If the Lord is keeping you safe and dry during hurricane season, these communities need your help — particularly if you live near the suffering communities. Embrace your freedom and love your neighbors. Here are a few ways you can do this:
- Open your home. Don’t think of your home as your space; transform it into a shared space.
- If you can’t welcome displaced people into your home, bring food and toiletries to people you know are sharing their homes to lessen the burden.
- Think food. Everybody must eat, and if you have a working kitchen, use it to serve others by cooking meals for people living in shelters. Share the burden with the shelter workers by offering to deliver meals. Gather your friends and cook for large groups.
- In the immediate aftermath of a hurricane, people need the basics. Two days after Katrina, I was at Wal-mart buying our family underwear, spare clothes, shoes, deodorant, etc. Collect essential toiletries and bring them to displaced people in your community.
- Give sacrificially. Donate money to worthy organizations doing relief work. Hand out gift cards for groceries, clothes and restaurants to the people you know.
- Offer to wash people’s clothes. Go to the houses of those you know hosting families and gather up all the laundry, take care of it and bring it back. Visit the shelter and offer to do the same.
- People who’ve just endured the shock of losing everything they own need to process. Share a cup of coffee while you listen to them tell their story.
- When a community floods, it takes a lot of work over a long period of time to rebuild it. Show up as often as you can to help.
- Be faithful in your help. Restoring a community takes time. It’s easy to help in the immediate aftermath of a tragedy. But remember, the people who’ve lost everything will still be rebuilding months later.
- Your community needs your intercession. We are told to, “seek the welfare of our city (Jeremiah 29:7).” If you want to serve your community well, pray for it.
Also, you can give to relief organizations like North American Mission Board — or to local churches in flood ravaged areas.
What other tips would you suggest?