As Hurricanes Harvey and Irma dropped torrential rains over much of the southern United States, social media captured the ongoing tragedy and destruction, the tears and terror and disappointment.
Praise God that his people and his churches have shown his love in amazing ways—heroic rescues, food and water, housing, helping, clothing, hugging. Enormous need for help, however, will continue for months or years ahead.
Here’s an important question: As you send, pray, give, or go to help, how can you ensure that victims know you represent the Lord Jesus himself? Colossians 3:17 instructs, “Whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus…”
Here are a few ways to help, along with simple tips to do it “in his name.”
Give financially. Be certain your contribution is given in Jesus’ name. Southern Baptist Disaster Relief (SBDR) is the nation’s third-largest disaster relief agency. Our Cooperative Program funds it, and in elevated crisis situations, additional funding is desperately needed. But SBDR is more than good deeds; it’s hands-on Christian witness done in Jesus’ name. You can donate through your church, state convention, or the North American Mission Board.
Pray continuously for grieving, injured, homeless, or weary victims. Pray for government officials and policemen, firemen and city workers, for teachers, neighbors, elderly, children. Pray they’ll know God’s love. Pray for pastors and churches there, and for disaster relief teams and volunteers.
Send people. Thousands more Southern Baptists will be deployed for disaster relief in coming months. Each will go in the name of our Lord. Who will your church send?
Sign up individuals or teams to volunteer and train at NAMB.net or through your state’s Baptist convention. Needs are overwhelming, and will continue for many months. Crews will feed people, help with cleanup, provide temporary childcare, serve as chaplains, wipe tears, and much, much more. And they do it in Jesus’ name.
Send additional resources. If your local association or state Baptist convention is shipping needed items, add a witness. For example, write “Jesus loves me” on a shovel handle. Put a Christian sticker on every peanut butter jar, or a Scripture in each box of diapers.
Help another congregation. Select a specific church in the affected area to help directly. Contact your state Baptist convention for a recommendation, or contact a pastor directly, then sacrificially assist with their needs.
Good deeds are good. Good deeds done in Jesus’ name can impact eternity.
© Diana Davis is an author, columnist, and minister’s wife in Pensacola Beach.