No Pipes For You

Many words have been spilled about the situation in Flint, MI.  There are rumors and misinformation and for a minute we were even on the national stage.  But the nation moved on, and we are still here.  We still use water bottles for cooking and drinking.  My children know not to drink the bathwater.  

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This is not abnormal.  I sit in restaurants and watch a table full of people staring down into the internets.  I've been in living rooms where everyone was on a laptop checking Facebook.  It's an eerie thing to post on social media, only to have the person sitting across from you like it immediately.  

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Rockport, TX

I am convinnced now more than ever that obedience, faithfulness, and willingness are all essential characteristics of God’s servants.  

Just this week I drove down to Rockport, TX to deliver construction gear to this town ravaged by Hurricane Harvey.  This town was where the eye of Harvey made landfall.  Every school damaged.  1/3 of every building unusable.  No power.  No water.  No jobs.  No people (for the majority had evacuated).  Coming back to this place was like entering a world after nuclear war.  

While there, I met a group of believers at a small church there in Rockport.  Pastor B and Jose had evacuated upon threat of the storm.  And they came back just to see if their homes and if the church building survived.  The church building didn’t make it.  A big 7-11 sign was picked up by the winds and became a battering ram for that brand new building, being dragged across the flat roof like a can opener.  With no wind insurance, the building is a complete loss.  Jose’s home was the only home in his neighborhood to survive.  It was up on a little hill, and the storm surge stopped at the base of that hill.  It is hard to be thankful when everyone in your family and neighborhood has lost everything.  

Their plan was to come and see, to grab what had survived, and get back out.  But they arrived the same time as the National Guard, who was escorting the first shipment of food and water for those who hadn’t left.  They asked these pastors if they had somewhere to distribute goods from.  Their daycare was still standing, so they said yes.  They planned to hand out this one 18 wheeler worth of goods.  But everyday more and more people came with need.  And more and more goods came from churches across Texas and then across the country to help.  So they found a RV that was still upright and never left.  For 7 days a week for the last eight weeks, this church has operated a disaster relief center from a tent outside the daycare.  It was incredible to see.  They had both lost so much.  But God gave them the chance to be light in the midst of an incredible moment of darkness.  And they accepted that assignment.   

The church I belong to, Flint City Church, along with some sweet old widows, and a sewing club, filled up a van full of gear to bring down.  We brought chainsaws, wheelbarrows, and other equipment to move debris.  People are finally coming back, as the schools have finally opened.  When our van pulled in, there were people there who were waiting for these tools to clear land.  It was a small gesture, but an appreciatted one.  I am just amazed that a small church in Flint could be a blessing to such incredible need. 

Pastor B told me that most of the resources given have not come from the government, but from the church.  This is a crazy thing.  I didn’t see any government organizations while down there.  But I saw people helping people.  One guy told me that the people of Rockport feel kinda forgotten by the nation.  I told them they are not forgotten.  

Mission Rockport

On August 25th Hurricane Harvey made landfall near Corpus Christi, TX.  It would go on to devastate large sections of the Texas Coast.  Since August, two more hurricanes hit Florida and Puerto Rico, and have left FEMA stretched very thin.  

I have been talking with a Pastor in the town of Rockport, a town hit directly by the eye of the hurricane.  And we have been talking about the damage done and the current needs.  Schools have still not opened.  Many businesses still have no building to operate from.  So as we have been talking, I have asked about the needs there in the small Texas town.  And they have asked for one thing: construction gear.  Chainsaws, shovels, gloves, rakes, etc.  Their church has been destroyed, but their food pantry survived, so they operate out of there giving aid to those who are rebuilding.  

So, I am filling up a truck with gear and driving it down to Texas.  And when I get there, I am going to give the truck to this ministry.  I hope to take pictures and videos of what has happened down there so people can see.

All this week I will be preparing to leave, and I will drive down this weekend.  If you want to help this church minister to their town, I could use new chainsaws, and I also need flat nosed and spade nosed shovels.  If you want to give a couple dollars to help with gas or purchase supplies, that’d be helpful too.  Also, please pray I have the strength to drive that 24-hour drive without incident.  

A few people have already helped to make this possible, and for them, I am extremely grateful.  

To Texas!

-Ernesto Alaniz

PS. If you wish to donate an item, go ahead and message me on FB or email me through the mail icon at the bottom of the page. 

Fixing Toilets

The toilet has a rock to it.  Meaning that it rocks sometimes when you get up or sit down.  It moves.  Though a good feature for soothing an infant, this is not a good feature for a commode.  Motion can lead to leaks.  Movement reveals that the toilet is not secure, and I have heard stories of them tipping over, spilling their occupants surprised to the floor.  

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