Here is a snippet of a post from Leneita Fix who is a youth worker near the Jersey Shore and had Superstorm Sandy pass right over her community. Its a great piece and an opportunity for us to get students involved to give to help those most in need right now. Please read and go check out the full post for the rest of the info about how to get involved today.
BEFORE THE STORM: This past Sunday I had the opportunity to speak at a local church. I had wrestled and prayed about what to share. Hurricane Sandy was looming off our coast. The projected path was literally set for over my house on the Jersey Shore. For days, news and weather channels were raising panic within all of us calling this, “Frankenstorm.” Tense laughter filled aisles of supermarkets as water was eerily missing from shelves. So as the Lord spoke to my heart, asking me to talk on Jesus calming the storm in Luke 8, you can imagine my reaction. I wouldn’t talk on “that,” I couldn’t imagine it not sounding corny. Although He tugged at my soul harder, I made a different set of notes…
As I sat in the pew awaiting my name to be called, I heard Christ once again ask if I might talk about this story. The church was only half full as I stood before the congregation. Many were already home making preparations for the impending doom. Exchanging notes, I set out to tell of 12 disciples scared for their lives in the midst of what I believe could have been a hurricane. All the while their Messiah was asleep. What stuck out to me from this passage was a phenomenal idea. Yes, we all know that Jesus calmed the storm. This is important. However, I don’t really think that was the point. You see when the winds have been subdued Christ rebukes his friends for their lack of faith. Why? They should have understood that no matter what HE WAS THERE TO PROTECT THEM. As we left that day, I knew the sermon was for my own heart. As this colossal threat stood at my door what would be my own reaction? Would I know that no matter what happened, Jesus was close at hand, caring and loving all of us.
AFTER THE STORM: Now I sit on the other side of this monster storm. Jesus did not push back this mammoth into the sea. It’s power did not dissipate. Instead it plowed through the homes and neighborhoods around us. The pictures many are witnessing on CNN are literally blocks away from me. Personally, I am thankful for friends who took us in to evacuate the coast. Our house is still standing, with some shingles off the roof. We were and are safe. However, the house next to us is standing with a tree on the roof. The streets are barely passable. We know many who have lost everything: homes, cars, all their “stuff” is gone. You may be watching it on a screen, I am looking into the eyes of those I know. Important places in the life of our family are literally washed out to sea. Sitting in stunned silence, you wonder what to do? Where do I start?
WHERE WAS GOD IN ALL OF THIS? Luke 8 is the beginning. Christ is not asleep. He is here to take care of us. He is needed in this area more than ever. As we began the clean up today, I was struck with at thought. All of our “stuff” may be in jeopardy at any moment still we are standing together. Thankfully, my family and friends continue to have each other.
THE REALITY IS HITTING: At this point on the “inside” we don’t really know what to do. We keep waiting to wake up from this dream and have “normal” restored. There is no routine. No school. No work for many to go to. We have no idea when many of the children will be able to go to school again, as it is acting as the shelter for those who like us, can’t be in their home. Some are wondering with no home at all what will be next. Others, (like us) just can’t be there full time because it is cold, and dark and has no water. So you sleep at home and find some place to be during the day. There are curfews to get off the streets at 7 PM. Power and will not be restored in some areas (like at our home) for another 14 days. We are all just pulling together and figuring out the best way to stand together. Local churches are simply grilling hot dogs and giving them out. We are just making sure neighbors are alright. I am thankful that many of my friends have family where they can go.
We are only beginning to assess the needs in our own community. Currently, we can’t even get to them to know what else they might be without. It is starting by being neighborly. Neighborhoods are camping out and working together to pool resources. My husband stopped by our street today and gave away food we didn’t need to those around us. It’s as simple as knowing we have not been abandoned or forgotten. We can’t be swept up by the massive effort it will take to come to the other side of this. There is one bigger than all of us who remains in charge.
Go here to read the rest and see how you can help.