Hurricane Harvey Response
Loved Ones, As a veteran of Hurricane Katrina's response, there are some things I want to share.
FIRST - DON'T GO: The first rule of fire chaplaincy is you don't self-deploy. As much as you want to throw a chain saw in the back of your pick up and drive down there with a load of water and diapers - you will run out of gas, become a victim, and end up being a resource sucker as opposed to providing any help.
WAIT until the needs present themselves and be leaning forward to respond in ways that may not seem as exciting - but will make a difference.
BE GENEROUS: The first folks on the ground able to do something is the American Red Cross. They are the adult in the room who can swing a pretty big bat. Donate to them in tangible ways - volunteering, writing checks, giving blood, donating needed supplies as those needs become known (e.g.: new under wear and socks; diapers, etc.)
Next consider donating to the Episcopal Relief and Development fund. This will be a long term recovery and as those needs become known, the ERD will provide grants where needed. We will provide an ERD bulletin insert this Sunday to assist you.
PRAY: We have friends and parishioners in harms way. There are homes and churches so damaged that they will be uninhabitable - to which people will be unable to return. There are first responders working diligently to continue to save lives. Include them all in your prayers for a safe outcome.
TRUST that God will bless us through the meager efforts we are able to bring to bear in this tragedy. There is plenty of need to go around. "The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest." (Luke 10.2)