compassion go here


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