Tuesday, January 11, 2005

In the Wake of the Wave

The international response to the tsunami disaster has been heartwarming. I hope you are careful, though, to give only to organizations you can trust to use resources well. As soon as possible, our church sent a pastor, George, to an afflicted area of India, a place where we already had ties. Working alongside a native pastor, George has helped load trucks, transport goods, and distribute "survival" packages. Even better, God gave these leaders a vision to help in a way that would provide ongoing, not just temporary, benefits.

Here's what they're doing, in George's own words, as posted on New Directions:
"Sure we can give them food, etc., but what if we gave them a means to go back to work. So, we're starting a new business. It will be called the Simon Peter Fishing Company. So far we bought two boats at $3,000 apiece, which includes nets and a motor."

They figure they'll need 200 boats to support the entire village that had been washed away and will work through the local church there. George adds:

"This village is on an island. You have to cross over a large concrete bridge to get there. When the wave hit, mothers and fathers picked up their children and ran for the bridge, which carried hundreds to safety. I was asked to share a word at the distribution of the food, and I told the people that Jesus is the only bridge between us and God. He is the only one that can rescue us from our sin."

Jesus is the bridge, the way to God and our passage into the family of heaven.

"For there is one God and Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all men . . ." I Timothy 2:5-6