Reporters covering the evacuation of
Christians were the first to arrive on the scene—literally the first responders—the first to help with the devastation in
Because throughout history, Christians have been passionate about human dignity. We believe all humans are made in the image of God. This is why Christians throughout history have rescued abandoned babies, fought slavery, and passed child labor laws. Today, we care equally for the mother dying of AIDS in
In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, Prison Fellowship staff and volunteers are also caring for a segment of the population that hasn’t gotten much sympathy: prisoners and their families.
Angola Prison, a huge, maximum-security prison near
Prison Fellowship-Alabama has also responded by housing Katrina victims. Until Katrina hit,
And we haven’t forgotten the children of prisoners, either. Jean Bush, Prison Fellowship’s executive director for
We recognize that local churches will not be able to carry out Angel Tree at Christmas this year as planned. So, Prison Fellowship has already begun a national campaign to raise funds to locate the now displaced Angel Tree children and to purchase gifts for them.
As the story of Hurricane Katrina begins to fade out of the news, as it inevitably will, we must not let our memories fade with it. Loving our neighbor requires perseverance. Those rendered homeless by Katrina will need help for years to come—and as we have recently seen, we cannot always rely on government help. Are we, the Church, willing to stick it out that long—to love our neighbor for as long as it takes? Yes, it’s easy to write a check—I’m sure we have all done that. But are we also willing to take people into our homes, to feed them, baby-sit their kids, help them find a job?
Christians reaching out to those who suffer offer a tremendous witness to secular observers—a witness to the fact that throughout history, whenever there are people who suffer, it is Christians, just like now in New Orleans, who are the “first responders.”
International Aid, a Christian relief agency, is a first-responder to Hurricane Katrina: Learn how you can help the victims.
Learn how you can help pregnancy resource centers in
First Presbyterian Church in
Ralph Blumenthal, “‘Prison City’ Shows a Hospitable Face to Refugees from New Orleans,”
Wil Haygood, “For Wandering Souls, Shiloh Is Salvation,”
BreakPoint Commentary No. 050908, “From the Depths to the Heights: Reconciling Human Behavior.”
BreakPoint Commentary No. 031103, “Mankind Is Our Business: Christians and Human Rights.”
Virginia Postrel, “In Times of Stress, Can Religion Serve as Insurance?” New York Times,
David Brooks, “Katrina’s Silver Lining,” New York Times,
Noam Scheiber, “Poverty Line,” New Republic,
Steven E. Landsburg, “No Relief: Why we shouldn’t aid Katrina’s victims too much,” Slate,