Dear Friends -
We’ve all watched the scenes of destruction in Texas as Hurricane Harvey
made landfall. The damage continues to mount, unprecedented levels of rain
continue to fall, and the remnants of Harvey appear to be in no hurry to move
on. News sources have all described the recovery from this storm as
“generational”, meaning it will take decades to rebuild.
Faced with the magnitude of this disaster, how do we respond? First, let’s
remember that we are not simply nice people. We are Christians. That means
we are under a command from Our God and Savior to serve and assist our
neighbors whomever they may be. Remember Jesus’ parable of the Good
Samaritan. (Luke 10:25-37) Jesus concluded that lesson with these words:
“Go and do likewise.” That is not a suggestion. That is a command.
Also remember that since we are responding under the direct command of
God, he will be at work through us. This means that finite actions of
compassion on our part will be anointed and empowered by the Holy Spirit to
impact lives in ways we cannot imagine. NOTHING is impossible with God.
This is what you can do. First, we United Methodists have in place a
remarkable aid and recovery agency call the United Methodist Committee on
Relief (UMCOR). UMCOR was in place in Texas long before Harvey made
landfall. The agency has been working with annual conferences in the area to
prepare. Volunteers are trained for immediate response, clergy are working as
chaplains, churches that have not been destroyed will become working aid
stations. Your financial gift to UMCOR will make a lasting difference. Simply
place your additional gift in your envelope and on the line marked “other”
write Texas. Remember putting your designation on the check memo line is
not effective, because the check goes to the bank.
Next, Missions is asking us to donate toward Health Kits. These are UMCOR
packaged supplies that provide basic hygiene items to people who have lost
everything. Our goal is to assemble 50 kits. Information and a complete list of
items needed is included in this edition of Grace Notes and also in the Sunday
School hallway. Or you can donate $11.00 for each kit you want to sponsor.
On your envelope write Health Kit.
Finally, pray. You may feel it is hopeless to pray against so great a power as
Hurricane Harvey. But all the forces of nature are under the control of their
Almighty Creator. We don’t know what miracles great and small will happen
because faithful people pray.
So respond like a Christian, and watch God work.
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