Every week we offer a prayerful reflection from a member of the Unbound community. This week our reflection was written by Senior Writer Larry Livingston.
“But we hold this treasure in earthen vessels, that the surpassing power may be of God and not from us. We are afflicted in every way, but not constrained; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our body.” 2 Cor. 4:7-10.
The past few weeks have seen an extraordinary number of natural disasters impacting areas of Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, Asia and the U.S. As I write this, we are also starting to hear reports of flooding in the Philippines. The traumas people are experiencing during and after these events remind us just how vulnerable we human beings are. We are, indeed, earthen vessels.
We are also reminded of the grim truth that those who suffer most in times of disaster are the same people who struggle most in the best of times. For those who live in poverty, the lack of resources that is their daily reality makes them all the more vulnerable in moments of catastrophe.
For that reason, one of the characteristics of the Unbound sponsorship program is sustainability. We seek to help families become economically stronger and build up resources that will make them less vulnerable in times of crisis. We help them grow toward personal independence and resilience, so they can not only withstand unforeseen events, but also be a source of strength and support for their neighbors.
Building that kind of sustainability is a long-haul process and it comes with its share of setbacks, as we know all too well from recent events. That’s why the Unbound Disaster Response Fund was created to help sponsored persons and their families recover following a disaster.
It’s one more way for the members of our community to reach out to one another and, in the words of the above reading from 2 Corinthians, make manifest the surpassing power of God.
Compassionate God, you send us out to act as your hands and feet in the world, so that we may be agents of your healing love in the lives of those who suffer. Bless us with fortitude and resolve as we reach out to those impacted by recent disasters. May we be their companions not only in their moment of immediate need, but also into recovery. We ask this in your holy and blessed name. Amen.