ASCENT CRISIS RESPONSE
The thoughts and prayers of our Ascent family go out to the people of any disaster – natural or otherwise – who are affected physically, spiritually, emotionally and financially by the disaster… When something happens, our first response is to wonder what we should do. Past experiences have helped us develop a proper response as we seek to minister to
IN THE INITIAL STAGES OF RESPONSE
- We PRAY for those affected—for many to turn to Him during this time, for Christ’s Church to rise up and be
effective, and for God to be glorified.
- We GIVE. We are a generous body of believers, and our church has an existing disaster relief designated account. We desire to be generous in the right way at the right time and through the right channels.
- We WAIT. We naturally want to help NOW. But most often, now isn’t when our direct involvement is most needed. It usually comes later, in the long road to restoring and rebuilding… Long after the news cameras and many disasters
relief organizations have left.
- We EVALUATE. Part of the waiting is evaluating. We wait to see what stories and opportunities God might be leading us to be involved in. Because we don’t get directly involved with every disaster, we may or may not get directly involved with this particular one. But we’ll be responsive to the needs as they arise and as the Lord leads us.
AS THE SITUATION BECOMES MORE CLEAR
- We IDENTIFY. As we wait and evaluate, we look for the right partnership, given the setting and circumstances – usually a local church. Our goal is to connect with a church in the area with strong and trusted leadership – that will
allow us to have “on-the-ground” relationships helping us determine the way forward. A trusted local church is usually the most effective way to steward our dollars and our people in a disaster situation… extending the hands and feet of Christ in tangible ways.
- We ACT. When the Lord makes the way clear, we move. It may be stewarding financial resources, it may be sending people at the right time, and it may be discerning ways to get involved we don’t currently see. Whatever the response, Ascent will follow the Lord’s lead.
WHAT DO WE NOT DO?
- Collect items. Distribution becomes a challenge, so the organizations on the front lines of response typically encourage cash gifts or gift cards over collections so that resources can be more efficiently and effectively distributed
WHAT ABOUT SENDING PEOPLE?
- Sending teams during the first days, weeks, or sometimes even months can often do more harm than good. Communities are often overwhelmed by well-meaning, yet poorly organized, volunteer efforts. But when it can be well-organized and effective, we may decide to mobilize people as well. We will use caution and follow the lead of our partner on the ground.
OVER THE LONG-TERM
- If and when we do commit to any relief or rebuilding involvement, our values guide us to be involved for the long haul. We are committed to creating and serving the right partnerships, as the Spirit directs, for long-term Kingdom purposes.