Over the last several weeks, we at Back Bay Mission have watched as our friends and neighbors have been pummeled by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. These include people in Texas and Florida, as well as Louisiana, the Bahamas, Puerto Rico, Haiti, and other parts of the United States, the Caribbean, and Latin America. Our hearts are broken by the heavy losses that people have suffered, and we are praying for everyone who has been affected by these storms.
As residents of the Mississippi Gulf Coast, a place that was all but forgotten in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, we know first-hand that every natural disaster is also a human disaster. People have and will lose their savings, their homes, their possessions, their jobs, and their lives. And the poor and marginalized will bear the costs of these storms disproportionately. Not just today but in the years to come.
We also know that recovery time is not measured in weeks or months. It is measured in years. The people and communities affected by these hurricanes need our care. Harvey and Irma are tests of our nation's willingness to provide long-term support for people impacted by a communal disaster.
At Back Bay Mission, we stand in solidarity with our friends and neighbors in the United States, the Caribbean, Latin America, and anywhere else that must endure disasters like Harvey and Irma. We stand in solidarity especially with the poor, marginalized, and forgotten... the people who won't be seen on news broadcasts or mentioned in reports, but who will suffer the harshest effects of these storms.
As a community ministry of the United Church of Christ, we hope that you will help the people affected by these hurricanes through a gift to our friends at the United Church of Christ's Disaster Ministries (in addition to your regular gift to Back Bay Mission). They supported us for years after Hurricane Katrina, and they will be in Houston, Florida, and other places for years after the news trucks and emergency management teams leave.
Together, we can love the communities affected by these storms back to life. We can strengthen neighborhoods, seek justice, and transform lives not only on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, but everywhere that there is need.