2019–09–10 – Helping the Poor
As all of you probably already are aware, the Bahamas were devastated last week by Hurricane Dorian. As I write this, over 70,000 of the islands’ residents are without homes. There are have been deaths and flooding, and there must be a sense of being overwhelmed, as in “where do we start?” It appears that they will basically be starting over.
We all can pray, some of us can give money, and others can go and volunteer in person – but this "different" devotional contains info from a local Bahaman minister, so please read to the end of this devotional, before you make those plans yet!
This interview is from Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, who recently spoke with The Rev. Edwin González–Castillo.
"The No. 1 way anyone who wants to can help, he says, is financial donations.
The Rev. Edwin González–Castillo, Associate for Disaster Response and Refugee Ministry–Latin America and the Caribbean says, ’It gets there faster, it helps the economy there, and it lets organizations on the ground who know the needs buy things that are needed,’ González–Castillo says. From experience, he can say things like, ’receiving trucks of food with no process or protocol for distributing them can become a disaster itself.’
Likewise, individuals traveling to the Bahamas at this point are not helpful, unless they are with a first responder or first aid organization. That puts more people who need to be housed and fed in a situation where people are struggling for housing and food.
’People will say, ‘Oh, I can sleep anywhere,’ González–Castillo says. ’But still, even in the midst of a disaster, people (residents of the Bahamas) want to be hospitable, and they will give what they have (and need) to you, and that doesn’t need to be happening.’
González–Castillo says he and others with PDA will wait until partners in the Bahamas say it is OK to come and assess the situation first hand — likely next week. Like Puerto Rico, González–Castillo says the Bahamas looks to be a long–term recovery effort."
As I have previously mentioned, if you want 100% of your donation to go directly to assistance of disaster victims, check out faith–based organizations such as Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, Lutheran Disaster Response, Baptist Disaster Relief and Jewish Federation Disaster Relief Fund.
I hope that this is helpful info, and I pray that each of us will respond as God leads us to do so.
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