Redeeming Grace Church,

As we view the news about the reports out of Southeast Texas and Louisiana, our hearts are saddened for the people who are suffering. As believers in Jesus Christ, how are we to respond?

The damage is almost unimaginable, I heard an estimate on the news yesterday that the damage is in the hundreds of billions of dollars. It will take years for the region to fully recover. The most recent figures:

  • At least 30 people are dead and at least 450,000 will need emergency assistance.
  • Parts of Houston received more than 50 inches of rain, making it the highest rainfall from a single storm in the history of the U.S.
  • More than a trillion gallons of rain have fallen in Harris County alone, which is enough to run Niagara Falls for 15 days or fill the Houston Astrodome 3,200 times.
  • At least 30,000 people are homeless.
  • The storm has affected nearly one-fifth of the U.S. refinery capacity, causing growing concerns about gasoline supplies and increased prices.

How do we respond to this kind of suffering as our lives continue on in normal ways? Well in one way we are to be “groaning together” (Romans 8:22-23) in prayer with those who are experiencing this tragedy first-hand. They are suffering. This is a world that is filled with pain and suffering. So, we weep with those weep (Romans 12:15). And we pray for them and with them.

Let us pray for those who have lost so much, and pray for the brave men and women, the military, civil servants and the average citizens who are demonstrating heroism and bravery in the rescue efforts. And let us continue to pray for them as they move from rescue to relief and recovery efforts.

And as we pray for all of the people directly and indirectly impacted, let’s be open to how God might lead us to respond practically. One option is to go to World Vision’s website, where you’ll find ways to help through that organization. In addition, the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability provides a list of 40 ECFA-accredited organizations that are helping communities impacted by Hurricane Harvey, including Cru, Samaritan’s Purse, The Christian Relief Fund, and World Vision U.S.

We have not been able to investigate all of the organizations listed, but please feel free to do so, and prayerfully consider giving.  The cleanup and rebuilding from this disaster will continue for a long time and we encourage you to consider giving in the months ahead as well.

This is also a time to reflect with sober hearts on our faith and trust in God, rather than the things around us that bring security.  In Psalm 90:12, Moses prays, “So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.” May we ask for the same.

Grateful for your partnership in the gospel,