Just last week I got an email from Alice Johnson from the King’s Klinic letting me know that they had received a donation of 500 “care packages” of personal hygiene items from the folks at Heart to Heart for the tornado victims. Our neighborhood wasn’t impacted by the tornado so Alice and the folks at the Klinic were wondering how we might use them. I told Alice that we could use some of them to help people who come to us for help each week, but I didn’t know what we would do with 500. Alice suggested we might do something like our “Loaves Ministry” with the donated items. I told her that I like the idea.
Later in the week I got a text from David Johnson letting me know that he and Alice had two pallets with the care packets in their garage and wondered if we could store them at the church. I told him, “Sure. We will find a place.” Then David asked if I had any ideas about how we might distribute them? I told him that I like Alice’s idea. David texted me back and asked if I had any ideas about details about how we might get it done? I texted him back, “It will come.” That was Friday. You all know what happened on Sunday. A horrible hail storm came roaring through our community and countless homes were ravaged.
Sunday night, as I drove through the neighborhood with Connie and Annie and saw the aftermath of the storm, my heart was broken as I thought about all of the families who I knew didn’t have insurance. I thought about the care packages and shared my idea with Connie later in the night. I know she thinks I’m crazy, but she’s been married to me for too many years to think my mental state will improve. ha! I sent out an email to share my crazy idea with all of you and you responded, “Let’s do it!” I called in some friends who could help in specific ways to get us ready. A little more than 24 hours after the storm, 33 of us were walking through the neighborhood, going door-to-door, to express our concern for our neighbors.
We delivered more than 400 of the care packages to our neighbors and each of us were so touched by the devastation and resilience of those in our community. God is at work! It is such a blessing to share in His work! I know that seeds were planted that will yield a great harvest in the days and months to come. We will have further opportunities to reach out and help our neighbors as they are going to need help. Many do not have insurance and yet they have gapping holes where windows once shielded them from the elements. Their windshields are destroyed and yet they have to find ways to get to work. Roofs have been destroyed and water has leaked into their homes. I don’t know exactly how we can help at this point, but I have learned to wait on God and He will open doors that no person could ever open.
As I drove home Monday night I was dog-tired from two days in a row that began before 6 am and ended after 8 pm, but boy was it a good tired. It is for times like these that God has planted us where He has, in the heart of a neighborhood in need. We can be the answer to many prayers if we will simply “have ears to hear” and a heart that is open to serve. Life can never be more full than when we are emptying ourselves in service to the Lord by loving His people!
In His Steps,