Why Christians are uniquely suited to help in times of disaster.
Ed: Why are Christians uniquely suited to help those impacted by the flooding?
Ross Johnson, Director of Disaster Response, Lutheran Church Missouri Synod: As Christians and congregations reach out, we're able to take care of spiritual and physical needs. FEMA and other organizations are very helpful with temporal needs, but they don’t offer spiritual care like local churches can. Congregations make a great hub of mercy and human care in their community. No one knows there community better than the local church or pastor, especially when a disaster happens and the majority of responders are from the outside, not always knowing the community’s history or culture.
Congregations were there before the tragedy and hopefully will be there for decades after the tragedy. After the first few weeks of the disaster, the congregation remains a hub of ministry, mercy, and outreach for the long term.
And it’s only the Church that has the voice of Christ which brings the peace that surpasses all understanding, whether it is to Christians or non-Christians. We have a phrase that we say: “Proclaiming the gospel even in the wake of a disaster."
Whatever opportunity that we have, we use it to share the good news for the hope that lies within. Our hope is not found in the things of this world that break and are destroyed, but rather, it's in the spiritual peace with God. I think the greatest disaster that one could go through is to die outside of the one true Christian faith.
David Melber, Vice President, Send Relief (North American Mission Board): In addition to the assessments, mud-outs, and feeding, we have a lot of chaplains here who will be ultimately ministering to the people who have lost everything they ...