“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.
He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name.
Great is our Lord and mighty in power; his understanding has no limit.”-Psalm 147:3-5
When our team was reflecting on the day, one of the things we discussed was the power of a name. Think about it for a minute, how great does it feel when someone you’ve only just met remembers your name and continues to address you by it? At every house we’ve been to, we talk with the homeowners and pray with them using two names-the homeowner’s name, and Jesus name. By using the homeowner’s name, we show them we truly care about them, and by using Jesus name, we are calling on the only name that has the power to heal, forgive, give peace, and save!
Today our team returned to Sally’s neighborhood with the intention of moving the rest of her debris pile closer to the street. But, like yesterday, the FEMA dump trucks showed up and God gave us an opportunity to split up and meet other neighbors. One of those neighbors who we had a great conversation with was a lady named Nicole. When we met Nicole, she was sorting through the pile in her yard with her baby daughter at her side. Her husband had returned to work and her other two children were finally able to return to school. Nicole’s need was quite obvious-she had a giant pile (actually 3 separate giant piles) that needed to be moved closer to the street so it would be picked up…not such an easy task while watching over an infant. So, our team became the hands and feet of Christ and got to work. As we worked, Nicole said, “It’ll be a struggle, but we’ll make it!”, which led into a fantastic gospel conversation. We shared Jeremiah 29:11 with Nicole and talked about how a God uses struggles to draw us near to him.
At one point in the day, our teams split up and went to different locations. One of them went to a 2 story home that had a pile of debris that was almost tall as the house itself. The home belonged to a man in his 80’s named Doug. He had lost electricity and had a poor cell connection but had chosen not to evacuate his home, so when the reservoirs were released he was caught off guard and suddenly had a flooded home. His son and daughter-in-law, Kathryn, were finally able to get the police to do a wellness check the next day, and ‘Doug was rescued by boat. While all the flooring in the home had already been ripped out, our team helped to remove sheet rock and spray a bleach solution to prevent additional mold formation. Initially, when our team got there, only Kathryn was around, but as time passed, Doug showed up as well and we were able to pray for their family as a team.
As our team visits houses and meets homeowners, we’ve been asked, “What makes you guys different.” There are lot of groups serving and offering free help here in Houston from private tech companies to the Salvation Army to the Red Cross. The simple answer for people would be, “well, we’re the Baptists.” And as a denomination, the Southern Baptist Convention is known for having a great presence in disaster relief. But, we’re not seeking to bring recognition to our denomination’s name, or even our church’s name: our team is about bringing glory and fame to Christ’s name. When asked what makes us different, the answer is simple, we go and serve because Jesus gave his own life for us and offers forgiveness and eternal life to you as well!