Charles J. Mambula I (Ph.D.), Suffolk University
It should not appear as if one is only bending towards being cynical or is on a fault-finding mission by looking for negative actions done or not done by others to criticize over the Katrina catastrophe. Praise should also be given when they are rightfully due. In my last write up, I reflected on the aloof stance taken by most black leaders towards the Katrina tragedy. Although eventually some well-to-do figures did surface to offer help, their belated response could have a lot more helpful if it had arrived much sooner. A lot of damage had already been done and a countless number of souls have either been lost or badly hurt. It is all about the destruction, devastation, suffering and pain experienced by the affected that should be of primary and emphatic concern.
This time however, I reflect on the admirable role Christian Leaders and Churches (many of whom are black) have played in the disaster. The presence of Ed Young of the Winning Family Walk Ministry and TD Jakes of the Potters House Ministry especially were especially very significant. By coming together under what was termed "Operation Compassion" The united effort of Churches especially in the Houston area is very commendable and should not be overlooked. Such attitude is worth emulating by all humans regardless of race, religion, or ethnic background during times like these. They led by example and deserve credit and praise for the practical demonstration of Christian Love that they have rendered to those affected by the disaster. Churches taxed their members to the tune of millions, many Church members housed, clothed and fed in some cases as many as 20 people each in their homes. Most Church members worked round the clock and welcomed the evacuees with welcome arms to ensure that affected women, children, the elderly and handicapped were catered for. The government including other corporate organizations also contributed towards accommodating the distressed people. Not withstanding, it was the selfless gesture of the Christians with a 'human feel to it' that truly shined and was most admirable; they provided to the needs of the 'total man' including but not limited to only material needs but also spiritual, emotional, and social relationship to help cushion their ordeal. Churches and other faith related organizations have clearly outperformed FEMA and the government in applying the golden rule in caring for the affected people, at the very least by their sensitivity. Other religious and faith organizations including Jewish, Buddhist, Hindu, Moslems and other religious faiths that were unheard of until now all cooperated in unity and came together under one umbrella to help the needy evacuees.
Christians and the other faith organizations that participated have truly practiced what they preach over the Katrina situation and would be remembered at all times as one of the live lines that genuinely acted without controversy to intervene in the aftermath of the Katrina disaster. My belief is that these faith groups are well educated on the faithful fact and the existence of an Almighty power and natural justice, who from a distance sees and will equally reward impartially according to the works everybody has done in some way or the other with good measure. It makes logical sense to believe and expect that the deeds that people do 'good or evil' will always be reaped in terms of what is sown and where it has been sown.
Kudos goes to the southern Churches and Christian Leaders as well as leaders of other faith organizations for loving their neighbors as themselves. It would be more noble for people to just GIVE without turning around to see who else is giving or not.
"Then the King will say to those on His right, 'Come you who are blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the World. (35) For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger and you invited me in; (36) naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.' (37) Then the righteous will answer Him, 'Lord when did we see You hungry, and fed You, or thirsty and gave You something to drink? (38) And when did we see You a stranger and invite You in, or naked and clothe You? (39) When did we see you sick, or in prison, and came to You?' (40) The King will answer and say to them, 'Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.' (NASB)