Ongoing need for volunteers in Gulf Coast.

By December 26, 2006

USA (MNN) — “Katrina’d-out” It’s a term describing the general feeling of tiredness in responding to the ongoing needs and mainstream media’s bad reports regarding Hurricane Katrina.

Operation Blessing’s Bill Horan says, with so many natural disasters in the last two years, “People are feeling like they’re just over this; ‘Don’t tell me another Katrina story.'”

But there’s more going on than just the negative mainstream media reports. God’s at work through His people, and Horan says there are some success stories too as they share the hope of Christ with people they’re helping. “In this case, Operation Blessing, being a Christian humanitarian organization, we have numerous opportunities to minister to the people that we are helping and offer support and prayer. And that’s certainly what these folks need down there. They need a lot of prayer.”

There’s another major need in the rebuilding process, says Horan, “We need volunteers down there, and it’s getting harder and harder to get volunteers.” Yet Horan thinks it’s a matter of awareness, “If people knew the true story down there, that there still are people desperately in need of help, that deserve help, that should be helped, I think they’d be more apt to come down for a week or two weeks and volunteer.”

The situation in the Gulf Coast includes tens of thousands of people who were not poor before the storm, but who lost everything. They’re the “newly made poor” says Horan, and it’s a demographic that’s being overlooked. “Many of the people are just middle class working Americans that are up against a mess.”

It’s not just physical needs, says Horan but emotional, mental and spiritual needs as well. “The churches that have been able to reconstruct down there are overwhelmed with people looking for shelter, if you will, and I don’t mean physical shelter. There’s a great need for spiritual support in this darkness down there, and there aren’t enough churches to go around because so many of them were destroyed.”

What can be done to help? Operation Blessing is looking for volunteers (Medical, Dental are a top need) to invest one or two weeks, or more, in helping Operation Blessing clinics, projects and programs in the Gulf Coast region. For more information, go to Operation Blessing’s hurricane relief volunteer page.

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