I rode down with the first truck that the Next Steps Center sent to Houston and I saw the 6-foot high water lines on an apartment complex that had been submerged. I handed out air mattresses to a group of women that swarmed our truck the moment they realized what we had. And, as far as I could see, from both directions every house had a huge pile of debris in the front yard. It smelled of mold and burning, which made it difficult to breathe.
Through all of the tragedy, it was great to see that what we donated was helping those in need, but where I saw His handprint even more was within our local church body. I saw the overwhelming impact of what it means to be the hands and feet of Jesus. I got to see Romans 12:4-5 at work, “For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.” We followed the Cloud together.
Many people gave up their preferences and comforts to be a logistics manager, a box maker, a host, a sorter, a janitor, or a trucker for a week. People came and prayed and spent their quiet times at the Next Steps Center during it all, so it was refreshing to know we were being prayed for as we were serving. People talked about, learned about and became like Jesus as they served together. It broke down our walls and the insecurities between us and unified us. It bridged gaps with other churches, exposed some lies about ourselves that we can now have the Holy Spirit help us correct. It expanded our networks of other workers in the harvest. It was amazing…
So, Houston’s tragedy gave us breakthrough. This is why in all the messes of this world and the messes in my life, I remain thankful.