Carolyn Porterfield passes this note from Southeast Texas:
Who are the people who come to work rebuilding houses and church buildings? It is hard to put them in categories because I’ve seen men and women, young and old, Texans and non-Texans, Baptists and those from other faith traditions all working together toward one end – to give people their lives back. Catch two glimpses.
In late September or early October Tim called my office and wanted to come to Southeast Texas to help. He’d spent several years working in Louisiana and felt drawn to help with the recovery efforts after Ike. He was referred to Nehemiah’s Vision and has spent the past five months working in the Vidor/Beaumont area. He is currently working at Rose City Baptist Church in Vidor during the day and then repairing the parsonage at night. We asked him what kept him at this work. His words were simple yet profound. “You’re not just helping people get back in their houses. You are giving them back their lives.” He described what it was like to be with a family the first time they walked back into a home that was repaired. He said it was a wonderful feeling that no amount of money could ever give.
A contractor, a graduate student, a pastor, and a couple of retired men gave a week of their time to work in a parsonage. When they were asked what they would say to encourage people to get involved, one man replied, “What you are waiting for?” Yes, skilled labors are needed but there is much that the not so highly skilled folks can do. The graduate student who was probably in his 20s said he didn’t know much when he got there but he had certainly learned a lot which he could use for a lifetime. This church currently doesn’t have a pastor and will likely need a bivocational pastor to serve the congregation. This crew knew that by helping get the parsonage repaired they will help this church move forward in calling a pastor.
The common thread in all these folks was the strong desire to serve others in Jesus’ name. One group coordinator was asked if we could come by and talk with them and take some pictures. His reply, “We’re not doing anything dynamic that would be worth a picture.” My reply, “We’re not looking for dynamic. We’re looking for faithful.” I think families and churches were blessed last week because faithful followers of Jesus Christ came to serve. I also believe that God was blessed because the body of Christ was serving well in His name. May that service continue for months to come.