Advent prayer series: Pray with us for families affected by hurricanes and disasters

    Around the world, our neighbors in the most forsaken communities are suffering. Each week in Advent, join us to learn more about the urgent needs of our neighbors around the world, and how you can reach out to love and care for them. God bless you and yours this Advent season.

    Ernesto Lemus woke up to the sound of water rushing through his home at 4 a.m.

    "We knew the storm was coming, but it got here earlier than we expected."

    The storm was Hurricane Eta and it devastated his community in November 2020. All of his family’s meager belongings were destroyed when a flood of mud and raw sewage — more than a foot deep — swept through his home.

    Then, less than two weeks later and before Ernesto's family could even begin to recover, tragedy struck again. Another powerful storm, Hurricane Iota, struck their community, bringing even more devastation.

    Hurricanes and other disasters heap suffering upon suffering in poor communities

    According to the United Nations, weather-related disasters are on the rise due to climate change and according to the World Bank, each year natural disasters trap some 26 million people in extreme poverty.

    Put together, this means our neighbors in vulnerable communities around the world are suffering. In Honduras, where Ernesto and his family live, the frequency of climate-related disasters is at an all-time high, destroying homes and crops in a country where many families depend on agriculture work to survive.

    That means that even before the hurricanes, providing food, shelter, education and medical care was a struggle for families like Ernesto's. After the hurricanes, it feels nearly impossible.

    Pray with us for families affected by disasters and climate change

    As we await the birth of Christ, who brings hope to a broken world, let us pray for families like Ernesto's whose everyday struggle for survival is made nearly impossible when disaster strikes. Especially now, in the midst of a global pandemic, our neighbors need our love, care, prayer and help.

    God of Signs and Wonders, be with us. When we feel overwhelmed, calm our hearts. When all we do is wait, give us your peace. When the ground beneath our feet feels unsteady, give us strength. In this season of waiting and hope, turn us to your Word, your love and your grace. We wait, trusting that your Savior will be born among us. We pray all this in the name of Jesus, the One who calls us near. Amen.

    Reach out with love and care to neighbors in need

    In the world's most forsaken communities, our neighbors in need are suffering because of poverty and an increase in natural disasters brought on by climate change. Your love can reach families in need to:

    • Help communities prepare for disasters with things like early-warning systems that help families get to safety when a disaster is approaching
    • Stay healthy as they rebuild through the distribution of things like food, water purification supplies, and other essentials
    • Rebuild livelihoods destroyed by drought and floods through things like agricultural training and community savings programs

    Your love can be their shelter against future storms. Give a gift during our annual Christmas Matching Gift Challenge and your love will go TWICE as far to reach neighbors in need around the world.