Tuesday morning I was praying for the Filipino victims of Typhoon Haiyan (by the way, I know based on Matthew 6:6 we’re supposed to keep our prayers lives private, but this story won’t make much sense if I don’t share that part with you). I felt convicted about praying without doing anything (James 2:15-17 If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead), so at that point my prayer changed from praying for the victims, to praying how to help the victims. While I was praying I received an e-mail from World Concern and the subject said, “Typhoon Haiyan – How your church can help.” I thought, Wow, this is great Lord!
My initial plan was to write about helping the victims in my weekly bulletin letter, and when I opened the e-mail it said, “We have written a short paragraph for your Sunday bulletin to aid any announcement and offering you plan to make during your service this weekend.” I’m serious! That’s exactly how it happened and here’s the statement they provided: “Help victims of Typhoon Haiyan through this crisis. World Concern and its partners are responding now to help save lives. Your gift will help distribute food, safe drinking water, emergency shelter and relief supplies to the people of the Philippines. Nearly 10 million people are affected by this disaster. Please join us and pray for the victims and please donate today.”
Here are two things to know about World Concern: first, 90% of every dollar goes to the need, and second, when I spoke with them they said the first month is more about survival than evangelism…sort of like the Good Samaritan dealing with the man left half dead in the road. The work is done through the local churches in the area to demonstrate the love of Christ, and then the Gospel is spread later.
Here’s how WCC is going to help…
Until Sunday, December 1st, the congregation is invited to put a check in the offering box with “Philippines” in the subject line. We’ll see how much money is given and WCC will match that amount in a gift to World Concern. On December 8th I’ll let the congregation know how much we ended up giving. If you would like to join us in this ministry, please send your checks made out to Woodland Christian Church (430 Buckeye St, Woodland, WA 98674) with “Philippines” in the subject line.
And here’s an approach you might take with your family…
Sit down with your kids, discuss the disaster with them while possibly showing some pictures, share applicable verses (like James 2:15-17 and Luke 10:25-37), figure out an amount to give, and then pray for the victims together as a family. Tell your children it is a tremendous blessing for us to have the opportunity to live out our faith and give to those in need!
Update made on December 9th, 2013: The amount the congregation gave was $1,765 and WCC matched that amount bringing the amount given to World Concern to $3,530!!!