Monday, October 22, 2007

Why Can't I Help?

As most of you probably know by now, Nappanee (the city where I work and go to church) was hit by a tornado four days ago. It was devastating. I just got to drive through one of the hardest-hit areas this morning and I couldn't believe my eyes.
My family and I were seeking shelter at home the night the tornado hit and we didn't know until the next morning how bad it had been in Nappanee. We spent that day doing our normal stuff, but were feeling a need to try to help.
Saturday we sent the kids to my parents' house for the night and called to see what we could do. We were denied. We were told our help wasn't needed.
How could there be that much damage and our help wasn't needed?
It turns out that there was such an overwhelming response that there wasn't enough organized to accommodate all the people who wanted to help.
My first reaction to being turned away was frustration and a little bit of anger. All I wanted to do was help and I wasn't allowed to do that. My attitude was less than exemplary.
We received a call later that day asking if we could help from 10-Midnight at the church. I was hesitant at first - again my attitude was terrible - but we decided to go. I am glad we did because just getting the perspective of all that had happened it two days was worth the trip.
I now understand how too many people trying to help can be a bad thing.
I also understand that there's plenty of work to do and it's going to take a long time to recover from this tragedy. So, I'm trying to be patient and wait for a time when there is a need I can fill.
Please pray for Nappanee. This is an awful time, but if people can possibly meet God during this time it could be wonderful!

For some pictures and a great perspective of the last few days, please read Derry's blog.

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