by Rick Bee
In this issue
With the recent devastating effects of hurricanes Katrina and Rita——the hundreds of deaths, displaced families, and ruined homes——the need for Talbot School of Theology stands out like at no other time. It was interesting to hear the victims and media reference “God’s will,” “God’s protection,” and even the “hand of God” in interviews in the weeks after the hurricane. And the most telling statements in the early days after the disaster were the local and national government calls for prayer. All politics aside, the nation and her leaders realized that we as a people have no hope outside of what God can provide.
Events like the hurricanes and the terrorist attacks of 9/11 not only bring out the best and the worst in human nature, but they inevitably cause all of us as Christians to wonder how we would respond in similar circumstances. Would we have returned to rescue those trapped in the burning buildings on 9/11? Do we volunteer to dig out survivors of tsunamis and hurricanes and then minister to them with a drink of cool water or construction of a new home?
As alumni director, I am so pleased to hear that so many of our Biola and Talbot students and graduates are helping to serve in this way. The university faculty, staff, and students have sent financial support both corporately and individually to encourage the survivors of Hurricane Katrina. Many of our alumni, faculty, staff, and students are serving on work teams to get food, water, and supplies into the affected areas. Alumni-led churches are sending teams of workers to assist in the rebuilding of this devastated part of the country. Our classrooms have also been opened to qualified seminary students from New Orleans who have lost their opportunity for study.
It is easy for a seminary program to teach Scripture and prepare good pastors to share the gospel. I think it is a more difficult thing to prepare servant leaders that take the lead in being the hands of Christ through their work in difficult situations. I thank God that our Talbot faculty, staff, students, and alumni are seeking to serve in this way. If you are one of the many who have served, we would like to hear your story. And our thanks go to all who have left family and the comfort of home to work in this way. Please also keep the more than forty alumni who live in the affected area in your prayers, as many cannot yet be reached due to a loss of mail and communication services.