The Prep Room's Emergency Preparedness (P.R.E.P.) Partnership initiative began as a means for preparing America's churches for all of the potentially dangerous disasters we see looming on the horizon. In the midst of a catastrophe, local churches become a beacon of light for people looking for comfort and answers. Jesus promises, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” We believe that the church is supposed to play a role in answering that promise.
As Christians, we have the opportunity to share the love of Christ with those people who come to us, lost, anxious and afraid. However, before we can help anyone, whether it be physically, emotionally or spiritually, we must first make sure that we, ourselves, are in a position to do so.
Our four step Christian Emergency Preparedness Plan includes the following:
“Let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance,” --Proverbs 1:5
Unless, for the last ten years, you have been living a life devoid of any news media, you will likely have noticed that our world is not the same place as it once was. Since 9/11, our country has been changing at a fast and furious pace.
Right now, our country is facing some major calamities, like never before. Aside from being broadsided with a record number of natural disasters in 2011, including earthquakes, hurricanes, major floods, wild fires, tornadoes, and so forth, we are on the brink of an economic collapse that could easily put our country into an unrecoverable tailspin. Consider the following:
Additionally, more than ever before, we are seeing wars, revolts, rioting and other examples of civil unrest, all across the globe.
We are seeing jihadist leaders within the Islamic world becoming more and more vocal about their quest to create a world-wide caliphate, and in the process annihilate all Christians and Jews.
So how do Christians prepare for an emergency? The first step is to get informed about what is actually happening in our world today; to determine what it is that we actually need to prepare for.
We believe that, right now, perhaps more than ever before, God is calling the church to educate and prepare themselves for the potential disasters the lie ahead of us, so that we will be wise in how we prepare and protect our families.
“A wise man thinks ahead; a fool doesn’t, and even brags about it!” -- Proverbs 13:16
There's an old joke that involves a religious man being stranded during a great flood. A rescue worker keeps on coming by to save him, but each time, the stranded man refuses help because he is convinced that God is going to rescue him. When the man eventually drowns and goes to heaven he inquires as to why God didn't miraculously save him. St. Peter responds by saying, “What are you talking about? We sent a guy by, in a boat, three different times”
This joke does a good job of illustrating the perspective that many Christians have when it comes to God’s providence for them during a disaster.
There are two basic schools of thought on the issue. The first one is that, by doing things, such as stocking up on emergency food, water and other emergency preparedness supplies, we are actually showing our lack of faith; that God is willing and able to rescue us in the midst of a disaster.
The other school of thought is that, the way in which God rescues us, is by giving us the wisdom to see what potential disasters lie ahead of us, so that we can act prudently and prepare ahead of time.
Christians can find the topic of emergency preparedness discussed quite a bit in the bible. Throughout history, not only has God warned His people about the disasters that would occur in the future, but also what they (we) should do to prepare for those events.
When Joseph was warned by God about the seven years of famine, he didn't just pray that God would deliver Egypt from the impending disaster, but rather he began stockpiling food.
When God informed Noah of the great flood that was going to occur, God didn't tell him that he'd be okay if you only had faith; he told him to have faith and then prepare for the flood by building an ark.
The reality is that Christians and non-Christians, alike, prepare for a variety of potential disasters, without giving it a second thought. We buy all sorts of insurance policies to make sure our homes, cars and possessions are protected, we make sure we lock the doors before leaving home, and many of us who live in areas prone to certain natural disasters, like tornadoes and hurricanes, know exactly what to do if one strikes tomorrow.
The question is, if we are taking precautionary measures to help protect our families from dangers where the likelihood of them occurring is, at best, uncertain, why then wouldn’t we, as bible-believing Christians, prepare ourselves for prophesied dangers that are 100% likely to occur? Do we not believe God’s word to be true, or do we just think that, because we are Christians we will somehow be spared by divine intervention?
At the Prep Room, we firmly believe that the church is being called to be prepared, not out of fearfulness, but rather, prudence. It is our responsibility to be prepared for the coming disasters so that when they happen, not only will we survive, but we will be in a better position to help others, and share the gospel to lost souls while doing so.
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. --Jeremiah 29:11
Anyone who has ever survived a deadly disaster, while those around them have perished, has likely asked themselves, “Why me?” Whether it be a car accident or an earthquake, coming face to face with our immortality often causes us to ask questions about our purpose in life. Were we put on this earth just to live the life that we are presently living, or is there a greater purpose that God has called us to?
If you are reading this right now, and you are a Christian, there is a good chance that God is calling you to get prepared, so that, in the midst of a disaster, not only will you survive and thrive, but you will be able to serve and comfort those around you who may be in need of physical, emotional and spiritual help.
God has a calling for each one of us while we are here on earth. It would be a shame if we were never able to realize our calling because our lack of emergency preparedness caused us to perish prematurely. You may have faith in where your eternal destiny lies, but you may be missing a great opportunity to glorify God, while you're still in this world...if you're not prepared.
“For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them.” –1 Corinthians 9:19
As Christians, we have all been called to make disciples of all the nations; to share the gospel in a way that causes people to hear and experience the truth about who Jesus is, so that they then become fully-devoted followers of Christ--who then go out and help make disciples of all nations.
The way in which Jesus made disciples was by being a loving servant to all, while also speaking the truth about who he was. As a Christian, this is also how we are to act.
During and after a catastrophe, people's hearts soften. Things that were once important to them can suddenly become meaningless. They re-prioritize their values and develop a true desire to change the way they live. As Christ-Followers, we know that, even with the best intentions, any real, permanent transformation in a person's life is impossible without the help of the Holy Spirit; without first giving control of your life over to God.
The final step in our P.R.E.P. Partnership mission is to develop as many prepared Christians as possible, so that, during and after a catastrophe, they may go out and be a light to those in need.
By showing others love, in the form of kindness, generosity, compassion, etc., we will begin fostering relationships, which will cause lost people to start asking us about our faith. In doing so, we will have an opportunity to not just save a life here on earth, but for an eternity with our Lord in Heaven.