by Pastor Wayne Puls on January 30, 2024

In late January, I participated in a Disaster Response Conference & Training event, sponsored by the Southeastern District of our national church body. Several Hope members participated in the conference, as well. It was a great opportunity to talk over plans for management of Lutheran volunteers in disaster settings, and for specialized hands-on training. Thankfully, we haven’t had local or regional natural disasters to which to respond in recent years; but our Southeastern District team is trying to help our congregations and volunteers to be more and more ready for disasters, if and when they come.

Truth be told, there is only so much that we can do to be prepared for the big storms. It’s wise to train volunteers for muck-out, chainsaw, and spiritual care work, and to build up our response capacity. Advance preparation is wise. At the same time, though, we realize that there are so many variables, and unpredictable circumstances, involved in every major disaster. So we prepare proactively as much as we can, and then we do our best to react responsibly when the time comes.

What about preparing for other kinds of storms? We all face personal disasters and tragedies. Sickness, grief, job loss, broken relationships, community events, and many other disasters are a common part of our lives as Christians. Are you ready for the next disaster that comes your way? I pray that, when it comes to your spiritual standing with the Lord, you are more than ready!

What does that mean? Put your faith and trust in the Lord Jesus, in every circumstance. Know that you can never make yourself right with God on your own, but believe in the work Jesus Christ has done for you. By his death and resurrection, Christ has accomplished your forgiveness and salvation. Look to him with faith, no matter what is going on around you in this world. No storm, nor any disaster, can ever break the connection you have with your God, thanks to Jesus Christ. We never look forward to the next disaster, but Jesus makes us ready to face whatever comes our way.

Were they to take our house, goods, honor, child, or spouse,

Though life be wrenched away, they cannot win the day.

The Kingdom’s ours forever!

(Martin Luther, “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God”)


Pastor Wayne Puls

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