I am having a series of conversations with people who ask me (as if I’m an expert!) of what they can do to help with the situation in Ferguson.
I’m always going to approach this from my grid as a Christian believer. So some of my answers come from my own faith in a powerful, merciful, and just God. But some of them are ordinary things anyone can do.
First, if you’re a believer, you can pray. You can pray that God moves on the people of Ferguson, of St. Louis, of Missouri, of the entire United States. There are seriously wrong things going on, and as believers we must ask God to be the director and enabler of healing. Prayer is a requisite.
After that, there are more tangible things to do. People in Ferguson and elsewhere are raw, angry, mad, frightened, and reacting in fear. An awful lot of terrible things are being said by people who are lashing out at other people for events that make no sense.
So, you can offer support to those people who are being attacked or frightened or shouted down. Support them by directly contacting them, when possible, with your words of empathy. Try to listen to them, and try to understand what their lives are like, and what they are like.
I have to say, there is an awful lot of truly vile things being said by people about the people of Ferguson. I am so ashamed as a follower of Christ to hear what my fellow believers are saying, in public, in postings on the internet, in their interviews on TV. The people on the receiving end of those attacks are doubly hurt, first by the events going on in their community, and now with the attacks upon them. So reach out to them in love, compassion, and empathy. Not with sympathy or pity. With an understanding that they are like you—trying to live a godly life, trying to do the right thing.
And, you can offer tangible support as well. For example, the church where Mike Brown’s family attends was burned and destroyed by arson. What with the fire, water, and smoke damage, their church is ruined. They will go on, but they have no home. Millions of American Christians are assured that their church will be there when they wake up on a Sunday morning, but this Sunday the members of Flood Christian Church in St. Louis, Missouri will have no place to go.
If you want to support the people of this church, you can do so quickly and easily by donating what they need most, outside of prayer and verbal support. You can send them a donation to help rebuild their church.
Now, I cannot speak for the church. I don’t know them, don’t know their pastor, don’t live in the area. But these people are our brothers and sisters in Christ. These people are our fellow Americans. These people should have the same right to worship freely as anyone does in America, free to worship as they will and free to worship in their own building without the fear of it being burned to the ground.
There will be other things that arise that will need our support, and there will be plenty more discussions about what we can do to understand the problems in America. But in this one thing—the people and churches of Ferguson—we can offer real, connective, tangible support.
If you seriously want to do something, I’ve provided some ways.
To contact Flood Christian Church, you can use one of these links:
The church website: http://www.thefloodchurch.org/
The church Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/TheFloodChristianChurch
The church donation page: http://www.gofundme.com/huw1h0
Again, I’m not connected with them. Except I am, as a Christian believer. And this is something that frankly we should do as believers.