Thursday, September 15, 2005

The Saints Won

The Texans got clobbered in their first game of the season. Please send an offensive line to David Carr and Dom Capers ASAP. Red Cross has declined to intervene. The situation is urgent.

But seriously, there is a far more important and urgent disaster to which we are responding and that is hurricane Katrina and, specifically, the needs of the evacuees displaced in its aftermath. I want to give an update on where things stand with WHCC’s efforts and urge everyone to continue praying, volunteering, and donating as you are capable.

I have said before that we have had a two-pronged response but it really has been three. First has been our direct support of the Impact Church of Christ near downtown Houston with gift cards, supplies, and (perhaps most important) volunteer help. Your response has been TREMENDOUS in this regard. Please continue to check WHCC’s website and read the periodic emails that Matt Springfield (who coordinates this) sends out for the latest needs in this effort.

The second prong has been our evacuee housing effort. Our Transition team (i.e., helping people transition out of shelters) of Paul Vanderlinden, Charles Bellomy, Adam Venette and Mike Grosko worked countless hours over the last two weeks setting up a temporary housing plan whereby WHCC classrooms were converted to “apartments.” They have been in constant dialogue with local churches currently serving as shelters and with others in our area (Bear Creek Assistance Ministries, etc.) advertising our availability and researching how we can best offer our services. What they found is this: because things have evolved so quickly, and shelters are emptying so rapidly, the great need now is for assistance in moving to an apartment, with all that entails (money, furniture, etc.) and in finding employment. The Transition team is now focusing on that form of assistance. Let me thank everyone who was ready to spring into action to assist in our 24-hour a day housing ministry. Stand down, but stay tuned!

The third prong is especially inspiring because it represents individual Christians putting their faith into action and seeking out opportunities to help evacuees. Dozens of WHCC members have been involved in ministering to folks in many and varied ways, including “adopting” a hotel where evacuees are staying, inviting evacuees to stay in their home, and helping folks find and move into new housing. We want to improve how we communicate these efforts so people wanting to volunteer can link arms with those already involved. At present, call the office or check the website for details.

Long after David Carr and the Texans regain their footing and begin winning game after game (amen?), we will want to continue being attentive to the needs of the good people in New Orleans whose lives have been shattered. And let me say that I have been so inspired by the extraordinary efforts so many people at WHCC have made in the aftermath of Katrina! You are wonderful people.

The Saints won on Sunday. Double meaning intended.


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