Fr James Coles who blogs over at Schole, talk about answering the call. He is trying to answer the question of will you help? We all need to help in any way that we can. We can send money, we can pray of course, and we can assemble kits that will aid in easing the suffering. But are we being called to personally go and help out?
If you are a long time reader of this blog you know I volunteer for the “Frontline” with International Orthodox Christian Charities. The Frontline is a group of clergy and laity who will be deployed to a zone to work in disaster situations. I have been privileged to be deployed to Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina as well as Virginia Tech after the shooting there. We are waiting deployment orders right now.
One thing to remember is any disaster situation is that this is a marathon and not a sprint. This will be going on for years and there will be a need for people years from now to go and help. The problem now is housing, food, and safety. Adding more aid workers puts a strain on the system already in place for both food and shelter. Each person that is sent takes space that could be used to transport supplies that are needed in the zone. Time after time we read please from people already there for people not to come unless you have your own support.
So we wait, and the waiting is worse then not doing anything. While we wait, pray, assemble, and pray more for the Haitian people and for all of those who are engaged in helping.
Fr. James begins his post with a quote from one of the Fathers of the Church. I am going to end with this quote and I think it is something we need to keep in mind. Thanks Fr. James for reminding me.
“You who are strong, help the weak. You who are rich, help the poor. You who stand upright, help the fallen and the crushed. You who are joyful, comfort those in sadness. You who enjoy all good fortune, help those who have met with disaster. Give something in thanksgiving to God that you are of those who can give help, and not of those who stand and wait for it.” – St. Gregory of Nazianzus