Rivendell, WIS

O to grace how great a debtor Daily I'm constrained to be! Let Thy goodness, like a fetter, Bind my wandering heart to Thee.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

When Man faces disaster

I'm taking this out of context, from an article at the New York Times that focuses largely on how poorly officials responded to Katrina. What struck me as I read these paragraphs, however, is that we human beings think we are so strong, so indestructible, when really all flesh is as grass.

"It really makes us look very much like Bangladesh or Baghdad," said David Herbert Donald, the retired Harvard historian of the Civil War and a native Mississippian, who said that Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman's destructive march from Atlanta to the sea paled by comparison. "I'm 84 years old. I've been around a long time, but I've never seen anything like this."

Around the nation, and indeed the world, the reaction to Hurricane Katrina's devastation stretched beyond the usual political recriminations and swift second-guessing that so often follow calamities. In dozens of interviews and editorials, feelings deeper and more troubled bubbled to the surface in response to the flooding and looting that "humbled the most powerful nation on the planet," and showed "how quickly the thin veneer of civilization can be stripped away," as The Daily Mail of London put it.

For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away, I Peter 1:24.

More ways to help

From Home School Legal Defense Association:

Dear friend of homeschooling,

One bright spot revealed by Hurricane Katrina is that homeschoolers are some of the most generous people around. HSLDA's office has been inundated with offers of assistance. We've also heard from many with needs.

The Home School Foundation is already helping to replace curriculum. But one of the greatest needs that we're hearing about is housing.

If your family would be interested in providing temporary housing to another homeschooling family displaced by Hurricane Katrina, HSLDA is willing to match your family with a family who needs a place to stay.

To make an offer of housing, please provide us with the basic information requested below.
Please use this email address: hurricanerelief@hslda.org

Please be assured that we will keep your contact information confidential. When we learn of a family that needs help, we will contact you with their contact information (phone number or email address) and you can contact the family to determine if they are the right match for your family.

City, State, Zip:
Phone #:

Limitations: (e.g., two months max, only want boys, teenagers only, can take up to 4 people)

Provide transportation to your home: (e.g., bus tickets, frequent flyer miles, will pick up)

Any special facilities: (e.g., handicapped access, room for pets)

Other offers of help: (e.g., can provide job, have curriculum for 3rd grader, car available)

Thank you for being a part of the extended homeschooling family. Please join us in continuing to pray for these hurting familes.

On the website for Samaritan's Purse, it says this:

Perhaps your church or group would like to send a work crew. We need groups of at least five individuals. The minimum age is 18. Construction skills are helpful but not necessary. If you are interested, call the Samaritan’s Purse Disaster Relief staff at (828) 262-1980 or email disasterresponse@samaritan.org.

Samaritan's Purse is working in partnership with local churches to ensure that spiritual needs are met, too. Our teams share the love of Jesus Christ, pray with residents, and present them with a Bible when the work is completed.

Update on what the ALERT guys are doing...

This is direct from their web site:

A team of four ALERT medics is currently in the city of Lafayette, LA, just west of New Orleans. They are relieving the wearied medical personnel who have been working 24-hour shifts. The team went in conjunction with the East Texas Medical Center. They will be providing triage, handling ambulance runs, and assisting with loading and unloading medical choppers.

The team at the Astrodome in Houston has been working non-stop, around the clock. The men have been enlisted to handle a variety of jobs including crowd control, security, crowd care, logistics, and checking-in the refugees. In addition to these tasks, men have been setting up cots and sleeping quarters, unloading buses, and generally doing what they can to keep things in order amidst the chaos at the Astrodome. ALERT men are also stationed at a complex across the street from the Astrodome that is being used to house and feed the refugees.

The ALERT men leaving tomorrow morning will be working with the Friend Ships ministry from Lake Charles, LA. They will be deployed to Gretna, LA, a southern suburb of New Orleans, which is completely surrounded by water and is not receiving necessary food and water. Water and MRE’s will be distributed immediately, then a field kitchen set for hot and healthy meals to be served.

