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Jun 01
2011
Mary Marr

Joplin's Newly Homeless - a Christian view

Posted by: Mary Marr

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As FEMA and groups like Joplin, MO Christ’s Church, The Bridge, a Joplin Christian city-reaching network and Christian first responders such as Operation Blessing, Christian Appalachian Project, Victim Relief, SBC Disaster Relief and The Salvation Army, along many others view the options for the newly homeless survivors in Joplin, MO the issues are daunting.

After the deadly tornado tore through the Missouri town of Joplin leveling 8,000 dwellings, homes and apartments many are still looking for a home. FEMA is reporting trying to find housing within a 50 mile radius and may resort to bringing back the infamous trailers as were used during Katrina in New Orleans.

The tornadoes and flooding all throughout the South and Midwest this season has left a trail of death and massive destruction as well as disrupted the local economies. While reconstruction will rebuild some aspects of their economy, marginal or economically unviable places should rebuild differently or possibly not at all. If you have a town of 5,000 people and 80% homes and businesses are destroyed and 80% of the houses are worth far less than the replacement costs, it may not make economic sense to rebuild exactly as it was.

This is why in New Orleans 40% of the homes have not been rebuilt, as they would be below sea level - despite the promises of local officials. From the Christian worldview, we need to recognize that when widespread destruction occurs to blindly say something needs to be rebuilt as they were does not make sense, others do.

For example, if a church tragically burns to the ground is the church board systematically without a sound decision-making policy to rebuild as it was, or to rebuild in another way that would more effectively minister to the community. Likewise, the same principle applies to our cities. For Christians since our hope is in the Lord, not in buildings or facilities, we have the freedom in Christ to look at these situations as God’s opportunities to best minister.  

Let us pray that Christian in all the cities affected by these devastating storms would take the lead in asking the biblical question “What Lord would you have us do?” As a Christian would you agree?

A Ready Christian is far more prepared to ask these tough questions than those whose hope resides within brick and mortar. Will you join me in praying for those affected to have the spiritual, emotional, mental and physical resilience to ask these questions in their communities? If devastation such as this were to happen to you - Are you a Ready Christian?

 


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