Opportunities to Serve
The response has been strong to the tornados that recently cut ugly scars across the south and the floods that now threaten there. The impulse to jump into action and do something is wonderful. The challenge is holding on to that desire until the time is right to act. People are asking, “What can I do now?” My answer: go to Yakama.
Much of the immediate response after a disaster is done by local residents and neighbors of affected communities. Out of town mission groups are most needed for the long term recovery, which takes time to come together. The immediate response includes meeting basic needs and clearing downed trees, tarping roofs, and mucking out flood damaged properties in order to secure homes and buildings. Then there is a transitional period where people step back from the chaos to assess their needs and resources and make some decisions about what they would like to do. At the same time, local residents are working with faith-based and non-profit recovery organizations to determine a process and develop an infrastructure for directing the community recovery. After a large disaster, it typically takes three months or longer before a community is ready to receive out of town mission groups and begin rebuilding or tackling major rehab projects. Which brings us back to Yakama.
Three months ago, wildfires and windstorms swept across parts of Washington. More than 20 homes were destroyed and many more were severely damaged. The people of Yakama and the surrounding communities have been assessing and planning and they are now ready to move forward – but they need help. In a few months, mission teams will be needed across the south to aid in the tornado and flood recovery work that will take place. The people of Yakima need help right now. The Yakama Christian Mission is participating in the recovery. Director David Bell is coordinating rebuilding efforts. Mission teams are needed now to begin the hands on work of rebuilding homes. Email Josh Baird or call (985) 778-6915 for more information.
Disciples Home Missions Updates May 15, 2011