We finished the second act of “When the Levees Broke” by Spike Lee; we’re half way through this United States tragedy. Why revisit old wounds? Why recount the tragedy? Why remember the shamefully lethargic response of the rest of our government? Because the wounds are still fresh and unhealed. (Ask Cristina Kurtek who was there last year on a mission trip.) The tragedy lingers in the classicism and racism that pervade our country. And we the people, whose government it is, must demand that even “the least of these” deserve “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” Happiness was impossible to pursue for over 50,000 people told to evacuate and then given no means to do it.
FEMA came late and left early, but the presence that persists is the presence of the faith community. Our church, our denomination continues to send volunteers, money and other resources to the communities still trying to heal after Hurricane Katrina. Entire neighborhoods are still left abandoned with debris piled on the sidewalks, but people of faith continue to face the daunting task and do what they can to help clean up.
Week of Compassion made it possible for you and I to be present with resources from the moment recovery began. This offering provides emergency relief and development resources throughout the whole world. God has the whole world in God’s hands and we take to heart our call to care for all, not just for some.
Every February, the Week of Compassion offering is emphasized. Fortunately for the places where people are hurting, Week of Compassion lasts more than a week and more than a month. Week of Compassion makes it possible for us to provide a presence of healing and hope all year long to people in places we can’t otherwise reach.
The link below will take you to the list of places Week of Compassion has helped us have presence in the year 2011. I encourage you to click the link and simply scroll down. It is impressive and encouraging. It makes me grateful to be part of a company of disciples of Jesus, committed to bring God’s healing to the world, ready to respond to tragedy as it is happening. Jesus met people in their need; we are privileged to stand in his place.