Posted: 12/11/18 at 2:00pm. Post by Tony Brooks.
You have been a refuge for the poor, a refuge for the needy in their distress, a shelter from the storm and a shade from the heat. (Isaiah 25:4a NIV)
I am writing this blog as a winter storm approaches us. I wish that I had written it last week!
Many of you have gone to the grocery store to get bread and milk (I’ve always wondered about why those two items are so important). Perhaps you have stacked extra firewood if you use a wood stove. Perhaps you have a backup generator if the power goes out, or prepared oil lamps, candles, and flashlights. Kudos for you!
What do we do to prepare the less fortunate in our community when there’s a winter storm? How can we “be a refuge for the needy in their distress, a shelter from the storm, and a shade from the heat (or cold)?” Here are some ideas:
- Have an emergency plan set up at church. Do you have an emergency plan for weather? Some of it is tied to phone calls, e-mails and radio announcements about services. There is much more that you could be doing! Is there a person responsible to call if a member needs help during or after a winter storm? Is there a committee set up to help in times of crisis? Are there members with four-wheel drive vehicles if an elderly member has a doctor’s appointment or needs a prescription filled? Are there members with extra firewood to help those who need it?
- Open up your church. If your church is fortunate enough to have power after an ice storm (and others in the community do not have power), have your church open for people to come and cook meals, get out of the cold, and provide a floor to sleep on. Perhaps you have some retired members who can cook hot meals for people to come and share.
- Consider a plan to help elderly people a few days before the storm. Some can’t drive. Would a member of your class or small group be willing to adopt some elderly people in the community to take them to the grocery store or pick up what they need before the storm? If they have a wood stove, would some be willing to bring them wood before the storm?
- What about people who are homeless in your area? Perhaps the church could be open for them at night. If not, would your Sunday School class/small group be willing to provide some funds for a motel for a couple of days with some meals? Have a coat, gloves, hats, and hand warmers drive to collect items to give away during winter months.
There are many things we consider in preparation for a winter storm. Do we consider others who need us to be a refuge? I encourage you to talk to your class and church before the next storm hits.