Most of us are familiar with Psalm 121. “I lift up my eyes to the hills--from where will my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.” The verses instill trust and hope in the Lord that embraces us during times of dancing as well as mourning. Those prayers are often answered by those who show up to help.
Lately our community and many communities east of us have been receiving aid following Hurricane Florence. Volunteers and professionals have come together to help those who have been flooded out, again, who lost wages during the storm, and who lost everything.
Another source of help came from Luther Memorial Lutheran Church in Blacksburg, VA where I served as pastor for 18 years. A member of the Outreach Committee was in touch with me almost from the beginning of the storm. Then the Congregation Council president was in touch to say that they were going to collect funds for relief in our area.
LMLC did this through a monthly offering they call Change for Change. Each month the Outreach Committee designates a local non-profit as a recipient. Sometimes it is the food pantry, homeless shelter, for resettlement of immigrants, or sometimes it is associated with the VA Synod or ELCA. Luther Memorial decided that Good Shepherd Lutheran would receive funds that would be distributed locally to Wayne County Long-Term Recovery and Lutheran Services of the Carolinas. Our Congregation Council decided that the funds would be split between them. This week we received a check for $3,030. Gifts of $1,515.00 were sent to the named agencies on behalf of GSLC.
I don’t know about you, but I was amazed by this outpouring of love for the vulnerable people of eastern North Carolina that folks in Virginia don’t even know. It is an example of how the Lord builds hope, trust, and help in times of need to unnamed neighbors.
After worship this Sunday, take a moment to sign a “thank you” card that will be sent to Luther Memorial.