By now most of us have seen the news reports and the damage of the BP oil spill catastrophe of 2010. We have watched the video of gas pockets bursting under water, and then the onslaught of thousands of gallons of oil leak into the Gulf of Mexico.
In recent news we have heard about how BP continues to try and fix some these issues to little or no success, nevertheless, some progress is being made. However, the repercussions of this major oil spill are already taking its toll on local communities, animals, and beaches. Dead sea turtles, dolphins, and fish have already begun washing ashore along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico. National Geographic begs the question “Gulf Oil Spill a ‘Dead Zone in the Making?”’” In their article they discuss the already increasing death toll held on the coastal wildlife, and also show a disturbing image of a Portuguese Man of War floating dead among a pool of oil.
Many animal rescue organizations are experiencing major set backs in support, financially speaking. While some are in need of basic supplies to help clean up endangered animals and wildlife that are washing up on beaches or grounded from flight. This presents one opportunity for some churches to be able to help in the Gulf Coast. While many churches budget for certain missional causes, donating some of that funding to these areas may be well worth some consideration. New Orleans, LA and the entire gulf coast region are just getting their feet back on the ground after Hurricane Katrina, and many simply were not prepared for yet another natural disaster, especially so soon.
Another way churches can help with the oil spill in the Gulf Coast is by sending teams of church members down to help with the clean-up. Providing more man power in this situation may be helpful. One recommendation would be to contact the local church associations in these areas to offer support, and to find out if you can help in some way. While you may not be working on the beaches, some churches may put you to work in kitchens preparing meals for families who have just lost their jobs and income because they were involved in the seafood industry, or other industry effected by the oil spill. Even further, some churches may welcome the help in having a few extra trained pastors available for counsel to these families, and others who have been effected by these events.
There will be some churches out there that simply cannot afford to make any contributions to organizations, or are unable to send teams, and this is understandable. However, you can put your armor on. Become prayer warriors for this situation. As believers in Christ we must remember our brothers and sisters who are struggling in the Gulf Coast and pray that some resolution will come soon. In your prayers also remember the damages that will have a more lasting effect on the economy, eco-systems, and community.
While we may not be able to play a physical role in the Gulf Coast Oil Spill Clean-Up, the least we can do is lift up the efforts and concerns of this issue in prayer!