How to Truly Help When Natural Disaster Strikes

Pray compassionately. Give effectively. Serve willingly.

Typically, life in America is peaceful.  We are used to a daily routine.  Here, it is possible to insure everything… and we take full advantage of it.  Week by week, month by month, we are doing better than the month before.  Our children grow up, and our lives are filled with many happy memories.  Disaster seems like something which happens in other countries, but not here.

When natural disaster strikes, you can help. [Source: Salvation Army]But then, a fire roars in the forest, headed straight for the homes and cities where our family lives.  Even in America, when a hurricane rolls in, it turns the streets into rivers.

Tornadoes tear homes apart.  Cities get ripped apart by mobs rioting in the streets as innocent people’s homes and businesses are destroyed.  And now, the threat of a North Korean nuclear bomb hitting the West Coast has changed the relative peace we expect into a fight for life and property for many of our friends all over America.

When disaster strikes, the last thing we should do is find someone to blame.  There is no time for that.  Yes, our nation is away from God and we need to turn back to Him.  However, if there is any repentance to be done, let it come from each of us on behalf of our nation.

While others figure out exactly whose fault it is that our fellow Americans are suffering the loss of their property and the threat to their lives, let’s come together and offer what we have to those in need: our prayers, our support and our practical assistance.

How to Give, How to Volunteer

Many hands make light work: volunteer to help when a natural disaster strikes [Source: Wikimedia]If you have money or time off to give to disaster relief, don’t do the easy thing.  Maybe you have a friend in the area who has been affected by the disaster.  Reach out to them and offer what you can to help them rebuild their lives.

In addition to helping those you know, here is a list of organizations who have a long track record of doing the very best they can with every dollar they receive:

For further suggestions, go to Charity Navigator and find out which local charities are serving effectively on the ground.

These organizations are accountable with the funds they receive.  They also have a great track record of helping those affected by disaster.

How to Pray Effectively for Those Facing a Natural Disaster

In a place where disaster strikes, there is no shortage of people who need help.  We could sell everything we have, and use it to help as many people as possible.  Yet, even after we have given all we have, there will still be someone who needs us.

let us pray together when disaster strikesWhen we run out of resources to help, we can go to the One who created it all!  He is so creative, He has thousands of ways to answer our prayers!

Before we pray for a friend in need or a specific situation on the ground, let’s stop and try our best to imagine what they are going through.  If our roles were reversed, if it was us going through this trial, how would we want others to pray for us?

Once we can answer that question from our heart, we can pray specifically in a way that changes the situation.

As you pray, don’t be too vague.  Ask for specific things that only God can give, so that you will know when He has answered your prayers.

Listen to Him as you pray.  He may speak to your heart and have you adjust what you ask for.  But never, ever give up reminding God of what your friend needs until He answers your prayers.

What can you do to help those you know who are going through a natural disaster?  Please let us know by leaving a comment below.

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