As We Wait for Florence
We don’t wait very well, most of us.
It seems we’ve been talking about Hurricane Florence for over a week. As I write, the North Carolina coast braces for her tremendous impact later today. Other regions, like ours, wonder what path the storm truly will take once she hits landfall.
You are ready, I hope! We are far enough inland that those in evacuation zones come our way at times. Still, we can be impacted by power outages, too much water and hazardous travel conditions if we even get the amount of projected rainfall. I trust that you have taken all the reasonable precautions with your life and property while you’ve waited.
Others will be impacted, though. Much worse than it appears we will. To that end, you may have some questions about how we could best react to the need around us.
● There may be local needs we can meet. Please call the church office at 757-562-5135 if you would be available to serve locally as our friends, fellow church-members or neighbors might need us. As we have short-term volunteers and needs, we will try to match these up.
● Disaster relief volunteers from our congregation are on standby now to cooperate with state and national agencies through the Virginia Baptist Disaster Relief office in Richmond. Specifically, our group offers mass feeding stations for residents in affected areas and volunteers who may be there to assist them. Are you interested in being a volunteer for chainsaw clean up, doing laundry, working with feeding teams? Depending on how extensive the damage, teams may be needed for several weeks to come. In that case, training is done on site. Volunteers are usually needed for a week at the time. If you are interested, please let Jackie Howell know at 757-621-3566.
● Sometimes we collect necessary supplies that will help those most affected to get back on their feet. Or, to make their own time of displacement more bearable. We will keep you posted on any efforts that you might wish to become involved in here. That would likely include donation of items, money or time as we sort and package.
● Cooperative Baptist Fellowship is our national Baptist body. Often, you will want to donate money so that you feel that you are a part of the solution. CBF Disaster Response exists to equip Christians and churches to serve communities affected by disaster. Responding appropriately during a time of crisis is vital. To donate directly to CBF Disaster Response, simply go to https://www.classy.org/give/144748/#!/donation/checkout where you will find a quick and easy path to donation. Just a few clicks!
Prayer is a natural and vital response as well. We spent time in prayer at our Wednesday night gathering as together we waited. We’ll be asking God’s presence for those who suffer damage and loss, and to especially comfort those who may be injured in the storm. I would urge you to direct your own personal prayer time in that direction. To wish the storm to dodge us acknowledges that it will still affect many elsewhere.
Stay safe in the weather. Be vigilant in your prayer. Be faithful by responding in some helpful way!
In love and hope,
Dr. Charles Qualls