The Immediate and the Long-Term

Every time we see a natural disaster like Hurricane Michael, we feel the urgent tyranny of the immediate crisis. People are struggling to survive, and we all want to jump in. It’s appropriate, but it’s not enough. We are collecting supplies for the immediate need and we’ll send a truckload out on Thursday to help address those needs.  We have posted that list of needed items on our Facebook page and are collecting those through Wednesday night.

Please deliver those supplies to the Student Center by Wednesday evening, please.

What is invisible to most people is the long-term need.  Once the power lines are secured, roads are cleared, and search and rescue operations cease, then the long, arduous road of long-term recovery will begin.  Families will try to determine how to rebuild their broken homes, broken emotions, and broken livelihoods.  They will need greater help then. To quote a survivor of Katrina, “We were strapped for the cash to replace a washing machine.  We kept thinking, ‘if we had a washing machine, we could at least try to clean the clothes we still have.'”  Crews will assemble and travel to help repair homes, rebuild neighborhoods, and restore some kind of normalcy, but they will do that long after the television cameras have left for other stories.

Houston continues to recover in that long-term sense from last summer’s hurricane.  The Florida panhandle will be in that kind of recovery for a long time.  Will you join me in praying for those long-term needs and preparing to step into their gaping need?  The news crews will leave shortly.  The first wave of responders will go home and resume their lives.  But people who live there will still face the mold and mildew, the splintered walls, the losses and griefs that have descended upon their communities.

Will we still be paying attention then?

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