Irma, Jose, Lee, Maria - all major hurricanes which have inflicted death, destruction, and massive losses on the U.S. and other nations. What should be the response from those who follow Jesus?
According to USA Today, faith-based religious groups have provided 80% of aid delivered so far to communities with homes devastated by recent hurricanes. “About 80 percent of all recovery happens because of non-profits, and the majority of them are faith-based,” Greg Forrester, CEO of NVOAD (75% of members are faith-based organizations), told USA Today.
Leading these groups are Samaritan’s Purse (Franklin Graham) and the United Methodist Committee on Relief. Massive amounts of equipment, trained personnel, and workers have been deployed to assist FEMA efforts. Seventh Day Adventist properties have been helping governments warehousing relief supplies and become distribution centers. Convoy of Hope has set up feeding stations in affected communities, often at the request of FEMA.
In fact, without the free help of believers, the U.S. government would have great difficulty helping those in need. “FEMA cannot do what it does so well without the cooperation of faith-based non-profit organizations and churches,” Rev. Jamie Johnson, director of the Department of Homeland Security’s Center for Faith-Based & Neighborhood Partnerships, told USA Today. “It’s a beautiful relationship between government and the private sector and it is something to behold.”
These caring responses are “reflecting the Lord Jesus to the needy world!” Not only should we pray for those in in need, but pray for and support those organizations who are being the practical hands of Christ in these places of crisis.