Help After Harvey: Arkansas Responds – September 1, 2017

Bishop Gary E. Mueller

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

The storm passed and now the real work begins.  In truth, I have seen on the news and on social media that you are already at work – praying, making health kits, filling flood buckets and donating your financial gifts to help tens of thousands of our displaced Texas and Louisiana neighbors.

I am asking you to consider joining in the relief and recovery efforts in the following ways:

  1. Take up a special offering this Sunday, Sept. 3 to relieve the suffering of those who so generously supported Arkansas when we were in need. Send your offering with the memo “Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund,” to the Arkansas Conference, 800 Daisy Bates Drive, Little Rock, AR 72202.  Or donate online at https://tinyurl.com/ya2nfy2q .
  2. Hold a packing party and put together hygiene kits or flood buckets. Arkansas Conference Supply and Drop Site List 
  3. Register for the “Just In Time” Early Response Training being offered on September 23 in Conway.  It includes both certification and re-certification tracks.  Training is the best way to  prepare yourself and your team to respond to the needs we know are going to be arise in the coming months and years. Visit https://www.eiseverywhere.com/harveyresponse
  4. Volunteer to serve when the time comes. If you are already a certified ERT and are ready to deploy, contact Byron Mann, our Conference volunteer coordinator, at vim@arumc.org. He is also organizing non-trained volunteers who will be needed in the near future.
There are also some things I am asking you not to do; no matter how well-intentioned, some actions can make recovery more difficult:
  1. Please do not donate clothing unless specifically requested. The majority of these items cannot be used and create a severe burden on volunteer organizations.
  2. Do not go into affected areas without permission.  Security personnel will not allow individuals into affected areas without I.D or credentials.

As recipients of God’s unearned and unceasing grace, we gladly share all that we have with those in need. Please join me in prayer as we hold the people of Texas and Louisiana in our hearts:

Gracious God, we pray for those who have lost their homes, employment and even their lives in the face of this terrible storm.  O God, bring comfort to those who grieve, safety for those who are vulnerable, and strength for those for whom tomorrow brings many questions with few answers.  Inspire us to give generously with a spirit of compassion and let us stand steadfast with our neighbors so that together we may witness your guiding hand in the restoration of lives and communities.
We pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Gary E. Mueller, Bishop