Preparation for what we know will eventually come is a wise way to live. We know that one day tornadoes, hurricanes, and other disaster-type events will happen in Alabama, in North America and around the world. Being prepared for them is the focus of the month of February in Alabama Baptist life.
Recently, Mel Johnson, our disaster relief strategist for the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions, suggested three points of preparation which resonated with me. I share them with you now so that you too can benefit from these wise words of counsel.
Disaster relief preparedness means we are seeking to be ready for the inevitable disaster event which will take place in our state, our nation and our world. The month of February has been designated as a time for a special offering in our churches for disaster relief. These funds will be used to help Alabama Baptist disaster relief workers to be ready for the time when they are called into action.
Annually, training events are held in our state to equip people for various duties during a crisis. Equipment has to be purchased and serviced. When an event takes place, immediate funds are needed for helping those who are without the basic necessities of life. Being ready for such occasions is wise indeed.
In addition to being ready, disaster relief is about being responsive. From past experience, I have taken notice of just how quickly our disaster relief workers swing into action. When time comes and the signal is given, they become like units of special forces of Christian compassion being deployed to scenes where they are needed. I have seen this with my own eyes, and I have been deeply impressed by their commitment for the cause of Christ in a time of serious need in the lives of hurting people.
Being ready is essential, being responsive is expected and being involved in recovery can be extensive. When the response period winds down, there is a sometimes elongated period of recovery when disaster relief workers are engaged in a strategy of assisting people to regain some sense of normalcy. Almost three years ago, as many as 62 tornadoes, five of them EF5 types, ravaged our state leaving behind 250 dead and thousands of lives in chaos. To this day, there remain some recovery efforts seeking to enable people to get back on their feet again. As I travel the state, I view firsthand recovery work going on and people reestablishing their lives.
Disaster relief workers are on the frontlines of giving a “cup of cold water in Jesus name.” They are there doing the kind of ministry so much needed when disaster strikes. These people are my heroes. I love to see the yellow shirts worn by the trained volunteer army of disaster relief workers. I am glad to offer a shout-out to them for the “beyond the call of duty” type of work they do.
During February, we have an opportunity to assist them in preparing for the next time they are called out for disaster relief ministry. Like you, I want to give an offering to support their endeavors. Let’s join together and make this a priority during February.
Yellow is the color of courage and commitment. It reminds me of the selfless service of so many in disaster relief. When I see those yellow shirts, I remember to pray for those who serve and for those being served.
Consider not only giving through this offering, but also make it a priority to receive some kind of training. Being prepared is a wise way to live. Join the special forces of Christian compassion in Alabama Baptist life, and make an eternal Kingdom difference.
For more information about Alabama Baptist Disaster Relief Preparedness Month, please click here: http://www.sbdr.org/beprepared