August 28, 2009
Magnificent Mercy Shown in the Face of Misery
By Rev. Glenn F. Merritt
Four years ago today the landscape of America was changed by Hurricane Katrina. Her name and her power are written in the hearts and minds of the entire nation. The scarred landscape and cities of the gulf coast (Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida) are still being rebuilt while thousands of people struggle to rebuild the landscape of their lives.
On this fourth anniversary of that terrible storm, the recovery is far from over. The face of misery painted by Katrina has cut deeply into the fabric of our lives. Katrina’s name and power are etched into in the hearts and minds of an entire nation. The image of thousands of people suffering in the aftermath of the storm jumps into our minds and we are moved to mercy for the many who continue to struggle. The face of their misery is changed as we continue to show mercy.
Over the past four years, the magnificent mercy of Christ has been shown by thousands of LCMS volunteers and donors. The members of The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod have joined hearts and hands to repair the fabric of life torn apart by Katrina. Working together with the Synod, LCMS districts and congregations, agencies and organizations, individuals and groups have touched the lives of those affected by Katrina with magnificent mercy.
Donors have donated nearly $14 million plus untold millions of dollars worth of supplies and building materials. Volunteers have selflessly provided physical labor plus emotional and spiritual care across the Gulf Coast. LCMS Recognized Services Organizations and independent ministries have helped coordinate a massive response of personnel, goods, and equipment throughout the recovery. Our districts, churches, and schools have helped facilitate the renewal process by partnering together with congregations, schools, and professional church workers who were affected by Katrina. Working together, these and others have risen to the occasion once again to reach out to the helpless and hurting.
The magnificent mercy of Christ shown by so many has helped to diminish the face of misery seen by so many in the past four years, but the work is not complete. Not all needs have been met, many are still suffering the after effects of Katrina.
The Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod must stay engaged at every level, working with partners as we continue to provide care and support to the needy. The work is not done. Opportunities still abound for volunteers and donors to offer mercy until the face of misery is completely replaced by Christ’s magnificent mercy.
Contact LCMS World Relief and Human Care for more information about opportunities to volunteer and give to help make recovery a continuing reality along the Gulf Coast.
Rev. Glenn F. Merritt serves as director of LCMS World Relief and Human Care’s disaster response ministry.
Katrina Recovery: Progress and Continued Needs
LCMS World Relief and Human Care partner, Recovery Assistance, Inc. (RAI), has been a leader in the LCMS’ Hurricane Katrina recovery efforts. RAI works to restore faith, home, and community to the survivors of Hurricane Katrina in the Name of Jesus Christ. In four years, RAI volunteers completed major repairs on over 2,700 homes and minor repairs on over 3,900 homes.
Your continued support of RAI’s work is needed to help repair the 2,500 homes currently on its waiting list. In recognition of the fourth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, RAI is offering “K4” resources to share news of the progress and need. Find bulletin inserts, a PowerPoint presentation, a video, and more on its website: www.raiministries.org.