As bad as the news is from the Philippines, I hear the real situation is actually worse–that news agencies cannot confirm the worst of the stories because the normal communication channels that would allow confirmation are gone.
I hear that what is needed is not shoes, not canned goods, not blankets… but money. Which is convenient, as it is by far the easiest thing to give (if you are giving for the sake of giving; if you are giving to get rid of that old pair of jeans, you are not helping).
And I hear (seriously) that they have plenty of bibles already. Which reminded me of this old verse (that’s right, I am giving you the hand-me-down verses) from the earthquake in Haiti. (BTW, the audio bibles people actually read the verse and offered an interesting look at some of the constraints of giving, which makes it all the more important that you give money, and with no strings attached, to the groups that are able to get things done. FWIW, the Foundation Beyond Belief did their own checking and has decided to funnel money to the Citizens Disaster Response Center, if you want the name of a group that is able to get things done.)
Oh, yeah, the verse…
They were starving; they were homeless; they were dying; they were dead.
There were bodies to be buried; there were children to be fed.
There were broken heaps of rubble where the houses used to stand
There was utter devastation; there was chaos in the land.
There were frantic cries for rescue; there were howls of fear and pain
There were heroes risking life and limb, with much to lose or gain.
There were millions in donations—drinking water, food to cook—
And the most important gift of all… The Christian Holy Book.
While it cannot stave off hunger, and it cannot slake your thirst,
It’s the most important item, when your life is at its worst;
No, it cannot heal a broken bone; it cannot make you whole,
But a Bible, in your time of need, could save your mortal soul!
It’s the timeless sacred message from the Bearded Guy Upstairs,
And it speaks of His omnipotence, and tells you that He cares.
When your world is torn asunder, as your very country bleeds,
Who could doubt, the Holy Bible is the thing that Haiti needs?
It’s the latest, greatest model; it’s a solar powered job!
It can shout the Holy Scripture out, in Creole, to the mob
That has gathered there, expectant, in the hopes of some supplies—
When instead they hear the Word Of God, imagine their surprise!
We are sending them six hundred, and that takes a lot of space,
So we bumped some crates of water, and put Bibles in their place;
Planes will bring the Holy Bibles in, like manna from above…
Cos it’s Bibles, and not medicine, that shows True Christian Love.