Tom Holladay, teaching pastor at Saddleback Church, offered some words of hope to the flood victims in Houston, Texas with an article that appeared on the Fox News website. Holladay can empathize with the people in Texas and Louisiana who have lost everything because his home was covered by 9 feet of water when a levee broke, flooding Marysville, California in 1986.
Holladay says his family needed to quickly learn four simple truths in order to maintain hope during the recovery, which must be measured in years, not months. These truths are also a guide for how we can reach out to victims of the flood.
People will find hope in gifts that provide for their basic needs
Holladay says he appreciated the single woman who gave up her apartment to give his family a place to temporarily live, when a truck brought meals for all the workers, and when a church replaced his pastor’s library. You church could offer hope by providing pastors who need help ministering to their congregations with items they can give to others. Or, you could help a pastor get back to his full capacity by providing for his needs.
People will find hope in the prayers that we pray
Holladay says people in a crisis need others to pray for them because, often, they are so busy they barely have time to pray. Our congregations can pray consistently over the next year or more for the people put in crisis by this flood.
People will find hope by trusting God one day at a time
Holladay says God gave him the strength and hope he needed each day. He says hung onto God’s promise from Nehemiah 2:20, The God of Heaven will give us success; we his servants will start rebuilding. Consider how you can help a local pastor teach his congregation to trust God one day at a time.
People will find hope in long-term volunteers
Holladay says it was a blessing to see volunteers who kept helping in the recovery months and years after the flood. He notes that Saddleback Church is making plans to send teams to help with the recovery over the next several years.
Tom Holladay is also the author of Putting it Together Again, When It’s All Fallen Apart.