When major disasters happen, God’s people have an opportunity to respond with compassion, love, and mercy that points others to Christ and gives Him great glory. We see people in need and we ask God to use us to show and share the love of Christ in those places among those people.
However, you can imagine the difficulty of understanding the most strategic ways to engage due to ever-changing needs and the challenge of navigating the logistical labyrinth in a disaster zone. Praise God for well-equipped partners!
God has opened the door for us to work with Encompass World Partners, through their Crisis Response program, to offer strategic relief in the wake of hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Watch this video that describes the Crisis Relief Network and the ways that churches—including ours—can get involved.
We long for God to use Grace Polaris Church for His purposes among the many people and communities in need, so we are working hard to develop a concrete plan in the coming weeks. Here is a list of what we can do at this point:
- Pray. We trust that God is going to move in significant ways through these disasters, changing lives and communities for His glory and furthering the Gospel. We want to be a church that humbles ourselves in dependence on Him, acknowledging that only He can truly make good come from the immense destruction and suffering experienced by people in Haiti, Florida, and Texas.
- Give. One of the great needs following natural disasters of this magnitude is money. Funds for food, water, and other supplies are needed in abundance, and one way that we can participate in what God is doing is by giving to that work. We will be collecting funds through the end of September for these relief efforts, so please consider giving online at GracePolaris.org/HurricaneRelief or via check with “Hurricane Relief” written in the memo line.
- Go on our Hurricane Relief Team. We’re planning to send a team in late October or early November to serve in the relief effort on the ground in Haiti, Florida, or Texas. If you are interested in serving on this team, please contact me so I can include you on future communications related to details of this trip.
We hope that many people from our Grace family will get involved to help serve the millions of people affected by hurricanes Harvey and Irma.
Dustin Speaks is the Mission Mobilization Pastor. He and his wife, Lauren, arrived in Columbus in the fall of 2012, after several initial ministry experiences. Dustin previously served as an associate pastor in South Dakota and as a missionary to university students in Berlin, Germany. Dustin studied history at Ohio University, where he met Lauren, and was involved in campus ministry with Cru. After graduation, the Speaks went to Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (Chicago) to complete a degree in Intercultural Studies. He enjoys playing nearly all ball sports—basketball, golf, and soccer are his favorites. Dustin and Lauren have three young children.