Help, if you are able
Published 1:12 am Wednesday, December 1, 2004
Scripture commands us to "love thy neighbor."
In the weeks following Hurricane Ivan we've all witnessed acts of compassion and help honoring this commandment in the deeds of our neighbors families and friends.
We've also seen it in the work of people, complete strangers in many cases, who found Atmore, Alabama on a map and decided to come here and help.
Men and women of nearly every denomination have come to our town with a single goal in mind, to honor their faith by doing good for others in the name of God.
Some, like the Southern Baptists came with a mission to aid in the initial aftermath of the storm, their work lasted for weeks, and for it, we are thankful. Others, like numerous individual church groups and even college sports teams have come to do what they could over a weekend.
But now we are beyond the initial recovery period and entering the much longer-term rebuilding of our community. And in this period, many with little or no insurance and few resources to rebuild could well be left behind.
Today we reported on the initial meetings with representatives from the Christian Reformed World Relief Committee.
Their goal, if they come to Atmore, would be in aiding that long-term rebuilding process. From what the CRWRC's representatives said, men and women from their organization would canvas our community, producing detailed reports of the needs of our people.
Trained workers would interview our residents, and following that, skilled construction workers and laborers, all volunteers, would work to help rebuild and repair homes, buildings, lives and our community.
It could be a helping hand to those who are less fortunate. But the CRWRC can't do it alone.
If they come, they would have to rely on the aid and administration of a faith-based community organization to help organize these long-term rebuilding projects, and help provide the funding for supplies.
While the Atmore Area Christian Care Ministry looks to be the leading candidate to be the home manager for such a project, it would need help.
Naturally, office space would be needed, computers, phone lines and of course, volunteers to help in managing the CRWRC teams. Help will also be needed in searching for grants and other funding sources to make everything a reality.
Although none of this is set in stone, surely there are those in this community who could help make such a project come to fruition. We may well be faced with another opportunity to "love thy neighbor." If you can aid such a project, we urge you to go make yourself available. We'll let you know in coming days if this project comes together and what you can do.