October 12, 2019
With news of the devastation caused by Hurricane Michael still filling the airwaves, I couldn’t help but think of the many people whose lives have been affected and forever changed.
Like me, most of you have at some point either lived through a hurricane or have a loved one who has lived through a hurricane. A few weeks ago, when hurricane Florence hit the East Coast, my daughter’s family lived in an area that caught the outer bands of the storm. However, as a news reporter she spent days in an area that received a direct hit (Wilmington, North Carolina) covering the aftermath of the devastation. As Kathryn would tell you, she will never forget the images.
We have some very dear friends who live in Mexico Beach, Florida. When Hurricane Michael was still expected to be only a category 2 hurricane, they decided to play it safe and evacuate. At the time, they didn’t realize what a wise decision they were making. When we talked with them yesterday, they were hoping they would be able to return home later today (Friday). When asked what they expected to find. They said, “Nothing. We believe our home was leveled by the storm.” Only time will tell for sure, but they represent the lives of many, maybe even some people you know and love.
I also started thinking about the Church. In both cases, the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) was immediately on the ground working to mitigate the suffering and distress. Scott Parish, who oversees missions in the North Georgia Annual Conference is hard at work putting together work teams that either have been deployed or will be deployed to help the affected communities rebuild their lives. According to Scott, one of the greatest needs is for financial support. Through financial support every penny goes to help meet human need. Not one penny is spent on administrative costs. (The administrative costs are covered through what are called, Conference Apportionments).
How can you help? One way of course, is financially. Already DUMC has given $5,700 through a special offering. Through one of our foundations another $25,000 has been committed. Still, if you have not given, I want to encourage you to jump in and help make a difference.
Also, next Saturday, October 20, during the Great Day of Service we will be putting together “Clean Up Flood Buckets”. These flood buckets contain basic necessities such as detergent, insect repellent, trash bags, scrub brushes, etc. These will go directly to people in need.
Finally, if you have an interest in serving on one of the work teams that will help rebuild impacted areas, you can call Chris Mixer, our Director of Missions at 770-394-0675. He will provide guidance on how to make that happen.
Thank you for what you have done. I also want to thank you in advance for what you will do. You are being the hands and feet of Christ.