In the dark early morning hours of August 29th 2005 New Orleans Louisiana was forever changed. Churning off shore and heading toward the city was a terrifyingly beautiful Category 5 hurricane. Although it decreased in strength to a Category 3 storm by the time it made landfall, the most devastating part was yet to come. As the center, the most intense part of the cyclone, was pounding the downtown area, storm-surge control levees began to fail. Massive flooding ensued. Some areas of the city were inundated with 15 feet or more of water. Wind destroyed windows and roofs at random. Belongings, and lives were carried away with the wind, rain, and flooding. Final death toll estimates are that over 1,400 people died as a result of Hurricane Katrina. The monetary damage, while still not completely understood, is over $100 billion. Post storm, thousands of people were trapped by the flooding for days, even weeks, trying to flee the destruction and terror.
Terror overwhelms them, and they are blown away in the storms of the night. The east wind carries them away, and they are gone. It sweeps them away. It whirls down on them without mercy. They struggle to flee from its power. – Job 27:20-22
Storms of life will come. It is just a fact of life, a sometimes very painful fact.
…and he sends rain on the just and on the unjust, too. – Matthew 5:45
The question is what will be the outcome on us? How will we deal with the aftermath?
He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When others are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. – 2 Corinthians 1:4
While much of the world turned their attention to New Orleans and the cleanup immediately following the devastation of that city. Now, four years later, it is largely forgotten. The Federal Emergency Management Organization maintains a list published of the various organizations that are still engaged in efforts for the Katrina victims. Notice the makeup of this list.
- Adventist Community Services (800) 381-7171
- American Red Cross (800) HELP NOW (435-7669) in English, (800) 257-7575 in Spanish
- America’s Second Harvest (800) 344-8070
- Catholic Charities, USA (800) 919-9338
- Christian Disaster Response (941) 956-5183 or (941) 551-9554
- Christian Reformed World Relief Committee (800) 848-5818
- Church World Service (800) 297-1516
- Convoy of Hope (417) 823-8998
- Dallas County Medical Society Project Access (214) 948-3622
- Lutheran Disaster Response (800) 638-3522
- Mennonite Disaster Service (717) 859-2210
- Nazarene Disaster Response (888) 256-5886
- Operation Blessing (800) 436-6348
- Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (800) 872-3283
- Salvation Army (800) SAL-ARMY (725-2769)
- Southern Baptist Convention — Disaster Relief (800) 462-8657, ext. 6440
- Texas Nurses Foundation
- United Methodist Committee on Relief (800) 554-8583
Of the 18 organizations listed, only 3 are not directly Christian related. They are comforting with the same comfort they have been given. Jesus has not forgotten them, nor have his people.
Father, may I never grow callous to the needs and suffering of others. Please help me see with Jesus’ eyes. In His name. Amen.
Lift Up. Jan