Bibles in Floods and Fires

Survivors of Natural Disasters Find Hope in God's Word after Destruction

Peace for Americans Who Lost It All

You wake to the smell of smoke.

You open your bedroom door to see flames climb up the walls of your staircase, engulfing your treasured family photos.

Your heart catches in your throat. Your eyes sting. You rush to your daughter’s bedroom, scoop her into your arms, and escape.

You watch flames eat everything you own.

In 2017, natural disasters upended the lives of thousands of Americans. Hurricanes Harvey and Irma ravaged Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico. Wildfires raged throughout California. People lost their homes. Businesses were forced to permanently close their doors. Parents, spouses, and children were lost in fire and flood, never to return home.

At emergency shelters, survivors received basic things they never thought they’d long for so desperately: a blanket, a toothbrush, clean socks. Their immediate physical needs were met. But their spiritual needs grew as their grief set in. They craved the peace only Scripture can give.

Just twenty-four hours after Hurricane Harvey swept through Texas, donation centers had all the clothes they needed. But there was a shortage of Bibles. We received requests from local churches across the United States that were already maxing out their resources in physical relief efforts. Our hurting communities needed God’s Word.

Through you, American Bible Society resourced churches in devastated areas with Bibles to meet this critical need.

Thanks to you, after the crushing disasters in the final months of 2017, more than 82,800 survivors had the saving hope of God’s Word placed in their hands. Thank you for providing ultimate hope to disaster survivors when everything else had been destroyed.

Healing for Trauma Survivors in Houston

Here’s a truth that often goes ignored: even once you’ve rebuilt your life after a natural disaster, life doesn’t snap back to normal. You can find a new place to live, buy new clothes, go grocery shopping—but sorrow endures. It’s hard to regain a sense of stability and hope.

Our brothers and sisters in Houston are still aching after Hurricane Harvey last year. Although the news cycle has moved on, their grief has not.

Many in Houston are experiencing a wall of fear and anxiety blocking them from God. When they open a Bible, they struggle to experience the hope behind the words on the page. They need help applying the Bible’s truths.

Bible-based trauma healing is essentially a crash course on how to use the Bible when life gets rough. It gives people a biblical basis for lament, and—through honest discussion and reflection on the Bible—it guides hurting people to bring their sorrow to Jesus and begin reclaiming their joy.

When Amy Fields and Marilyn Davis—Bible-based trauma healing leaders trained through American Bible Society—saw the devastation in Houston, they had to help. They partnered with First Baptist Church in Houston to aid the grieving community. Through physical relief efforts and the emotional and spiritual support of Bible-based trauma healing, they shared Jesus, our true Healer.

“Bible-based trauma healing shows how the Bible applies to the trauma and grief that we experience,” says Amy. “The Bible isn’t just a theoretical book; it’s very practical and can help us find meaning in loss.”

Because of your support, Houston is finding meaning in loss. The city is being healed from within by the God whose love never ceases and whose promises are new every morning (Lam 3:22–23).

Thanks to the support of our faithful financial partners, American Bible Society has been engaging people with the life-changing message of God’s Word for more than 200 years.

Help us share God's Word where needed most.

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