Hurricane Dorian: What to Do
by Rev. Tanner Fox, Associate Pastor of Mission
We wanted to offer you a few practical ways to live missionally before, during, and after Hurricane Dorian makes landfall.
Be kind: Fast approaching calamities create an atmosphere of panic, fear, and hurry. Begin your hurricane prep with prayer. Most people will be operating with a scarcity mentality which often brings with it a sense of selfishness or a sort of survival of the fittest/smartest/strongest mindset. Take a deep breath, and before you head over to the local supermarket or the nearest sand pile to fill bags, ask the Lord to give you peace and patience. Ask for his kindness and goodness to fill you up before you encounter someone who is wreaking havoc on the local cashier or other shoppers.
Create margin: Consider planning extra time in your prep schedule to help others. A disruptive and powerful witness in this broken world can be as simple as staying for an extra 30 or 45 minutes to help load water or sand bags into cars. Keep an eye out for people that look to be struggling (i.e. men or women who are alone, the elderly, or non-native Floridians). If neighbors are boarding windows or laying tarps, consider asking if they could use an extra hand. If you need sandbags or would like to help others from your community, WESH Channel 2 has a running list covering the Central Florida area.
Be generous: Consider purchasing extra supplies for the purpose of sharing. If you have neighbors on your street, swing by their house or send them a text to see if they could use any of the extra supplies you purchased.
Pray: Seek the Lord. The disciples were afraid of a storm once and the called out to Jesus. He is a loving Father who delights in conversation with his children. Parents, model prayer for your kids in the midst of hard times. You are discipling them all the time, and children pay close attention when things are tough or scary!
Read the Word: You might have a couple days at the house with your family, roommates, or maybe alone. You could binge-watch a new show on Netflix until the power goes out, (which sounds kinda fun) or you could spend some time reading. Scripture is a good place to start. Consider reading the book of Acts all the way through. You will see how the early church loved and served one another and grew exponentially! In a sense, they were living missionally. See what similarities you see between First Pres and the church in the book of Acts!
BE SAFE: Many of the jobs that need to be done post-storm are for professionals. You are not invincible, so be careful and wise in what you do. Keep an eye on the news, honor the curfews, and don’t do anything dumb. A few years ago, a couple of people lost their lives wandering around after the storm and stepping in puddles near downed power lines. There will be plenty of time to explore and be helpful when the storm has passed.
Be helpful: Once the coast is clear, create margin to get your house in order and offer help to neighbors. Tool sharing, helping hands, and warm smiles go a long way when people are frustrated and overwhelmed in the aftermath of a storm.
Be generous: As of right now, the EPC Emergency Relief Fund is open for donations that will directly help our friends in the Bahamas. Giving to this fund goes directly to churches in the Bahamas.