I saw a news report last night showing hundreds of cots lined up at JFK and Newark airports and I was hollering at the TV, "What the heck?" These passengers have been stranded for five days--and they are still sleeping on cots in the airport? I can't believe that not one church in the area stepped in to say, "We will help! We will house the stranded passengers until their flights are rescheduled. We will help with clothing and personal care items. We will cover needs for those who are running out of money." Surely there was an attempt to help--right? I realize I'm making assumptions based on watching a news report--and generally those types of assumptions are incorrect. So I really hope I'm wrong. Because it seems like such a lost opportunity for the church to be the church! This news report says people are bathing in sinks, sleeping on cots under fluorescent lights, and trying to survive while running out of money.
Since the church was apparently MIA, thank goodness the Red Cross showed up. Even the city of New York was helping as the mayor was sending "community outreach workers" to help the stranded passengers.
I was glad to hear of a European church that was helping on the other side of the ocean--I heard from @TommyTenney: "I am stranded in Belfast N Ireland and being well taken care of by a church, Green Pastures. They rock!" That is the way it should be.
If these people had been sleeping in warm beds, cared for by loving followers of Christ, their kids helped and entertained by people who care--can you imagine how they would have been marked forever? They would have had stories to tell about people in America who truly loved them.
Again, I'm really hoping that someone will tell me that churches tried to jump in and fill the gap--and were denied by the Port Authority or some other government organization. That would help me sleep better.
"I was hungry and you fed me, I was thirsty and you gave me a drink, I was homeless and you gave me a room, I was shivering and you gave me clothes, I was sick and you stopped to visit, I was in prison and you came to me." Jesus (Matthew 25:35,36)
UPDATE: Thanks to Jonathan Anderstrom who let me know on Facebook of a church in Houston that housed stranded passengers...yeah!