“You shall be called repairers of the breach”. Disaster assistance is one of three programs that the One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS) offering supports. This special offering, started in 1949, is a long-standing ecumenical effort that raises the necessary funds to provide communities in the aftermath of a disaster. The special offering supports three programs overall: disaster assistance, hunger program, and self-development of people.
The disaster assistance program provided support to communities both immediately and long after the media has faded away. For example, according to OGHS resources, “Over fifteen countries received aid and support after catastrophic events, including the violence in South Sudan, earthquakes in Ecuador, flooding and drought in Malawi, and ongoing assistance for refuges and internally displaced persons related to Syria.” Funds locally supported the wildfires in California and the Pacific Northwest.
The OGHS hunger program provided more than 308,000 people who were living in poverty in more than thirty countries with increased food security. Also, the Presbyterian Hunger Program partnered with 29 presbyteries to leverage $1.6 million for local, national, and international hunger work.
Disasters have affected millions of people in recent years. You never know if a disaster will hit close to home. What comfort you can have is that the Presbyterian Church will be there to help bring relief. Please consider giving to this special offering during the Lent season. I leave you with a final thought from the promise Isaiah 58 provides us. “As we respond to injustice, feed those who are hungry, our ‘light will break forth,’ and we shall be called ‘repairers of the breach, restorers of streets to live in.’
Derona Burkholder for the CJP Team