STORM FATIGUE – I went on a mission trip to Long Beach, Mississippi, in 2005 nine months after Hurricane Katrina with high school and junior high students. It was a different kind of mission trip — we did not have set jobs to help rebuild the city. The mission leader told us that everyone in Long Beach had “storm fatigue”. That everyone was traumatized, very exhausted, physically/emotionally/spiritually hurt, completely overwhelmed, in shock, fully numb, had anxiety, suffered depression and overt fear. EVERYONE had been impacted. So part of our job was to listen, just to be there for them, to cry and pray with them! So that is what us Houstonians and Texans need to do. Realize that some have it better and some have it worse. Empathize with them. Don’t try to outdo one another in stories of horror. Outdo one in another in love as the Lord Jesus Christ has taught us. What you can do:
- Pray – pray for a softening of your heart to see people through God’s eyes, pray for every person you meet, you never know what they have gone through, compassion goes along way, pray to listen – and not fix everything — some things cannot be fixed by us, it is the Lord alone who can heal. Pray for wisdom and insight, pray for solutions, pray for direction from the Lord and He will provide!
Monetary Donations – please really pray and research before you give one dime to a charity. Give to charities that will give 100% of resources to Harvey victims and not to administrative costs or some bureaucrat.
Serve – please – when it’s safe to do so, GO SERVE! Many people make little work! There are so many shelters that need help! Somebody Cares and Samaritan’s Purse are two excellent organizations. Contact your church and serve them or an affiliated organization. Even if you’ve never helped before – go serve! Commit to long term service even if it’s only one hour a week! It is going to take a year or more to help rebuild Houston. Commit to help our city!
Physical Donations – please only donate what the groups are asking for and please no stained, nappy junk! Volunteers have to sort through everything and what good is it if their time is spent throwing junk away? Please donate ONLY new and like new items! Shelters are needing air mattresses, cots, pillows, sheets, games, toys, food, toiletries (so important) and a variety of nice clothes for men, women and children. Check with the shelters on what they need.
Serve – by listening and being there! An important shelter job is to spend TIME with those displaced. They are traumatized and there is nothing worse than being IGNORED! They need to be able to tell their story! Listen and pray for them while they share. If you have something that can help or provide a solution – tell the shelter personnel. Do not take on or promise to fix things yourself. This can create untold issues. Just listen and be there for them and listen to the Lord’s promptings. A huge part of healing is for a person to be able to tell their story, their experience.
I promise if you do some or all of these things, you will make a difference and the Lord will be glorified!
“For I was hungry
and you gave Me something to eat;
I was thirsty
and you gave Me something to drink;
I was a stranger and you took Me in;
36 I was naked and you clothed Me;
I was sick and you took care of Me;
I was in prison and you visited Me.’
37 “Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You something to drink? 38 When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or without clothes and clothe You? 39 When did we see You sick, or in prison, and visit You?’
40 “And the King will answer them, ‘I assure you: Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of Mine, you did for Me.’” Matthew 25:35-40 GLORY TO GOD!!!!