As I write this, the southeast US is in the heart of hurricane season, and the bands of Hurricane Dorian are beginning to dump rain showers here in the Carolinas. The storm has already claimed 20 lives in the Bahamas and devastated entire villages and communities. My wife and I moved to Fayetteville to begin ministry at Grace Baptist on October 1, 2016. Hurricane Matthew (“the most powerful storm of the 2016 Atlantic Hurricane season” according to weather.gov) made landfall on October 8 about 3.5 hours south of us in McClellanville, SC. As it travelled northward, it washed out roadways, flooded homes, and impacted families who still to this day have not been able to rebound. Then last year, Hurricane Florence made landfall in nearby Wrightsville Beach, NC on September 14. Florence did over $300,000 in damage to our church. We had a seven month old baby, so we evacuated to Charlotte with family. (Experience with Matthew taught us that it is common to have power outages and boil water advisories in Fayetteville - not workable for an infant.) There were mandatory evacuations in our city for a one-mile radius out from the Cape Fear River. It was a significant storm.
Your church and community may have been devastated by a hurricane, a tornado, a fire, (God forbid) an active shooter situation, or some other tragic disaster. It is in moments such as these that we can be the hands and feet of Jesus and love our neighbors for the glory of Christ. Here are some ideas, and I’d love it if you would share some of your own in the comments.
Before the disaster strikes:
You may have some ideas of your own, so please share them in the comments.
After the disaster strikes:
Pastor Billy Shaw is a full-time pastor, husband, and father with a passion for helping other pastors.