How can I help?

5 Sep

I am thinking about the disasters in Mississippi, Louisiana, et. al., wondering what I can do to help. I have a goal in mind – To find a way that I can most efficiently and directly help those in need. I begin my analysis by listing all of the possible solutions, factoring in variables like geographical limitations, time, expense, efficiency, who’s involved, existing organizations, costs, materials and many others. I cross-analyze this by Jesus’ command to “help the least of these” and what He meant by that. I also factor in the things that don’t know – danger, disease, etc.. Once I start developing this list, I start a comparative analysis of all possible solutions, ranking these solutions in order of impact and efficiency. As the solutions develop, they are added to the comparatives to produce an dynamic list of possible solutions on how I can best impact the lives of those in need due to the effects of hurricane Katrina and the storm surge that followed.

Ok. I need to stop this insanity. I could spend years analyzing possible solutions and once I come up with just the right one, the need will be different. Isn’t this just what governments do? I am surprised, yet not surprised, that people would wonder why it takes the government so long to respond to crisis situations. Yet, within hours World Vision (a Christian relief organization), had trucks rolling to the devastated area. Locally, a few people here have left with truckloads of supplies gathered within a few days of the hurricane. Already, more trucks are being readied. Just by sending out an email, they collected over $32,000 and 3 truck loads of supplies. People volunteered to drive trucks. Business donated supplies and trucks. All from a small town in Nebraska.

Patti and I had considered the possibility of Patti going on a mission trip to Africa. It would cost about $2,300, maybe more if you include spending money for a two week mission trip. Most of that cost is for air fare to get her there. How much could that $2,300 help people right here in America? I realize that we need people and resources in Africa but how much of an impact would we have on a 2 week mission trip? Is paying that much for transportation costs a wise use of God’s money? See my dilemma?

Two verses that pushed me off my analysis and onto action:

35For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

37“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

40“The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’ (Mathew 25:35-40)

1Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, (Titus 3:1)

There are organizations that are already on the ground – helping those in need:

My brother Darin is working with a group of others to open their homes to refugees from the region. You can read more about what they are doing here.

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