Survivor’s guilt. I’m feeling it. My neighbors are feeling it. How can we be untouched when so many lost everything? I am living with a messy mix of thankfulness and heartbreak. As others lived through a raging nightmare, we had a stay-cation…rest, family time, catching up on house projects. We were stuck. There was nothing to do but watch and pray.
Until yesterday. I finally had something I could do! As I threw on a cap and water-friendly shoes, filled up a water bottle and grabbed my morning smoothie, I heard the Holy Spirit speak to my heart:
Fuel up, so you can help. You are untouched so through you I can touch others. If everyone was devastated, who would I be able to send to rescue, help and offer hope?
So Shauna (because I’m preaching to myself here) and church (because we’re all in this together), if you are untouched by the storm, God’s purpose is for you to be the hands and feet of Jesus to rescue and love and encourage and help and bring hope! Rise church to this occasion! For such a time as this!
We can’t all do everything, everyone needs all of us to do something!
Yesterday, I could not get to any of the hardest-hit areas even within several miles of my house, but there was one set of roadways completely open to me. And there is one woman who has said yes to God and opened her Magnolia-based Mercy House Global Market as a donation drop-off and distribution center. Because it was what God put right in front of her. And because she said yes, it opened the door to my yes. And when I posted the needs she shared on our neighborhood Facebook page, it opened the door to other families to say yes too.
It was the one thing I could do from my dry home, unaffected save for a breaking heart for others.
Today, as the waters recede, there’s more to do. The more there will be to do. For today. For tomorrow. For months to come. And all I can do – all you can do, whether you live in this storm-ravaged area or not – is what God puts right in front of you.
Will you say yes? Perhaps your yes like the yes Kristen Welch gave God will be a catalyst to others who are just waiting to do something but don’t know what or how. Or maybe you’re the one waiting. Either way, we need all!
It’s a beautiful thing to see a community pull together in times of disaster. We will see the glory of God in all of this. It will probably look a lot like all of us doing what Jesus longs to see us do: love the hurting by helping them. And maybe, just maybe, God will use this to heal hurts of a much deeper nature and heal our nation, beginning right here in Houston.
Wouldn’t that be something?
So here’s what I know so far about the needs we have.
It is the fastest, best way for churches to respond to changing needs. Donation needs today may not be needed any longer tomorrow, so financial contributions will be much needed! If you don’t already have a church you can give to, I personally vouch for my church, Champion Forest Baptist Church. Just click this link and designate the giving category as “hurricane.” EVERY PENNY will go to helping storm victims.
Again, if you don’t have a church or organization you are already working with/through, please register to volunteer through Champion Forest Baptist Church. This includes out-of-town crews who want to come work. Just click this link and register as a volunteer. You will begin to receive communications from the church about times, locations and volunteer needs, as well as video training for mud out teams.
Supply needs change daily, and they will change as our area shifts from rescue and mud-outs to rebuilding. If you have items to donate and need somewhere to take them, feel free to use the Contact Me form to let me know what you have and where you are. I will put you in touch with a drop-off location.
If you are sending supplies from outside our area or want to have a drive in your church or community, or if you already have organized a collection but don’t know who to send it to, please Contact Me. I will work with you to identify needs and recipients!
The images are indescribably tragic, whether on television or in person. The scale of destructing unimaginable. The lives affected immeasurable. And when the news trickles to a few updates, schools and businesses open and life goes on, those who lost everything will still be walking out their loss. Those helping them will still be needing help. So don’t forget. Send a second donation. Or a third one. Organize a drive in a month or two months. Send help in three months. We’ll still need it. We’ll still need you!
May the Lord pour out His compassion and love on this entire Houston and Gulf Coast area through the nitty-gritty, hands-on, hard-working love of His people. Through warm embraces, shared tears and hot meals. Through generous donations, prayers and just standing alongside one another – every color, every denomination, every aspect of diversity that can divide us – let this catastrophic flood wash away hate and division and let us rebuild on a foundation of loving our neighbors in the mighty name of Jesus Christ.