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.