Sarah Bessey offers an eye-opening perspective on God’s ability to move mountains (emphasis original):
Faith can move mountains. And sometimes that most holy mountain-moving faith looks like spending your life on making that mountain move, rock by rock, pebble by pebble, unsexy day after daily day.
I think that mountains move by faith, absolutely, sometimes even instantly, and I also think that radical faithfulness to making space for God and restoring the world to God’s beautiful dream for humanity is a statement of faith.
The victims of natural disasters need God to move mountains. They need accessible drinking water, uncontaminated food, safe shelter, cleared roads, reconstructed homes, medical supplies, and so much more.
Yes, they need our prayers, but they also need Christians to give selflessly. Are you ready to help God move mountains?
Charlene Maugeri, a contributing writer to this blog, wrote a convicting piece on her own blog last week. In “We Know You’re Praying. What else?” she writes (emphasis original):
Please do pray. Prayer is so powerful. Please hear me when I say that. In fact, prayer is the most powerful thing you can do. But it’s easy. It’s easy to sit in your comfortable home that’s free of water damage and pray. And it’s easy to tell the world that you are praying and to feel good about yourself.
…yes prayer is important. Go pray in your room with the door shut. And then go to Houston and help if you can. Send money and supplies. Do something tangible that will help immediately. Love your neighbor. Oh, and you don’t have to tell the world that you’re doing that either.
The Bible calls Christians to do more than just pray.
What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but do not have works? Can faith save you? If a brother or sister is naked and lacks daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and eat your fill,” and yet you do not supply their bodily needs, what is the good of that? -James 2:14-16
Hurricane Harvey devastated parts of Texas. According to officials in Texas, at least 70 people have died due to Hurricane Harvey.
Hurricane Irma has already devastated islands in the Caribbean, and will most likely cause great damage in Florida and other US states. 12 people are already reported dead.
What can Christians do to help?
Edit 09/28/2017: At least 61 people in the US died due to Hurricane Irma. More than 40 died in the Caribbean. At least 16 people in Puerto Rico died due to Hurricane Maria–and official numbers don’t count Puerto Ricans dying due to lack of necessary medical care.
All living former presidents have come together to raise money for the victims of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria. One America Appeal is working to help Texas, Florida, and the Caribbean.
Scroll to the end of this post for updated ways to help disaster relief for both Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria.
Donate Money to the Victims of Hurricane Harvey
Christina Henderson, a Facebook friend of mine from our Furman days, posted the following resources. I’ve looked at all the links and added descriptions.
Where to Donate in Houston
Texas Diaper Bank: Their mission is to address the diaper gap and its impact on individuals in crisis. Charlene also included this in her post, with the suggestion to buy diapers online and change the shipping address.
The Texas Diaper Bank
5415 Bandera Road Suite 504
San Antonio, TX 78238
Houston Food Bank: For every dollar donated, they are able to obtain and distribute $6 in food.
Coastal Bend Food Bank: Like most of the organizations on this list, they have expanded their mission to help the victims of Hurricane Harvey.
Galveston County Food Bank: This food bank procures and distributes food to a network of more than 55 agencies, helping to provide free food and non-food products those in need.
Portlight: This organization focuses on disaster relief for people with disabilities. In addition to helping Hurricane Harvey survivors with disabilities, they are already acting in preparation of Hurricane Irma. They also need remote volunteers, so this is a great volunteer opportunity for people who need to stay at home.
Houston Coalition for the Homeless: This nonprofit works with multiple direct service providers to meet the needs of the homeless in Houston.
Houston Emergency Aid Coalition: The EAC is already working to provide water and emergency relief boxes across Houston.
SPCA of Texas: They are providing disaster relief to pets.
Covenant House: This organization serves homeless youth. Their shelter in Houston is open, but they’re evacuating the youth at their shelter in Fort Lauderdale.
Houston Independent School District (HISD): This school district is raising money to help its students affected by Hurricane Harvey.
Houston Mayor’s Fund via Greater Houston Community Foundation: To the best of my understanding, Houston leaders partnered with a local nonprofit to collection donations to help local people.
Where to Donate in Texas
Houston is not the only city hit hard by Hurricane Harvey. Christina also compiled this list of other nonprofits across the state of Texas, in areas strongly affected by the hurricane.
Southeast Texas Food Bank: The food bank partners with other organizations to serve the community. Currently they’re working to meet the needs of a food and water shortage in Beaumont.
United Way of Beaumont & North Jefferson County: Normally I don’t broadly endorse United Way because effectiveness varies greatly by location. However, these areas in Texas have less nonprofits to serve the community, so I’m including it on the list.
Humane Society of Southeast Texas: While their website doesn’t mention Hurricane Harvey, I assume they’re helping with displaced animals.
Women & Children’s Shelter – Beaumont: Their shelter is currently closed due to flooding. Donations will help repair the shelter to reopen it.
United Way of Mid & South Jefferson County: Another branch of United Way.
United Board of Missions: This nonprofit is a coalition of Mid and South County churches and dedicated volunteers providing support programs to assist the residents of Mid- and South Jefferson County, Texas.
How to Help Victims of Hurricane Irma
Some of the nonprofits listed above are also working in Florida in anticipation of Hurricane Irma. Refinery 29 has put together a list of organizations who need volunteers or donations to help disaster relief in the Caribbean.
Edit 09/28/2017: Now that Hurricane Irma has passed, here are a few nonprofits who are helping with disaster relief.
GlobalGiving: GlobalGiving has set up a fund specified for Hurricane Irma relief efforts. They work with both local nonprofits and larger ones.
South Florida Wildlife Center: This nonprofit offers animal rescue, rehabilitation, and education services.
The NY Times put together a list, How to Help Hurricane Irma Victims, but I have not personally vetted everything they recommend. I am wary of donating money to the Red Cross, but they are often the best option for donating blood.
How to Help Victims of Hurricane Maria
Puerto Rico is struggling in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. Most of the island is without power, running water, or even cell service.
GlobalGiving: This nonprofit has a separate fundraiser designated for the Caribbean. All money donated to this fund will go directly to disaster relief in the Caribbean.
United for Puerto Rico: The First lady of Puerto Rico, Beatriz Rosselló, has spearheaded this campaign.
FastCompany put together a list, How to help Puerto Rico: 10 things you can do for Hurricane Maria victims right now, but I have not personally vetted everything they recommend.
For everyone, keep praying.
This is part of the prayer I wrote last night. Join me in lifting up this prayer to God. #MuddlingPrayers ⠀ ⠀ –⠀ ⠀ Lord, I pray for everyone affected by Hurricane Harvey. I lift up to you the citizens of Texas and surrounding states, first responders, government officials, nonprofits, and the families of the victims who died.⠀ ⠀ Jesus calmed the storm once. You can calm the storm again. Stop the rain in Texas. Let everyone proclaim in wonder the greatness of Your name. There is already enough devastation–I pray that you stop it from getting worse.⠀ ⠀ Finally, help me to trust Your will. My mom's death makes no sense. Natural disasters make no sense. I know You have a plan, but I don't always feel like You do. When there's so much grief and sadness, how does that bring glory to Your name? Open my heart to trust You completely. ⠀ ⠀ In Your name I pray,⠀ Amen⠀ ⠀ #MuddlingMovement
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