LCEF News

How You Can Help Natural Disaster Victims

September 8, 2017 | Posted by LCEF

Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me. — Matthew 25:40

In a matter of weeks, the United States is facing the unprecedented aftermath of several natural disasters and the challenges that lay ahead.

Hurricane Harvey caused historic flooding in Texas and Louisiana. Thirty-three counties in Texas are under federal disaster declaration with estimated losses of 75 billion dollars. Lutheran South Academy in Houston had two feet of water in their buildings.

In Los Angeles, wildfires burnt down scores of homes, closed highways and forced thousands of people to evacuate. Fires in Montana have burned more than one million acres. More than two dozen fires are torching hundreds of thousands of acres across Oregon and Washington.

The 185-mph sustained winds of Hurricane Irma left a path of destruction across the Caribbean. Some 900,000 people are without power in Puerto Rico and at least 50,000 are without water. Irma is expected to strike Florida by early Sunday morning, Georgia by Monday.

In extremely difficult times like these, it is important for the Church to look to our Lord and Savior for grace, comfort, strength and wisdom. It’s also important to remember that this is an opportunity to love and serve our neighbor. God has put us here to help those in need.

Here are some ways you can do that.

Donate money

One of the best ways to contribute to disaster relief is through cash donations. This allows charities to provide aid where it’s most needed and prepare for a long recovery. Only donate to organizations you trust.

Give blood

Donated blood is a year-round need for hospitals. However, blood supplies may also need to be replenished weeks and months after a disaster.

Volunteer

You can give your time and talents to a natural disaster crises by volunteering through one of these organizations.

To learn more about volunteering for disaster relief efforts, register to watch Rev. Dr. Ross Johnson’s, “Disaster Relief Training” on Thursday, Sept. 21, from 1-2 p.m. CST. See details here. Johnson is the director of the LCMS Disaster Response ministry.

Pray

The greatest gift we can give all those involved is an abundance of prayers. Pray as an individual or gather in a group.

In your personal prayer time, consider using the Lord’s Prayer, Luther’s morning and evening prayers and the “Time of disaster” prayer in the Lutheran Service Book (page 317).

Pray for all those involved:

  • Victims and their friends and families
  • First responders
  • Government officials
  • Firefighters
  • Police officers
  • National Guard troops
  • And more.

In addition, you can download a free devotional booklet for those affected by the disaster. Created by LCMS Disaster Response, this devotional is intended for both personal use and to share with others.

How to request assistance

Have you or someone you know been affected by one of the recent disasters? There are three ways you can request assistance.

Join us as we pray for God’s hope and healing to reach all those impacted by these catastrophes. These places and people will need help today, tomorrow, next month and next year. Your help no matter big or small will make a difference.

AUTHOR
LCEF