Anyone who keeps up with the news
knows that there is always crisis in our world. Power
struggles, economic troubles, natural disasters…just go to
the Google News website and search for "crisis." Last I
checked, there are more than 96 million news stories about what's
going wrong in the world.
Hitting close to home, Colorado (where Group's offices are
located) is experiencing unprecedented wildfires throughout the
state. The High Park Fire was one of the first to make national
headlines. It began on June 9th, the result of a
lightning strike, and has since burned more than 87,000 acres,
destroyed 259 homes, and killed one resident.
As those who were evacuated begin returning to what remains of
their homes, volunteers from Samaritan's
Purse, a nondenominational evangelical Christian organization,
are ready to help. The organization leads a volunteer
network that sends people around the world to serve those in
the middle of crisis.
Timberline Church in Fort Collins, Colorado, is
hosting one group of volunteers, giving them a place to eat and
regroup before heading out and providing support where it's
needed. Those leading the effort say it has been amazing to
see how God uses his people to show his love.
Karina Petersen, media relations coordinator for Samaritan's
Purse, says that just like those helping in Fort Collins,
volunteers around the country are amazed at what they can do with
"We do it to show others the love of Jesus Christ," said
Petersen. "We say a lot of times with our U.S. disaster relief that
we want to be the hands and feet of Christ. We need to do what
we've been called to do, and that's show the love of Christ.
And we don't ask for anything in return."
These volunteers want to show God's love by helping others, and
often God opens hearts during the process.
"When victims of crisis see these volunteers doing tough and
dirty jobs for a complete stranger, it often opens the door to have
that conversation about God," said Petersen.
In the midst of crisis, blessing can be found.
"We don't want these tragedies and disasters to happen; we don't
wish that on anybody," said Petersen. "But when they do, we are
able to work alongside churches, and we have been able to see
blessing after blessing. We have seen so much good come out of
something so tragic. We see it in every disaster we respond
Those of us who work with children need to know that kids may
handle crisis in different ways. Petersen says the best thing kids
can do to help out is pray. Teach
kids how to pray. Explain the importance of prayer and guide
them as they pray for everyone who's been affected by tragedy,
especially when it hits close to home.
Although many people wonder where God is in the middle of a
crisis, the good news is, he is always there, and his people are
there, too, ready to give love when hope has been lost.
"God is in the details in all of it," said Petersen.
"We're blessed to see it time and time again."