Hurricane Response – “We Are Better Together”

Better TogetherBetter Together

One of the most encouraging things I’ve seen over the past several days is the churches in our city working together to meet needs and love on people.

Here are a few of the amazing things I’ve seen:

  • In my city of Pearland the churches have procured a 200,000 sq ft warehouse to be a centralized hub for food, water, toiletry, and cleaning supply donation.  We’ve had an amazing pallet business in Florida donate 26 pallets stocked with food, water, toiletries, and cleaning supplies.  Many other churches have made similar donations.
  • Churches are working together to help the community with ZERO thought to who is getting the credit.  This is most easily seen as teams go house to house ripping out carpet and drywall.  If one church’s list is full then they ask another church to grab it and… THEY DO.
  • Our church meets in a school.  The schools are closed until at least Tuesday.  That would mean that we wouldn’t have a place to meet for two a second week in a row.  This could be very difficult for our young church both spiritually and financially.  A local church opened it’s doors to us meeting there this Sunday morning.
  • CityView Church got to buy supplies for several distribution centers that were in need of cleaning supplies and gift cards for gas and groceries.

We really are better together.  This is a wonderful picture of the gospel that we are seeing ministered in both deed and WORD.  Jesus is being made much of as people are seeing the church serving the devastated.

 

Keep Giving

The needs are great.  By the grace of God they are being met.  There is still a lot more to do though.  As we’ve been told many times recovery is a marathon and not a sprint.  Multiple groups are on the ground working.  Give towards those groups that are local and going to be there for the long haul, after the television cameras are gone.

Donate to CityView Church Disaster Relief

Donate to Southern Baptist of Texas Disaster Relief

 

Hurricane Harvey – “Survived to Serve”

survived to serve

“You Survived to Serve”

I have felt survivor guilt.  I’m finding that many people who have gone through Hurricane Harvey are feeling this.

GRATEFUL

On one hand I am so grateful, so thankful that we stayed dry, safe, and powered throughout the entirety of Harvey’s onslaught on Houston.  We are doing well on a personal and church level.  None of our members had any truly significant damage and all of our equipment was untouched by the flooding (this was a concern for us as we are a portable church and most of our equipment is located in a trailer parked in a significantly flooded area).

ACHING

On the other hand I hurt and ache for those who lost everything or will soon due to coming drainage floods (Worst Flooding Is In Front Of Us).  I see video of people being rescued.  Then there are the pictures of homes still underwater.  I watch stories on the news of families trying to escape the flooding waters still.  I read news articles of mandatory evacuations being ordered even last night.  And then the growing count of those who have lost their lives.

 

I feel guilty.  So guilty.  I’ve prayed and prayed.  The message I feel deep in my spirit and to the depth of my bones is this:

 

“YOU SURVIVED TO SERVE”

 

This has been the gist of my message to our church and those who have been personally unscathed by the the storm.  We have survived this IMMENSE devastation to serve others.  If we are still standing it is not because of our strong planning or excellent preparation, but by the grace of God.  We are here to demonstrate our Savior’s love.  We are here to serve others.

These words of Jesus have been ringing in my heart over these past few days:

[14] “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. [15] Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. [16] In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 5:14-16)

 

Do good!  Serve others, not for your own fame, but for the good of people and ultimately for the glory of God.

I am thankful for a church that is doing this.  They have been serving from the moment they were able to get out of their homes.  They haven’t stopped.

Our church won’t stop.  This city is our home and we are in this thing for the long haul.  If you’d like to help us help our community YOU CAN DONATE HERE.  Every dollar is 100% tax deductible and is used to help victims of this catastrophe.

I’m also thankful for our denomination (Southern Baptist) that puts a priority on disaster relief.  Both state and national levels are on the ground already.  They are serving meals, organizing clean up crews, providing showers, and ministering the gospel to those who have lost so much.  If you’d like to donate to them you can do so here: Southern Baptist of Texas Disaster Relief.

 

Remember, we have survived to serve.  You can’t serve everyone, but everyone can serve someone.

 

Hurricane Harvey – “The Storm Is Gone!”

Storm Over

The Storm Is Over!

First, we are so thankful that the rain has stopped!  Harvey moved!  The Lord heard and answered prayer and moved the storm away from us.  Houstonians are so thankful.  Yesterday I wrote a post – “Can We See The Sun?”  The answer is YES! I am not ashamed to say that I teared up taking this picture.  We haven’t seen a sunrise in a while.

CityView Serves!

I am so proud of our church and what we’ve been able to do in the middle of the storm.

  • We sent 15 truck loads of supplies to area shelters.
  • We’ve provided meals for hundreds.
  • Purchased and delivered medicine to area shelters.
  • Nursed at area shelters.
  • Provided pastoral counseling for many at shelters.
  • Purchased and delivered immediately necessary supplies such as food, water, diapers, feminine hygiene products, and more.
  • Purchased and delivered socks and underwear to our first responders who have been on 24 hour duty for days.

 

 

This is made possible by so many donating to our church plant.  As of this morning we’ve raised $7450 and 100% of that will go to help with disaster relief.  We are a church on the ground caring for Pearland, Friendswood, and our surrounding area.  If you are looking for a way to donate to a local organization that is working hard in the city then help us help our area.

YOU CAN DONATE TO CITYVIEW DISASTER RELIEF HERE

 

Here are other groups we are PROUD to partner with:

 

Recovery Time

We bask in the sunlight and are thankful for the storm to move, but now recovery starts.  This is a process that will last not for days, weeks, or months.  This process is going to take years.  Here is what we’re going to have to recover from:

57 Inches of rain fell in one spot in Pearland… 57 Inches!  Rain fell everywhere.  This is the largest flooding disaster in the history of the United States.

The amount of rain that fell just in Houston would:

  • Fill The Great Salt Lake in Utah… TWICE
  • Fill The Empire State Building 33,906 times
  • Cover the entire lower 48 states with .17″ of rain.
Lots of numbers are out there, they vary, but even the most conservative are unbelievable.  Here is a picture of what we’re dealing with – Houston Rain Fall By The Numbers

Material Needs

 

Here are things that we are going to need in upcoming days

  • Shop vacs (wet)
  • 5 Gallon Buckets
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Shovels
  • Tarps
  • Push brooms
  • Mops
  • Fans
  • Diapers
  • Wipes
  • Baby and Kids Clothes
  • Shoes
  • Contact Solution

If you are looking for ways to help then start collecting these things and in days/weeks/months ahead start bringing them down and help with disaster relief.

Our Prayer

These are verses I found last night and have been thinking about this morning.

[25] From you comes my praise in the great congregation; my vows I will perform before those who fear him.

[26] The afflicted shall eat and be satisfied; those who seek him shall praise the LORD! May your hearts live forever!

[27] All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the LORD, and all the families of the nations shall worship before you.

Psalm 22:25-27

We are praying that the afflicted will literally eat and be satisfied and that the whole earth will remember and turn to the Lord.  Pray with us.