Saturday, June 13, 2009

A Love More Powerful Than a Hurricane - pt 1

(appeared in the August 2008 Awake! pg 18)

"When Hurricanes Katrina and Rita struck the Gulf Coast of the United States in 2005, they caused catastrophic damage and much loss of life. The victims included thousands of Jehovah's Witnesses. Directed by the United States branch office of Jehovah's Witnesses, disaster relief committees swung into operation. In Louisiana, they set up 13 relief centers, 9 warehouses, and 4 fuel depots. Their field of operation covered 32,000 square miles. Nearly 17,000 Witness volunteers from all parts of the United States and from 13 other lands poured in to help with emergency aid and reconstruction. The results showed that the forces of nature are no match for Christian love. (1 Corinthians 13:1-8)
The volunteers repaired more than 5,600 homes of fellow believers and 90 Kingdom Halls, the meeting places of Jehovah's Witnesses. These figures represent virtually all such buildings that were damaged. In harmony with Galatians 6:10, which urges Christians to "work what is good toward all," Jehovah's Witnesses assisted a number of nonbelievers as well."

A Day at a Relief Center
"For the kitchen crew at a disaster relief center, work begins at about 4:30 a.m. At 7:00 a.m. the whole family of workers gathers in the dining area for a ten-minute consideration of a Bible text before breakfast. The chairman might also use the occasion to welcome new arrivals and share a recent encouraging experience. After a prayer of thanks, all enjoy a hearty breakfast and then head off to work. Some stay at the center, perhaps to work in the offices, laundry, or kitchen. The cooks prepare take-out lunches to be picked up at noon by a representative of each off-site team. Every Monday night the "family" gathers for a Bible study based on an article in the Watchtower magazine published by Jehovah's Witnesses. Such studies help all to remain spiritually strong-the secret to enduring with joy and to seeing one's work in the proper light. (Matthew 4:4; 5:3)"

*I heard the cutest little "romantic story" from a sister in our congregation about a situation that happened at one of the relief centers. I dont know which state this took place in, but there's a brother whose a chef and owned his own restuarant business during the time when all this was going on. And his father (who was working as a relief center volunteer) called and asked him a few times if he'd be willing to come down and offer his cooking services to help out the kitchen staff who prepare meals for the workers. Well at first he kept telling his dad that he couldn't do it because he was so busy running his restuarant. Well one day his dad called and asked him again, and this time when he said "no", his dad told him, "Son, you're turning your back on Jehovah"...well apparently that was the clincher that finally moved him to adjust his work schedule so he could go and help out the brothers & sisters down there. Ok, so get this...when he gets there, he meets a single sister who was also a chef, and after working together on the kitchen staff for a few months, they end up falling in love and getting married. And now they own their own restuarant business together! lol...isn't that the cutest story? It just goes to show how sometimes God has even better 'plans' in store for us, than the ones we make for ourselves! =)