Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Out of Chaos, Hope

Hurricane Ike has caused a great deal of suffering and mourning. I have to take care posting about it on "Joyful News on Ministry." Yet I want to highlight the ministry of First Presbyterian Church of San Antonio in response to Ike.

First San Antonio (among a network of congregations) has offered itself as a sanctuary for evacuees. Harvey Howell, a PDA national volunteer has written updates and published pictures on Presbyterian Neighbor News, a news publication for the Synod of the Sun.

Harvey writes:

This weekend the power outage extended across East Texas, including Lufkin where 4,000 sheltered evacuees faced a second evacuation.

Terri Wilson, a certified nurse aid contracted to Baptist Child and Family Services (BCFS), drove west to San Antonio. Along Interstate 10, she saw numerous families pulled over in parks, byways, and just on the highway shoulder. "They had children and distracted looks, like they didn't know where a safe place to go might be."

On Saturday night, Terri and 22 guests seeking shelter from the storm found more than a safe place to go.

First Presbyterian Church, San Antonio, is one in a network of congregations partnering with BCFS in the San Antonio area sheltering evacuees.Congregation members offer more than a building and lights. They are showing Christ's love to families escaping from the devastation left by Ike.

In the midst of chaos, these Presbyterians are offering hope. Harvey posted this picture:

Sarah, a two-year-old whose family evacuated from Alvin, Texas, reaches for a doll offered by Terri Wilson, a nurse serving Baptist Child and Family Services, at First Presbyterian, San Antonio. Seated are shelter volunteers Rosemary Engstrom and Lucille Lammert. Photo by PDA/Harvey Howell

Other Presbyterian congregations pitched in to help:

Carter Dreesman of First Presbyterian (San Antonio) Church's emergency response task force, smiles after hundreds of Presbyterians from First, San Pedro and St. Andrew congregations, signed up for shifts as shelter volunteers. Photo by PDA/Harvey Howell

The slogan for the ministry of Presbyterian Disaster Assistance is "Out of Chaos, Hope." That is what the message of Jesus is all about.

Thanks to these Presbyterians for their witness and to you for supporting Presbyterian Disaster Assistance.

It is the dance of hope.

John Shuck is the pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Elizabethton Tennessee and he blogs at Shuck and Jive. Contact him with your joyful news at this E-mail.

1 comment:

Stushie said...

Excellent post, John, it's good to see this kind of work happening in the denom. Thanks.