Like you, I have been watching with horror the news from Japan. I’ve also received feedback from a member of our family in Hawaii and from my mother who is attending a funeral in Los Angeles. In addition, several of my Facebook friends are reporting stories from relatives or friends in Japan.
So far, damage in Hawaii and on the West Coast seems moderate but the damage in Japan is far more severe. Over the next few days, I expect we will hear of considerably more destruction than is being reported now. Now, the danger of a nuclear meltdown seems likely. I can’t begin to imagine what that would do.
How can we help?
Because Japan is not a third-world country I anticipate they will have more specialized needs. I’m waiting to hear from UMCOR within the United Methodist Church and from other mission contacts as to what those needs are.
So, what should we do now?
Pray. We can pray for the people who are going through so much misery. We can also pray for God to guide our congregations for an appropriate response.
Special Offering. I would suggest giving a special offering this Sunday to store within your church until we hear more ideas. Within a few days, we should be receiving more information.
Email Suggestions. This is where all of us working together can help each other. Some of you are better at doing online research and some of you have great mission contacts of your own. Please find out what you can and offer suggestions over the next few days.
As I hear more ideas on how we can provide help, I will gladly share them.
I believe we are never stronger than when we reach out to help those caught in the grip of a disaster. May God guide us all as we seek to do our part to help those in need.
Psalm 56 has a verse that offers comfort in the midst of our tragedy. In the midst of his own tragedy David writes: “But when I am afraid, I will put my trust in you.” (Verse 3)
I pray that the people of Japan and all the rest of us will find God in the midst of our fear. May we feel God’s holy and protective presence in the midst of our anguish. May the people of Japan see in us the comforting hands and feet of God.
God bless, Larry
From UMC.org – An article from UMCOR our relief agency.