As you read this, many families in North and South Carolina have been devastated by Hurricane Florence. Some will go back to a place they called home and find everything destroyed by floodwaters. Others will undo plywood boards and remove trees only to see severe house damage. Many churches and businesses are damaged or destroyed. Digging out and starting over can be expensive, exhausting, and emotionally draining. The people of the Carolinas need your help.
Here’s what you can do:
Pray for the victims
The Bible compels us to pray for those who are in need. Psalm 34:18 says that the Lord is “near to the broken-hearted and saves the crushed in spirit.” Here are six things you can pray for those in hurricane-affected areas:
- Peace in the midst of turmoil
- Adequate food, shelter, and transportation
- Access to relief resources and relief agencies
- Streamlined process for applying for aid
- Financial resources to rebuild their lives
- Opportunities to display God’s glory in the midst of suffering
Give to NAMB’s Send Relief
The North American Mission Board’s Send Relief is the third largest disaster relief operation in the country and arguably the most effective. This unique model works with local state conventions, Baptist associations, and local churches to train, mobilize, and send volunteers into affected areas. Federal, state, and local governments routinely recognize the SBC for the effectiveness of their relief programs. You can give to Send Relief here. For more information, you can read a detailed news story and profile of the organization here.
Sign up as a disaster relief volunteer
You can sign up to volunteer with disaster relief through Send Relief or through your state convention. Your local SBC church may even have a disaster relief coordinator. You can donate as much time as you want, whether a week, weekend, or even just a couple of days. Your contribution will go a long way in helping people rebuild their lives.
Organize a disaster relief fund and crew in your church
You can help organize your church's role in providing relief. My advice is to go through Send Relief, rather than attempt this on your own. Your first instinct might be to get a truck full of bottled water and a crew and head to the Carolinas, but you’d probably be more effective and supported by organizing a group in your church and working through Send Relief or your local state convention or association. This will help you and your church steward resources well and put you in the most vital locations.
As Southern Baptists, we are privileged to have organizations that enable us to serve well in Jesus' name when disaster strikes. They make it as simple as possible for our churches to step in and bring a cup of cold water, a hot meal, warm clothes, and a message of hope. If you and your church are able, I encourage you to pray about how you can get involved in bringing relief to those who are suffering.