Friday, September 02, 2005

Disaster, Chaos, Tragedy & Hope

Things are getting pretty tense in Louisiana, Compass Church's neighbor to the east and the state I grew up in. The way it is playing out is unbelievable, with the best and absolute worst in people coming out. And the stories pouring in are pretty heart wrenching.

I read an article in the Shreveport Times today, that compared Hurricane Katrina to last year's hurricane Charley (estimated $15 billion in U.S. damages, 10 lives lost), which was followed 2 weeks later by hurricane Frances (estimated $8.9 billion in U.S. damages, 7 lives lost), which was followed by hurricane Ivan (estimated 14.2 billion in damages, 25 lives lost). The total loss of life from those 3 hurricanes combined was 42. The numbers have not yet been validated for Katrina, but the estimate has been set in the thousands of lives lost. I'm hoping that number is incorrect, but it certainly has to be in the hundreds.

This AP article describes the situation as of today. It seems as if there is disaster upon disaster happening in the wake of Katrina, and darkness of every kind has made its way into New Orleans. (side note: The Police Chief's name is "Eddie Compass.") I'm not meaning to neglect the other areas affected, like Mississippi, but New Orleans seems to have some unique situations happening at the moment.

Where is God at times like this?

Without meaning to oversimplify things, let me just say that He is right here with us. Stirring and moving in the hearts of His people. Wanting people who do not know Him to turn to Him. He is wanting people who are hurting and in despair to find peace and strength in Him. He is calling His church to be His hands and feet to meet real needs and demonstrate help and hope in the middle of disaster.

One day there will be no more pain or suffering or tragedy. On that day God will wipe away all tears and heartache. Jesus made such a day possible 2000 years ago on a cross, and it is a day that I long for with all of my heart. But until that day comes, there is much to be done and many more people who need to be a part of that great day. There is a hurting world who needs a friend, a blanket, shelter, food and a Savior. During, after and even before a Hurricane or other disaster.

I'm encouraged to see what Churches are doing to respond to this need, even as the church responded when the Tsunami hit the shore. And there are many good things happening and that are going to happen throughout this thing.

Here are a few stories that demonstrate that:
And there are many more churches, organizations, individuals and denominations doing some good stuff, right now. And that should be encouraging to all of us who are followers of Christ.

To make a donation to help meet the incredible need, click here for a range of options. And pray for the peace of New Orleans.

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