Tragedy, Community, and Action

Kim Reisman September 27, 2017

There have always been difficulties around the world. Lately, however, it seems that we cannot turn on the news without seeing some new disaster: in Texas, in Sierra Leone, in Florida, in Bangladesh, in Caribbean islands like Dominica, in Mexico, in Puerto Rico. Floods, mudslides, and earthquakes leave our friends and neighbors homeless, missing loved ones, without electricity, running water, or working ATM’s. Parents are grieving the loss of children, neighbors stare at piles of rubble that used to be houses lining their streets, and in some places, mold – mold everywhere.

Faith sharing extends beyond humanitarian disaster relief, but it does include humanitarian disaster relief. Showing up to drag soaked furniture to the curb, or distribute bottled water, or hold a weeping mother – in all these actions we are the hands and feet of Christ serving hurting people.

Most recently, Puerto Rico is reeling from hurricane damage; yet that does not negate the pain of casualties from the earthquake in Mexico City. And the loss in Mexico City does not negate the pain of those suffering in Houston. And the devastation in Houston does not negate the tragedy in Sierra Leone. This continues around the globe.

The Wesleyan Methodist tradition is one that puts actions with intentions. Ours has always been an active expression of Christian faith, whether John Wesley was publishing pamphlets on basic health and hygiene, or whether Methodists were campaigning against child labor and teaching children to read, or whether Methodist women were working together for women’s right to vote.

Our Associate Director for Education and Leadership Development Dr. Rob Haynes wrote this about faith sharing and disaster relief. Our Associate Director for Community and Creative Development Elizabeth Glass Turner wrote about three essential approaches to suffering here.

What are your stories of receiving help and giving assistance? In what ways has the Body of Christ shown up when the flood waters rose in your life?


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