Rev. Amos Lee, Executive Director, CBF USA Canada
哈維颱風， 公認為世紀空前凶猛風暴。 破八百年來記錄的狂風豪雨, 自八月廿六日起蓆捲南德 薩斯州, 重創侯斯頓市和一帶地區。估計約九兆加侖雨量, 傾注低窪地帶。水量相當於兩個猶他 州鹽湖之多之大。無可避免地對當地造成極大的災害。
我們深心的讚美神，許多當地的教堂開門收容災民，傳道牧師們、會友弟兄姊妹們雖自己也在 患難中也打開大門幫助需要的人。有些家庭，當大水續漲，自己還是要入被疏散之列。但這顯 示的愛心真可算︰奉主耶穌的名『天寒勁雨下給一杯熱茶小子喝吧！』。榮耀讚美神！
美加兩地華人浸會信徒組成的「美加華浸聯會」面臨如此龐大的愛心挑戰，而手上資源卻如此 有限，我們該怎麼辦呢？……從福音書記載中提醒我們，耶穌以五塊餅、兩條魚餵飽五千人，那 時一個門徒問主說︰「….只是分給這許多人，(五餅二魚) 還算甚麼呢？」(約6:9b) 別忘記，腓 力門徒還有我們該學習的功課︰我們這有限的資源，交在主的手上會增長許許多多倍。只要神 的兒女甘心毫無保留的獻上。
1． 禱告！一定要禱告！為那些陷在洪水中受苦的人祈禱，從庇護所回到滿目瘡痍的「家」， 求神幫助安慰他們。為受災信徒祈禱，求神讓他們仍舊堅信，覺悟所臨到之事對他們生命 的意義和目的。我們處身事外的也要為自己祈禱，求主賜下以基督的心為心，設身處地地 着想。
2．幫助當地教會牧長們於會友中，和社區、鄰居中，尋找那些有個別需要的、和高危一族 的，因身份處於夾縫而不符規定，不能獲得必需的援助與資助的，可以重建家園。我們㑹 與德州華人浸信㑹聯會密切合作。
3．北美廣大的華人浸會一家親，同心籌集愛心捐獻，渡過難關。請將你們的奉献寄來「美 加華浸聯會」(CBF ) 為救災之用。
一個故事深深的感動了我︰—有一個人清晨剛散步，來到沙灘，那沙灘經過昨天整夜的狂風駭 浪之後，潮浪把許多海星衝上岸來遍滿了。這人知道只要太陽一出，全部海星都得曬死，便一 只一只的拾起來，把海星掉回海裏去。這時有過路的人看見，便議論說︰「看，那些海星成千 上萬，一只一只的，你能救得了多少呢？」這人回答說︰「是的，海星真的很多。但我可以救 多少就算多少吧！」
Hurricane Harvey has proven to be an unprecedented storm that hit the Gulf Coast making landfall in the southern State of Texas on August 25. It was reported to be the fiercest storm to have hit the Houston area in 800 years that had poured an estimated 9 trillion gallons of rain into the area. That volume of water is equivalent to be the size of two Salt Lakes in the State of Utah. Inevitably, the devastation brought on by it was huge as well. With devastations everywhere especially in the Houston area and other parts of the state, how could we respond to help our brothers and sisters in need after the initial shock of seeing images of roof-high flooding and full and spilling shelters that proved inadequate in the face of such enormous calamity.
“A Cup of Hot Tea in a Cold and Wet Place”
We praise God (and it is heartening to see) that many churches have opened their doors to help shelter victims, and pastors, ministers and church members have taken in people into their homes even when they themselves were subject to the devastations as well. Some had to evacuate when rising water reached their homes. But it was certainly a “cup of hot tea in a cold and wet place” given in the name of Jesus. And God honors that!
What can CBF do in the midst of such overwhelming needs and the seemingly meager resources we have? I am reminded by the biblical record in the Gospels according to Matthew, Luke and John when Jesus fed the 5000 with only 5 loaves of bread and 2 fishes when even one of disciples purportedly asked “… but how far will they go among so many?” (John 6:9b) The lesson to be learned by Philip and by us is this: Our limited resources will be multiplied many times over in the hands of the Master as God’s people are willing to give them to Him without reservation.
1. Pray! We must! Pray for those affected by the flooding and for God’s comfort and help as they return to their houses they once call “home”. Pray for an abiding faith in God to see meaning and purpose in what they are going through and as we reflect upon our own sense of meaning and purpose in life. Pray for our selves to have the heart of God to see people in need through his lenses.
2. Help local churches identify specific needs of individuals and vulnerable people in their congregations and/or their community who fall through the “cracks” and provide meaningful assistance to them as they rebuild their lives and homes. We will work closely with the Chinese Baptist Fellowship of Texas on this.
3. Raise funds from the larger Chinese Baptist family in North America to meet those needs. Please send your contributions to CBF for such a purpose.
4. Organize mission teams on a regular basis to work with local Chinese Baptist churches to help people in their recovery and rebuilding efforts.
I am struck by a story I read somewhere about a man walking on a beach after a severe overnight storm. Scattered on the beach were starfishes that had been thrown onshore from the raging tide. With the rising sun he knew that they would all die in time. The man then began picking up the starfishes and throwing them back to sea. Another man walked by and remarked: “There are so many of them. How can you save them all?” The man replied, “They might be many but I’m saving them one at a time!”
Let’s get busy in the days ahead as we pray, as we give and as we get our hands dirty to do our part in making a difference in the lives of many, one at a time.
Our faith demands it!