Sept 3, 2017
(By Rabbi Roi)
Come, You Blessed of My Father
34 Then the King will say to those on His right hand, 34 Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:35 for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:35 for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; 36 I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’
37 “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? 38 When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? 39 Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40 And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’
If current projections hold true, Hurricane Harvey will be the strongest hurricane to strike the United States since Katrina, Rita, and Wilma hit in 2005.
A decade ago, maybe you volunteered, planned a short-term mission trip, gave money, or helped rebuild Gulf Coast communities beaten down by one of America’s most deadly and destructive disaster seasons.
Harvey, which hit the Texas coast as a Category 4 hurricane, offers believers a chance to be even more helpful—to show God’s grace and mercy to a disaster-filled world. But it means we have to be willing to learn from experiences like Katrina.
For people in the path of Hurricane Harvey, there are still some “just-in-time” preparedness strategies you can implement before the storm makes landfall. For Christians far away, there’s a lot more you can do than wait and watch Twitter like it’s an unfolding disaster movie.
When we had the flooding in Wimberly, Texas, it took the life a young mom and her two kids that came to our congregation. Israel responded by sending 20 young people to help. They were actually instrument in recovering the remains.
Now, I received a call again from Israel, Isra-Aid. They sent 14 and are sending another 20 to help with the recovery effort for Houston. I spoke to them and they are excited about helping Texas. We will house them in Houston at a sister congregation.
This is the time that our nation must look at everyone, not as political parties but as indivuals in need. May the economic, political gender and race card be set aside. We stand as one.
As I type this we are receiving families driving in from Houston. They are in our parking lot and drying out. The mother was very emotional saying the lost their house, furniture and escaped with the clothes on their back. She wept. The dad was very positive. We have our lives! We will recovery and rebuild. We gave them funds to go buy food. But before they came, they let me know that looters were walking around with rifles. It was very dangerous. Houston has our prayers.
You may have never thought about your role in preparing for a disaster in your own community. Even if you have, you still may not know how to prepare as you watch this unexpected hurricane rapidly approaching. Taking these small actions now can go a long way toward preventing harm and saving lives.
First, we must pray… Many have lost everything. So many do not have the proper insurance.
Second, we can give to charities where the funds actually reach the people.
Lastly, you can go. We have a group of people joining in with Isra-Aid to help in the recover and rebuilding.
I’m so glad I gassed up on Wednesday. My son Joshua had to cancel some appointments because he had no gas, and the lines were over 70 cars long.
Disasters often disrupt the ways we communicate. Power goes out and cell phone towers go down, making most modern forms of staying in touch with one another difficult. Thus, communicating during a disaster can be tough. But let us not forget to communicate in prayer with our Heavenly Father.
If you have time prior to the disaster, reach out to your congregation using your normal and most common means of communication to let them know how they might be able to stay in touch with the church, leadership, and each other.
Don’t just let your congregation know how you’ll be communicating, but also let them know how to use the ways you’ll be communicating. Disasters will make us closer or grow apart. May we use this disaster to unite and go forward?