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Faith in Action
14 Dear friends, do you think you'll get anywhere in this if you learn all the right words but never do anything? Does merely talking about faith indicate that a person really has it? 15 For instance, you come upon an old friend dressed in rags and half-starved 16 and say, "Good morning, friend! Be clothed in Christ! Be filled with the Holy Spirit!" and walk off without providing so much as a coat or a cup of soup--where does that get you? 17 Isn't it obvious that God-talk without God-acts is outrageous nonsense?
(James Chapter 2) The Message
The crisis on the Gulf coast became very real to me this weekend. It was evident that people needed help and people were willing to help but didn't know how. My wife, Barb, and I realized that deaf people may be particularly at a disadvantage so we set out to find a family in need to help.
Saturday Morning: we visited every possible shelter here in OKC but there were little or no evacuees. We saw many wonderful people in our community responding by giving clothes, personal items and things like diapers until they were stacked to the ceiling.
Saturday Afternoon: we visited 3 shelters in Dallas, 2 were empty and 1 had about 130 evacuees, but none had deaf people so we set out for the Astrodome in Houston.
Saturday Night: while searching for a room on Saturday night I encountered an evacuee that was grilling some meat by his room at the motel. He was very appreciative of the help that Houston had extended to him. “A local businessman had called the hotel and paid for every room for an additional 3 nights,” he said with a tear in his eye.
As we slept one of my co-workers, whose name is Matt, called all the hotels in our immediate area to locate deaf people. The hotels would admit they had some deaf people but refused to give out information about them.
Sunday Morning: we went to the Astrodome, sat through orientation and searched for deaf people. In the main building were a dozen or so deaf people so Barb talked with them and made sure they understood what was going on. While we were there a Priest, Rabbi, Minister and Imam showed up to say a few words and Barb was able to interpret for them.
Sunday Afternoon: we located a family trying to make their way to a motel in Dallas to join up with the rest of their family. All they needed was a ride so we piled a total of 8 people in my SUV and set out for Dallas.
Along the way we stopped at a Cracker Barrel restaurant to eat. Someone in the restaurant saw the situation and paid for the meal. They wanted to remain anonymous.
On the way out of the restaurant a lady bought six bags of goodies like lotion and personal hygiene items to give to the 5 women and one man in our care.
We arrived in Dallas about 7:00 PM Sunday night to drop off the family of survivors who just two days before were on a bridge with death and destruction all around them.
Several things occurred to me from this experience.
1. Our nation is full of good people willing to help. There are thousands that are volunteering at the Astrodome or shelters across the country.
2. There are many people willing to help and seize the opportunity as we experienced at the Cracker Barrel.
3. There are people who are willing to help and don't know how. The needs of evacuees will be here for months to come. So as people of faith let’s help out now and in the months to come as this disaster will take months if not years to clear up.
Besides the obvious of donating money there are practical ways you can help.
1. Volunteer at a shelter.
2. Transportation for people trying to get back with their families.
3. Or you can take in a family that needs a semi-permanent place to stay
You can register at these sites to house a family in need.
The following are some organizations that can help you find where you can be most useful.
|American Red Cross English||800-435-7669|
|American Red Cross Spanish||800-257-7575|
|America's Second Harvest||800-344-8070|
|Adventist Community Services||800-381-7171|
|Catholic Charities, USA||
|Christian Disaster Response||
|Christian Reformed World Relief Committee||
|Church World Service||
|Convoy of Hope||
|Corporation for National and Community Service|
|Lutheran Disaster Response||
|Mennonite Disaster Service||
|Nazarene Disaster Response||
|Presbyterian Disaster Assistance||
|Southern Baptist Convention -- Disaster Relief||
800-462-8657 ext 6440|
|United Methodist Committee on Relief||
For further information: visit the website for the National Voluntary
Organizations Active in Disaster (NVOAD) at: http://www.nvoad.org.
May God richly bless you and help you find your place of service in the coming months!
Timothy J. Kilkenny
Founder & CEO
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Happy (And Safe) Surfing from Your Friends at FullNet!
FullNet is proud to welcome another group of new users to the FullNet family. As of August 31st, we have formally assumed the responsibility of providing premium dialup services to former Talihina.Net users. This has allowed us to offer them service with more features (including virus filtering and an internet accelerator), all at a lower price than they were previously paying. Please join me in welcoming all our new members from the Talihina area. As we've done since 1995, FullNet will continue to do our best to provide Oklahoma the quality Internet experience you've come to know and love.
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