When the news media leaves, World Hope urges Christians not to forget the needs are still there.

By September 9, 2005

USA (MNN) — World Hope International is responding to last week’s devastating hurricane by identifying places where others haven’t gone. They’re partnering with churches in those areas to provide relief.

World Hope’s JoAnne Lyon is encouraged by the church’s response: “And then we have churches and communities all over the country that are taking in evacuees into their churches and into their homes, and churches are adopting families and helping them. Obviously this is a long-term kind of thing, but it’s interesting how new relationships are being built in this way. I think there’s been an incredible outpouring of, particularly, the people of God in this area.”

Lyon says the church is doing wonderfully. “I’m thrilled. I believe the church is really coming to the table on this one. Now the church needs to be at the table for a long time on this one, believe me, but I just feel that people are saying, ‘Wait a minute, this is (as Paul said in Ephesians) this is the very thing that we were created to do, the good works that we were created to do.’ I believe the church is saying, ‘We are doing this, we are. This is who we are.’ And I’m extremely encouraged by the way the church is responding.”

Lyon urges believers to be involved, now and in the coming weeks when others will have moved on and forgotten about the survivors. “Many people are relocated, and are going to be relocated for a long time, it’s not going to be over next week. The thing that we’ve got to realize is, it’s not going to be over when the news leaves. I’ve worked in many disasters around the world, and as soon as the news leaves, we all think ‘Oh, it’s all over, everything’s fixed.’ Well it isn’t, and that’s what we’re going to have to realize here. Because there will be another thing; it won’t be long until we’ll be on to something else. But this is absolutely years and lifetime, probably, changes that are taking place. And I think it’s critical that the church not only feed people and clothe people but take people into their fellowship,” says Lyon.

World Hope needs volunteers to be part of not just the initial relief, but also the relief that will need to happen in the coming months, to help cleanup and rebuild.

And the church is the key player as time moves on and reality sets in for many people. Lyon says that’s when the church really needs to step in with the hope of Christ: “I think, you know, a few weeks from now, with all the flurry gone, that’s where the hopelessness is going to set in with the people. The reality that’s going to set in, that says, ‘Wait a minute. I’m not going to get back for a year, or I may never get back.’ That’s where the real key of hopelessness is going to set in. ”

Pray for the thousands of displaced people that the church is reaching out to. Pray for the relief workers who are providing for these people’s vast needs.

To help World Hope give aid and the hope of Christ, contact them by clicking here.

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