Working in my field, often you have to switch gears between relief and development. This summer we’ve had to switch more often then I’d like.
Relief work means that you have to quickly adapt and rearrange your schedule to respond to the immediate need. Today we switched gears to Houston. Randy and Jana Meeks are pastors at Lindale Assembly God Church in Houston and have been our partners for over 3 years now distributing aid to victims of hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
Jana and I have had many conversations on the phone over the months. As a matter of fact, they are flying out soon to be the guest speakers at our Voyage of Hope event on October 10th. I have been really looking forward to meeting Jana. I don’t think you’ll find anyone with a bigger heart. They have been amazing distribution partners!
Today Jana and I spoke for the first time since Ike hit. While she had hope, she sounded tired. But the thing about Jana is she never complained. She said God won’t give her more than she can handle and she loves these people so much she looks forward to caring for them.
My heart breaks so often talking to our partners knowing the hard work they have in the field. Jana is an amazing leader. She and the entire staff at Lindale are giving 24/7 right now as they minister to people who have lost everything and have no where else to turn. The city is in desperate need. They are one of only 4 shelters currently open in Houston.
Sometimes devastation like this is so big it’s paralyzing. Fortunately there are things we can physically do to assist Randy and Jana. This afternoon the first truck of aid rolled from our facility providing them the items they need to care for the displaced. That truck will arrive on Wednesday. In this way we are providing hope to Jana and Randy. They can focus on ministering to the people knowing that food, water and hygiene items are on their way.
I realize that to work at an organization like Giving Children Hope it is going to require many tears. I don’t ever want to be so used to dealing with disasters that I am calloused and do not feel emotion at such loss. However, instead of focusing on the devastation, I will continue to focus on giving hope. Today I prayed on the phone with Jana, so often there aren’t many words that could be said in these situations and the most I can do is to simply turn to Jesus. Yet I know that this is truly the most powerful thing we can do.
So today, with all that goes on in our office anyways, we switched gears into relief mode. And it isn’t just sending aid to Houston; it’s sending aid to our friends and neighbors Randy and Jana. We’re trusting God for all that is ahead and we lift up Randy, Jana, Houston and the entire region as it begins to move on the slow road to recovery.