My heart aches for the folks in SW Florida. As I watch the scenes of devastation and rescues, the inundated houses, the toppled and crippled boats, I put myself in the shoes of those who are suffering. What would it be like to evacuate with quickly chosen belongings and then return to a pile of rubble? What would it be like to ride out the storm and end up clinging to the rafters in your attic? Or to be in your car when it became submerged up to the windows? Or to learn your family members were killed in the storm?
I watch men helping a family out of a rescue boat–an older woman who had to be carried to solid ground, a young woman wading in water around her ankles carrying her baby wrapped in a blanket. There’s an elderly man carried to safety over the shoulders of a journalist. And then a distraught woman wandering in water and debris where her house used to be. A reporter questioned her about what she was doing. She said she was hunting anything, just anything, to remind her of her precious husband who died two months ago.
Rescuers are still searching for people trapped in places where only boats or helicopters can go. I saw some people being lifted in a basket under a helicopter. Firemen, police, Coast Guard, National Guard and all are hunting for the bodies of those who didn’t survive. At this writing the number is about 25 but expected to rise.
And now Ian has blown on up to South Carolina as a category 1, not nearly as bad as the category 4 that hit Ft. Myers area but very damaging all the same.
We watch the storm, and effects of, on the screen and feel such gratitude that our loved ones are safe. But we have this enormous ache for those who were not safe, who lost home and business and even family. We feel an overwhelming desire to help in some way. But most of us can’t go, wouldn’t be of any help if we did! We pray for the mother with her baby, we pray for the widow hunting her husband’s personal things, we pray for the persons in the attic trying to escape the flood. Yet, still, I think the Lord plants in us a huge desire to do more.
What can we do?
We like to give to Samaritan’s Purse because we know, without a shadow of doubt, the responders will be faithful in their compassion, will share the gospel, and will use the funds they received very wisely where it is most needed.
Join us in giving! Go to Samaritan’s Purse Disaster Relief. You can use your credit card to make a donation in mere minutes. You may never know until heaven how much your dollars meant but you can be assured they will be priceless! What a great investment!