God has suddenly brought this small town to my attention. This is from another survivor who is using her “beauty from ashes” and with the present hope of Jesus, reaching out to the survivors who have just started their journeys on the road to survivorship. Ten things we can do.
For those of us who have been on this journey we know the ddifficulties of losing everything, and we know the joy in return as God faithfully restores each life to something even bigger and better than before.
#10. Be Honest with the survivors. They are hurting and sometimes it can go even deeper than ever before. God knows the hearts of everyone around the natural disaster area. He knows the one who can relate to the survivors to those who are there “to be seen.”
#9. Help survivors find a place to stay. What can you do to help survivors who need a place to stay? Finding them temporary places to stay until FEMA or other government agency comes in. It is Washington State so they will need a place that can be safe, warm and away from everything that is wet damp and perhaps even in the snow.
#8. Families with Little Children. These families would weigh heavy on any person. They have young children who need special items such as blankets or paci’s. What could you do to help this child recover from their disaster. Not all families will be the same. Some are very needy while others will struggle just to let you into their world. Will you pray that families will open up to those trying to help.
#7. Assumption. Assuming is not good for anyone especially if you are a survivor. This makes it harder for the survivor to continue on in their journey of healing. Assuming they are okay is hard. It closes the survivor up because they are being told by someone that “you need to get over it” (it was told to me several times after the Joplin Tornado). This hurts them as well as anyone else trying to reach out to them.
#6. Love everyday. Pray for a loving heart toward the survivors you are ministering to. Pray for a loving heart and everything. Let God help you to love the hard people.
#5. Be in constant prayer for the family or families you are helping. Pray for them while being with the family. Consistently lift them up. Sometimes you may never know the answer to the requests until you meet up with them again.
#4. Always try to find out what their favourite stores are and give them giftcards. This move is one of the best moves to do for the survivors. Trust me there are some people who are cons and yes they have gotten into trouble with the law concerning it.
#3. Arrange for childcare through a reliable childcare relief center. Sometimes this is provided through the SBC and other places. To have a date night for the exhusted parents will be a relief.
#2. Give them a Bible. Many will possibly take it because it is a book. Remember to watch carefully how they respond to who Jesus is. They may or may not be ready for a Bible. Continue to reach out in love and care that Jesus showed to those who needed it the most. Remember He will tell you when the time is right.
#1. Invite them to your church. Inviting them to church is one way to reach out to those who need it. Even when they are not wanting to go to church or it is their last place they want to be. Do not give up and keep the invite open.
These are just a few things to do, but as time passes God will give you a way to care for them. After the Joplin Tornado hit, my church opened Mission Joplin to reach out to storm survivors. It was the store without a cash register. This is where we ministered to survivors who needed it. It had 100+ families go through a week. It is now to still help those who are struggling to get back on their feet but yet it also helps homeless and the survivors.