In Times of Global Disaster
What should I do in times of global disaster?
Ever asked yourself that question when watching the evening news or catching up on world events via the Internet? Sometimes the enormity of what is happening in our world is overwhelming. Devastating earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes, civil wars, famines, and other disasters leave us wondering what we can do ... what we should do. Millions of people displaced, rising death tolls, unknown numbers of children orphaned. You might be tempted to turn away, to give up in frustration.
Here are three responses EFCC encourages all followers of Jesus Christ to pursue.
(1) PRAY - God is present with those afflicted in such disasters (Job 36:15, Psalm 10:17-18, Psalm 72:12-13). Pray for those suffering, that God would be merciful to them and bring them hope. Pray that He will deliver them from fear and draw them to Himself. Pray for those bringing aid. Pray that they will have needed resources; that they will have the favor of governments and local authorities with which they must collaborate. Pray that they will minister with His grace and compassion. Pray for their health and safety. Pray for His greater kingdom purposes to be accomplished. Pray that God will enable His church in the afflicted region to rise to the challenge to serve in His name. Pray that such suffering will cause people to turn to God for peace and hope.
(2) BE INFORMED - Find out what God is doing in these circumstances. There are Christian news outlets that can add to what you are hearing in the secular media. While there is much to be learned from CNN, Fox, MSNBC and other news outlets, there are events and needs not reported by them. Missions Network News (www.mnnonline.org), The Christian Post (www.christianpost.com), and Christianity Today (www.christianitytoday.com) are examples of sources that offer news and perspectives not always reported in mainstream media. Mission agency web sites will also offer information on events occurring in the realms of ministry. Such information will help inform your prayers.
(3) GIVE - Christian relief ministry is expensive. The biggest need such agencies have in the early days after a disaster is funding to procure needed supplies. While our natural urge is to send items and to think about volunteering to go, much of disaster relief is technical in nature. Organizations staffed and trained to quickly deploy are usually better positioned to deliver needed aid in an efficient and timely manner. As a disaster moves into the recovery phase there are sometimes opportunities for volunteers. But your best initial response is to give money. In some cases, EFCC will invite donations to our Disaster Relief Fund. Money received will be forwarded to credible EFCC partners serving in the affected area.
But in many cases our church might not be able to respond (due to a variety of reasons). If you want to respond in those cases, look for reputable organizations that have a track record of effective ministry. EFCC can help you find them. Some with which EFCC regularly partners are World Relief World Relief, Samaritan’s Purse, and World Vision.
God wants His church to engage with those who are suffering. By engaging in through these avenues of response you can engage in meaningful ways. Your participation can make a difference.
Global Outreach Ministries
Emmanuel Faith Community Church