More than food and water
WAVELAND, MISS. — Before Katrina ravaged the Gulf Coast, Waveland, Miss., was a peaceful community: kids on bicycles, dogs on leashes, couples on leisurely strolls.
Now it resembled a garbage dump, with mounds of debris from fallen homes, trees and telephone poles.
A young woman, her hands shaking, approached us with a forced smile. She had lost everything in the hurricane.
She pointed to a huge pile of rubble where her home once stood and she began to cry.
We prayed for her and offered words of hope. Then one of the women in our group gave her a long hug and let her cry in her arms.
There was something special about that touch. Yes, Christians were on location to distribute food, water, clothing and ice, but they were also ministering through their words and warm embraces. Like Jesus, they weren’t afraid to extend a hand to people in need.
Another victim of the hurricane — a middle-aged man — said he was impressed that Christians were willing to “touch” them when they talked to them and prayed with them. “Nobody else from the other relief groups would touch us,” he said.
The citizens of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama will always be grateful for the Christians who gave them food and water. But they will never forget the touches, handshakes, hugs and smiles from people who showed they really cared.
Editor’s note: At press time, relief ministries were also busy responding to those affected by Hurricane Rita. A future report on that effort will appear in Today’s Pentecostal Evangel.