A USA Today article posted this past week reported that by far, the disaster assistance response to Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, has come from Christians rather than from FEMA. In fact, the author of the article noted, over 80% of all help thus far has come from “faith-based” groups. “About 80% of all recovery happens because of non-profits, and the majority of them are faith-based,” said Greg Forrester, CEO of the national Volunteer Organizations Aiding in Disasters. The money is “all raised by the individuals who go and serve, raised through corporate connections, raised through church connections, and amounts to billions of dollars worth of disaster recovery assistance,” he said.
One commentator pointed out the glaring absence of any of the well-financed liberal leftist groups in giving assistance. Christians have been at the forefront in helping, not only in significant funds given, but also in putting volunteers where they are needed most in these events. Even FEMA officials have publicly expressed their appreciation for the faith-based groups’ help.
In light of this, it is ironic that some churches whose buildings were badly damaged or destroyed, have been denied any financial assistance from FEMA, because they are “religious organizations” and therefore barred from disaster relief funds. That won’t change Christians’ desire to help people when disaster strikes.
Remarkably, USA Today did another piece last week, reporting on a surge in attendance in Houston area churches, including excerpts from the sermon of a pastor preaching that people need to get their focus back on the Lord. Got that right!