11/15/2012 10:47 am ET Updated Jan 15, 2013

Hope in the Wake of Tragedy

As the news media turns its attention back to politics and the implications of election results, it is inevitable that those not directly affected by Hurricane Sandy will quickly put the storm in the back of their minds. But for those whose communities, homes and lives have been ravaged by the storm, Sandy will remain top of mind for months and even years to come. Returning to normal life is impossible for those who lost everything they've worked their whole lives to attain.

I'm not a native New Yorker, but over the past four years of leading American Bible Society, I've had the privilege of being a part of the vibrant "Big Apple." The resilience of this community is unparalleled. This city and indeed this region are characterized by unmatched determination. Yet no matter how strong we are as individuals or as communities, at some point, our human strength will run out. Where do we go when it does? I want to encourage New Yorkers to look for hope where it has always been found: in the Bible.

For nearly 200 years, New York has been home to American Bible Society. The organization serves people across the country and around the world, but New Yorkers remain among the most important audiences for this ministry's hometown. In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, we turn our attention and our ministry toward home, urging storm victims to consider the message that can only be found in the Bible.

For centuries, the Bible has helped men, women and children survive the literal and figurative storms of life. In the face of a tragedy or trial, the Bible fills a desperate need: hope. In the aftermath of these crises, the Bible provides a critical resource: courage. And in the view of a better future not yet clear, the Bible supplies what we each need: faith.

When Hurricane Sandy hit our great city, the staff family at American Bible Society were directly in her path. Like so many others across the region, our staff continues to recover from the storm's impact in their own lives. We are all left reeling and are reminded of the frailty of humanity and of how quickly everything we know can change.

We pray for those who have been most impacted by this tragedy and we join you in expressing our thanks to the relief organizations, individuals and ministries who are working to help us rebuild our area, our communities and our families. In addition to the everyday practical resources so badly needed, we will continue to reach out with the hope of God's Word.

While gasoline may be rationed and relief supplies scarce, rest assured that there is no limit to the hope to be found in the Bible.

Lamar Vest is the President and CEO of the American Bible Society. Founded in 1816, the American Bible Society exists to make the Bible available to every person in a language and format each can understand and afford, so all people may experience its life-changing message.