Reaching Out

A Community In Crisis

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As the catastrophic images flooded our television screens - images of people wading through chest-high water, some of them carrying small children, and senior citizens sitting in waist-high water in nursing homes waiting to be rescued, our hearts grieved for the loss and distress being experienced by our neighbors in the Port Aransas, Rockport, and greater Houston areas.

Hurricane Harvey brought devastation, distress, uncertainty, and more. We ask, “How much more, Lord? How much more can this old world take before You come to redeem Your people and put an end to the suffering and insanity?”

At times like these, people of God are called to leave their comfort zones and minister to fellow human beings in dire need. In the weeks, months, and perhaps even years to come, Seventh-day Adventist Church members have the opportunity to bring words of comfort and meals of hope along with the good news of the gospel to those who have been adversely affected by this monster storm.

Members organized and mobilized to go to the submerged neighborhoods, and some of them risked their own personal safety to seek and rescue those who were on roof tops, surrounded by the waters.

I am reminded of the promise found in Isaiah 43:2, “When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.” We now understand that those words are not saying we will never experience floods, but that the Lord will be with those who experience them, right there in the waters alongside them, bringing His sustaining peace and assurance.

It will be interesting to see how the Lord will use us, His people, in the weeks and months to come. He wants us to step up and minister to those who have lived through this terrible tragedy. This disaster provided an opportunity to see people coming together to assist each other, independent of their skin color, the language they spoke or their economic status. People simply helped one another.

For all the bad that we see day in and day out, the spirit of the Lord is alive and well and governs hearts in times like these. People in need are people indeed, just like ourselves, no better, no worse. We are given the charge from above to give our love, our means, our abilities, and, most importantly, ourselves through prayer.

We are assured that the presence of the Lord is the greatest resource that can be offered and given to those who pass through the waters of affliction and weather the tides of distress. Let us continue to lift up in prayer those affected by Hurricane Harvey as they face the monumental challenge of finding a new normal.

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