There are no right words to comment on the latest world events. What has happened in Asia let us realize how fragile life can be. One moment there were people with daily worries and joys, then the forces of nature struck and life was changed forever. Thousands of lives have been lost, one third of them children. For survivors there is a sense of death that will always surround their lives.

I imagine most of us have asked ourselves how to help. When hurricane Mitch hit Central America people rushed to give help. In many churches people gathered blankets, clothing, first aid medicine and non-perishable food. The intentions were good, but later we found out that it was very difficult, almost impossible to transport those goods. At times like this, the agencies that have experience in dealing with disasters need money.

It is easier for them to buy crops at places where other poor people with benefit with the transaction and who are closer to the affected site. They also need the money to mobilize experienced people and medication donated buy the drug manufacturers.

Also, when talking to a local pastor about what to do, he said: “ I realize that there is much need there, but there is a lot of need here too. There are people struggling here because they are out of work. Our small church can only tend to what is around us.” “We have a small fund that goes for help abroad, and that will probably expand” he added, “Right now I do not see how else to help”.

I appreciated his sincerity. We all face such dilemmas.

There are several things one can do. One is not to exclude oneself from what happens to others. Whether is here, or there, we need to be with others in their pain and their need.

If you can send a contribution to one of the agencies that is doing relief work in Asia that would be very appreciated. Even more, if you can personally become involved in some local effort to help others, please, do so.

Just remember when you ‘help’ others, you are really helping yourself, you are making sure that your life is worth it, that you can make a difference. One can not be healthy and well unless one can vibrate with the life of others.

The other thing we can do is pray. At times when grief surrounds people, they can feel full of hate and resentment. They might feel that there is no God, and nobody to care for them. Let us pray that God may send His messengers to surround them with love and care. Let us pray that every one of us may feel connected to them in love, so they may know how everyone of them is so important to us all.

Do not be immobilized by the enormity of the catastrophe do not look at the figures as the reality. On the contrary, be one person more to counterpart the huge pain and need of those that are suffering. Pray and act. Let us hope that the new year will give us new opportunities to be alive to love and serve.