Responding to Hurricane Florence

September 18, 2018
By Bishop Leonard Fairley

There are moments in life when perspective rocked by reality shakes us from our personal agendas, causing us to truly understand and live into what it means to be passionate spiritual disciples of Jesus Christ.  Those times are especially prevalent “When the storms of life are raging....”
The waters have come in devastating fashion to North and South Carolina, and the people called United Methodist will respond as we always do.  We will not be responding for the cameras or the media, but simply because it is who we are.  It is who we are called to be as water washed, spirit born children of the living God.  We will respond because the love of Jesus Christ compels us. We are the hands and feet of Christ standing with our brothers and sisters, who in most cases have lost everything; some are even grieving the loss of loved ones.  We will stand by them, first, with our prayers, making true the words of the hymn writers, “When the storms of life are raging, stand by me; When the world is tossing me like a ship upon the sea, thou who rulest wind and water, stand by me.” (Charles Albert Tindley, 1905)
I have no doubt in my mind that generous people of Kentucky will answer the call. If you ask me how I can be so certain, it is because in the two short years of traveling around our annual conference as your bishop I have found people, churches, and communities of faith who possess hearts that respond generously and give whenever and wherever a “Macedonian” call is made.  The call comes as the cries of God’s people are even now rising from flood waters.  We in Kentucky will respond. I know many of you already have done so.  We will not only pray, but in our prayers we will seek God’s will as to how we can practically respond in the days, weeks, months, and dare I say, even years to come.  UMCOR will be our initial way of response; however, I can also say with certainty that when the time comes we will travel with teams as well.  We will be the hands and feet of Christ.  It’s in our spiritual DNA.  It is who we are and what we do when we have been transformed by the love of Jesus Christ.  Lord, have mercy, Christ have mercy.

Here are a couple of links that may be helpful as you look at beginning your relief efforts:

Disaster Preparedness eBook

The Top 4 Best and Worst Ways to Help After a Disaster