Outside the Norm

Rock His World is supposed to be about helping couples have a better relationship.  TheHappyCouple majority of my writing will be about such items as I believe will help achieve that. It is my sincere desire to help couples grow closer together.

However, this will not be one of those articles.  I am a longtime resident of the Midwest, I have been deeply saddened to see the loss of life and destruction that occurred earlier this week.  (As I write this, my county is under a tornado watch – I am not really nervous, but let’s just say, I will take a break every now and then to double check the radar.)

I have had many different jobs over the years and many of those have beentornado-natural-disaster-400a061807 working with Non-profit organizations that work with people and help them to improve their life.  In addition, I have friends who have worked for various organizations that all so assist people, particularly one who is the emergency manager for our city.

There are a few things I have learned that I wish to share with you!

Don’t jump to help to soon:  A lot of people rushed to Oklahoma City to help on Monday, but in many cases the help did more harm.  In some cases trained people who where trying to get there to help were delayed because well meaning people were clogging the roadways.  Wait until the organizations that are trained to organize and use volunteers are in place so that they can better utilize people and allow people to really help.

Work through a local church whenever possible: After the Joplin tornadoes, College Heights Christian Church did a wonderful job of helping the people of their community.  They provided meals for the people working the disaster, the were a distribution center for the people who had lost everything.  In helping, they not only met a physical need, but they also were able to demonstrate the love of God to people who were wondering if God really loved them or not. (If you can’t find a church, check out any charity you may give too.  Make sure that number you are texting to is legit.  Also make sure that the organization does not take up too much of donated money in administrative costs. Some groups take as much as 60 – 80% of donations for administrative costs.  Look for organizations that keep the administrative costs 20% and below.)

Cash is King: Many people want to help after a disaster and don’t have much cash, but are willing to give items.  In many cases, the cost of transporting, storing, and distributing the items cost more than the value of the item.  Also in many cases, what people who have not really found out what is needed, collect things they assume are needed, but those items often end up unused and in a landfill. (Here is an interesting link on the subject.)  Especially in the early days, the best thing you can do is donate money.

Prayer Trumps Everything Else: I believe that Christians often see prayer as the only thing that they can do to help and they are almost embarrassed by that. The truth is, the most important thing that we ever do is to pray.  No matter what skill set you have to help others with, no matter how much you can give, those things will always be better and more effective when we pray.  God can do so much more, than anything that we can imagine.  Never be embarrassed that all you can do is pray.  Instead, be grateful that we can enter before God’s throne and ask His help anytime we need to.

Remember the Long Term: OKC will need help for a long time.  Joplin, which happened two years ago, is still rebuilding. They still have people coming to help and still need the help.  Keep praying for these people, they will need God’s help for years to come. (Of course, that is true for all of us.)

Well, looking at the radar, the storm is moving really slow.  The lights that come on at dark are coming one now, at 5:30 in the summer.  Maybe I better make sure we are ready to ride out the storm safely.  — RHW — Jed

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