We have been asked many times what our ministry looks like in the middle of a disaster. Many organizations show up in the days and weeks following a disaster, so what is it that sets us apart? The answer is simple, the local church. Everything that we do is done in conjunction with the local church. If we cannot find a local church to work with, we find an organization that has a relationship with a local church and we help them. For us, it is of no use to do what we do if we cannot give people a practical connection to the Jesus that we love and serve. This ensures that when we leave people will still have a connection with those who love and serve Christ.
We recently had the privilege to revisit some of the areas in Shawnee & Newalla, OK that we worked in after the May tornados. We were excited to find that the local church had been doing regular follow up with those we helped. We visited Carol, who had committed her life for the first time to Christ. We found her reading her Bible and actively searching for a home church. We visited James, encouraging him to get connected with a local church and we prayed for healing in his body. We visited Howard and Shelli to find out the Howard’s cancer was in remission! We spent time with Dale and Linda, our faithful local volunteers, to hear about the followup they had been doing. We had lunch with Mary, who led the distribution efforts at a small Baptist church to hear about how God has moved in her and her husband since the tornado. We spent time with Elliot, who’s property we spent days cutting and stacking wood, to find out that he still has many questions about his faith in Christ and what his future with God will look like. We met with many others and had a great time catching up on what is going on in their lives.
We were able to see that our time in Shawnee & Newalla has produced much fruit that can only be watered through the local church. We cannot stress enough the importance of the local church in our disaster response. They are the key to continued life change for those we help. We encourage all of you to get connected and involved with your local church so you can be a part of bringing hope and healing to people’s lives.
Thank you for your prayers and support, and to everyone who made this response possible! You are helping us to be a blessing to the local church!
Scott & Dara Simons