The storm’s devastation gives Christians everywhere the chance to lend a helping hand.
Shouts of excitement rang through study zones and residence halls at Liberty University upon the announcement of canceled classes because of Hurricane Sandy.
That extended weekend was a blessing to many students cramming for tests or craving a few more hours of sleep.
Some considered it silly that classes were canceled when the there was hardly a drop of rain in Lynchburg. But for many students, not having classes could hardly resolve their problems, although it gave them time to contact their family and wish that they could help out.
In a storm of this proportion, we all must pitch in to the recovery effort.
CNN reported that Hurricane Sandy affected more than 24 states along the East Coast, and many students’ families and homes were hit. Lynchburg scarcely showed any signs of a hurricane, but the rest of the East Coast can attest to Sandy’s beatings. Our nation’s most populated city, New York, was afflicted by some of the harshest weather.
Many subway systems flooded, and rats floated in the stagnant water.
According to the NY Times, Sandy caused more than $50 billion in damages and more than 100 deaths. Many homes remain without power, and relief efforts are still seeking to rebuild.
Liberty student Claire Rudd is one of many students affected by the hurricane. Her home in Fairfield, Conn. is about 15 minutes from Long Island. Rudd’s family was evacuated from their home for 10 days.
“I had to deal with a lot of doubt, envisioning my house being crushed by the giant trees that surrounded it,” Rudd said. “It was good to know that my parents were safe in a hotel inland, but not knowing was scary. Our neighbors weren’t answering their phones, so we had no idea what was going on or if something had happened to them.”
In the end, God showed his provision to Rudd’s family, and their house was spared despite many downed trees and power lines in their heavily-wooded neighborhood.
Although Rudd’s story has a happy ending, there are many who are still hurting and mourning their losses. As Christians, we should hold to the example of Philippians 2:4: “Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”
We live in a great country, where neighbors look out for one another. There is a great need for relief throughout the East Coast, and for those of us who were not affected by this disaster, it offers us a great opportunity to lend a hand. Although we may have enjoyed that extra day of homework and rest, there are people who must rebuild their homes and some who must bury their loved ones.
A blessing is never as great as when it is shared with another person. We are blessed to not have felt the effects of Sandy, and since we were not hurt, we have the opportunity to get involved and help those who were less fortunate.
A simple and effective way to help the relief effort is with the American Red Cross, who has already sent almost 6,000 volunteers to the aid of those in need. To donate or get involved in the efforts of the American Red Cross, visit redcross.org.
At Liberty’s last home game, the university donated $1 for every person in attendance to Gleaning For The World, a non-profit organization based in Central Virginia, so they could send supplies to those in need. Gleaning For The World is still accepting donations at their website, gftw.com.
The time to act for Liberty students is now. The winds of a hurricane are powerful, but they are no match to the intense might of a student body following the calling of Christ.