As the effects of Hurricane Katrina filled TV screens, people across North America mobilized to help survivors. In the Pacific Northwest, some 2,500 miles from the devastation, churches from classes Columbia and Pacific Northwest joined relief efforts.
Sumas (Wash.) Christian Reformed Church spearheaded efforts to ship two tractor-trailer loads of four-year-old mattresses that Marriott hotels in Portland, Ore., were replacing. The churches of Classis Columbia raised funds to send the mattresses south.
The mattresses were the second delivery from Christian Reformed churches in the region. In the days following Katrina, donations of household items poured in from churches in Classis Pacific Northwest and were delivered to the disaster-stricken area in trucks donated by Anker Trucking of Sumas.
“It was so amazing how easy it was” to undertake a project like this when God led the way, said Rev. Loren Swiers, pastor of Sumas CRC. The churches worked with Cary (Miss.) Christian Center and Mississippi Christian Family Services to distribute the supplies. Within three days, half the mattresses were gone.
Swiers said that churches helping churches resulted in “highly successful” relief distribution after Hurricane Katrina.