Saturday, November 3, 2012

Hurricane Sandy Created a Mission Field

I am amazed at God's sovereignty. Today, I am completely and utterly amazed by that.

Just the front of a long line of people waiting for gasoline
I had emailed Mark earlier this week about doing whatever he wanted me to do in the wake of Hurricane Sandy to get the news out. I never expected him to ask me to come to the east coast this weekend. Within 19 hours of getting a phone call from him, I bought my plane ticket, packed, finished a presentation due the next day, did various other things I was planning to do this weekend, presented my presentation had one last meal with Dustin and hopped on a plane to Philly. Can I just say right now that I love my job? And air travel.

Today was definitely an experience. I've never seen hurricane damage so soon after the actual disaster. It was eerily similar to New Orleans and the pictures I've seen post-Katrina. People lined up for at least a mile at most gas stations, both standing and in cars. While driving through New Jersey last night, we would hit spots that were completely blacked out.

 I walked up a street today and people wandered past me, unsure of what to do with their soaking wet possessions piled up on the sidewalks. I saw the caution tape slapped onto a house that you could see straight through to the back door. I looked at pictures taken of a woman's house that was completely under water. And I watched a pastor light up at the mention of doing a block party and handing out food tomorrow in front of his church. I listened to the story of a woman who worked in a shelter for the past few days, helping people who had a home one day and nothing the next. I sat around a kitchen table and talked to a family who was excited to have us in their house and wanted to learn more about this ministry.

Photo taken in front of a property on Staten Island.
Things salvaged from the flood.
I don't think people realize how bad it is until they come here and see it for themselves. That's why I'm doing this. People need to know and see pictures and hear stories of real people that we've met that are suffering and struggling. People that are rejoicing because of their hope in Christ, not their hope in things. Today, I heard that 3% of Staten Island (which has a lot of damage) claims to evangelical Christians. That's 3% of over half a million people. We believe that a mission field is created in the wake of every crisis. This is a mission field. We have an opportunity.


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  2. Love this post and the insight it brings to what's going on! And you are absolutely right. Even now, THROUGH Sandy and all the damage, God is plotting for His glory and the joy of His people. So, tell me, what does responding to this mission field created by Sandy look like?

  3. Helping can take on a lot of forms. For those who can drop what they are doing and go, there is a huge need for relational ministry. Not so much passing out water bottles and handing out coats (although there is a need for that) but coming alongside a person who is hurting and helping them remove personal belongings and listening to their story. For the person who lives across the country or the stay at home mom, there's always the mail. Churches are collecting donations of backpacks for school kids, school supplies, winter clothing, etc. So that's a real tangible way of helping :) Check out!