Friday, September 1, 2017
The devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey is hard to put into words. The physical, emotional, and spiritual toll will be felt for a long time. As followers of Jesus, we are tasked with connecting people with God’s grace. Jesus told us that whenever we take care of those in need we are taking care of Him (Matthew 25:40). The work of rebuilding will be a big part of our lives in the weeks and months ahead.
Faith UMC is committed to answering Jesus’ call. In fulfillment of that, we are partnering with a disaster recovery, non-profit organization called All Hands. You can check out their website to find out more about them (hands.org). All Hands is a well funded, experienced and organized group. They pre-site the work that needs to be done, equip, and deploy volunteers into the mission field.
In May of 2016, Parkway United Methodist Church hosted All Hands at their facility and many of us at Faith UMC partnered with them in recovering from the “Memorial Day Flood”. All Hands reached out to Parkway this week and asked if Parkway would be willing to partner with them again. All Hands is prepared to send 200 volunteers to work in the area for at least the next 3 months and Parkway doesn’t have the facilities to house all of the volunteers.
The Pastors and the Faith UMC Trustees have talked and prayed about this and feel that offering our Annex building to help house these amazing and dedicated volunteers from around the United States would be a wonderful way to show God’s love and spread his grace in the community. We met with the All Hands program director and showed her the Annex. She believes it can house up to 100 volunteers. We agreed to partner with All Hands for at least the next 3 months or as long as needed. We not only will be providing a staging point for recovery in the Richmond/Rosenberg area to All Hands and the volunteers they bring with them, but we will also be working alongside them and inviting other area churches and neighbors to do the same. Volunteer teams will be sent out 6 days a week.
There are several things we as the Faith United Methodist Church need to do. First, pray for the work to proceed effectively and safely. Second, volunteer in the field under All Hands direction. Third, donate items as needed to supplement the materials they will be providing for this work (a donation list is forthcoming.) Fourth, embrace this season as a Holy Disruption worth experiencing. Sunday School classes, Bible studies, and other ministries that normally meet in the Annex will be asked to relocate to other locations. Pastor Ross will be contacting you to help Sunday Schools with ideas and options.
We thank God for Faith UMC and the willingness this church has to be a blessing to others.