Back here in Big Sandy, the ALERT campus has been opened up, free of charge, to meet the needs of the hurricane refugees headed to East Texas. Families have already begun taking rooms on the campus. Donations are being taken to help feed and care for these displaced people. Several ministry-minded Friend-of-ALERT families have volunteered to come help with the daily needs here on campus related to care and hospitality for the disaster victims.

The response from our Cadet ranks is very encouraging. Though we are not at liberty to take these young men and their fathers into the heart of the disaster area, there continues to be a myriad of ways they are able to be a part of the ministry to victims.

We are excited to have, for the first time, a response from the ladies that have completed our STEP program. Skills Training for Emergency Preparedness is a program for young ladies ages 15 and older held here on the ALERT Academy camps each summer. A team of older STEP ladies is scheduled to relieve an ALERT team at an evacuation center in Nacogdoches, TX, Saturday morning. ALERT was requested to help set up and establish the center and has completed that commitment, but our STEP team has been asked to help staff the center during the next days.

Important note:

Calls have been pouring in from across the country asking how to assist and help ALERT during this time. If the Lord is leading you to help the ALERT ministry, the biggest need is that of cash donations. ALERT is not receiving compensation from outside agencies, and this operation has been fully funded thus far by private donations. The Lord has been so good to this ministry to provide every need through the help of good folks who have been led to give.

As ALERT is asked to take on more responsibility and greater demand is placed on our resources, the need for funding will continue to grow. If you want to contribute, you can do so now online via our safe and secure website, please click here. If you would like to give via phone using your Visa or MasterCard, please contact ALERT at (903) 636-2000, ext. 2255. If you prefer to send a check, you can mail it to ALERT at: One Academy Blvd., Big Sandy, TX 75755. As a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit, ALERT will send you the necessary paperwork to receive a tax deduction for your gift. All gifts specifically earmarked for disaster relief will only be used for this purpose.

What else can you do? Pray. Please keep our men in prayer, and specifically pray the men would remain safe, free from injury or illness, and they would shine Christ’s light to people who have lost everything and see no hope.

Friday, September 02, 2005

ALERT for Hurricane relief

Letter from a friend whose oldest (home-schooled) son, B, has been with this christian emergency team for a year:

"Dear friends,
Just a short note to ask for your prayer support as B and numerous other men from ALERT (Air Land Emergency Resource Team) are being deployed to help with the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. This is obviously a huge undertaking for relief agencies such as ALERT, so please lift them up in prayer that the men will be safe in what they do, and they will be able to assist and encourage many of the victims of this Hurricane.
Specifically, B will be heading to Louisiana with a team of ALERT men who have been through EMT training and are now working on their Paramedic training. They will be working with the East Texas Medical Center ambulance crews helping transport victims who need medical assistance. Other ALERT men will be operating swift-water rescue boats to help in rescue operations. Other teams are helping in other areas. In addition, the Alert campus has opened their doors to help house displaced people.
Supported primarily by private donations, ALERT's Disaster Relief Fund and General Fund is being stretched to the limit. If you would be interested in sharing funds to help in this disaster, we would ask you to prayerfully consider ALERT during this time. Having been on their campus three times in the last year, and knowing the leadership of the organization, we can assure you that donated funds will be used wisely and efficiently.
Here is information for those who want to give towards ALERT's efforts:
1) Mail: ALERT One Academy Blvd. Big Sandy TX 75755
2) If you would like to give by phone using your credit card, please call ALERT at (903) 636-2000, ext. 2255
3) On-line directly: alertacademy.com
Thank you for your prayers and consideration!"

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Home School Families Respond to Katrina

In their own unique ways, home school families are responding to the devastation of Katrina. Liberty and Lily has written some great entries about this... Ambleside Online has put up emergency lesson plans for families who will want to get back into lessons sometime in the future after losing everything.

The Ambleside Advisory wrote: "We know that there are more important things than missed schooling during a crisis. But sometimes in the midst of disasters, creating a small oasis of normalcy and continuity is very important. In the midst of such a disaster, grown-ups with many urgent details on their minds cannot always focus on thinking up things for children to do, and it is our prayer that this free resource will fill a needed niche. It may not be enough, but we do what we can."

Project Noah, created in 2001 to deal with home educators' needs after Tropical Storm Allison, accepts used or new educational materials to distribute to families.