I write this brief note from Texas, where I have been for three days. Though I am not in the area seriously impacted by Hurricane Harvey, I am around numerous people who had to be evacuated. I have spent time with folks whose homes may or may not be standing when they return, and with other folks whose family members are still in Houston and who are terrified about their well-being. I am hearing continual stories and testimonials from people who are on the ground. The devastation is inexpressible. There are areas that have received as much as 50 inches of rain in a period of four days. Some of those areas ordinarily receive 36 inches of rainfall in an entire year. As well prepared as any city may have been, nothing prepares a place for a storm of this magnitude.
In the midst of it all, however, I have been inspired by the accounts of so many Good Samaritans who have pooled their efforts to assist people in need. It is encouraging to see people lay aside all the differences that we spend so much time reflecting upon - differences of age, economics, orientation, color, politics, nation of origin, etc. - to unite in the effort to simply help other people in need. I heard a man from Houston say this morning: "The worst of times brings out the best in people." Once again, that appears to be true.
At Marble, we have always been a safe place for people amid the storms of life, a place of healing when confronted with human hurts. You will be given an opportunity to maintain that legacy by contributing monies to our church that assist the people in desperate need in Southeast Texas. As with our Easter Offering, every penny you contribute will go directly to those who need it most. I encourage you to keep the people of Texas in your prayers and to do whatever you can to minister to them in this time of devastation. Behind the storm clouds, the sun of God's love still shines. May it shine on those folks through us.
To donate via our website please go here, (then log in, create an account or simply choose Quick Give) and select Hurricane Harvey Relief from the drop down menu. (Please note: in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma, we have now added further selections to our drop down menu for victims of both disasters, as well as our partner church, St. Thomas Reformed Church in the Caribbean). You may also mail a check to Marble Collegiate Church, Attn: Hurricane Harvey Relief, 1 West 29th St, New York, NY 10001.