One of our mantras at Western Hills is “Serve All.” No matter what color, creed, or background…we exist to be the hands and feet of Jesus. As the reports of devastation keep filtering in from communities like Joplin and Reading, I started immediately getting texts and emails – “How can we serve all with this?” Here are some ways that we’ve already helped and will continue to help.
One of the benefits of being a partnering church with the Kansas-Nebraska Convention of Southern Baptists is their Disaster Relief Team. Immediately, the Disaster Relief team went to Reading and within 24 hours, they had set up a base and was partnering with the Red Cross serving meals and distributing water. That’s astonishing when you consider that the first 24 hours after a disaster are often the most confusing and chaotic. They have continued to partner with the Red Cross on clean-up and recovery.
As I type this, Western Hills is sending KNCSB Disaster Relief team $1000 to continue the work. We’ve also already promised our helped when they call for volunteers. Right now, they are telling us to stay out of Reading. What they have plenty of is manpower. What they are lacking are funds to pay for the food, water, and supplies they are rapidly using to help the families in the community.
You can contribute financially directly to the KNCSB Disaster Relief Fund. Details are given on their website. OR bring your donation to church with you as we will be collecting money for them during the next 2 weeks of services. (You’ll see the strategically placed 5 gallon buckets through out the building.)
Another option is through the work of one of my good friends, Matt Godwin. He is the pastor of Oakland Nazarene Church. He is challenging the community to make crisis care kits for tornado victims. Our church is one of the drop off points for these kits. Let me clear: PLEASE follow the specific directions on the crisis care kit and ONLY what is on the crisis care kit. Nothing else will be accepted or used.
Matt is also leading a team to help in Joplin on Thursday morning. You can get more details here on Matt’s blog. Matt has worked with area agencies to get access to bring a team and the folks over at OakNaz are awesome.
Serve all means serve now. And I’m thankful we have partnerships and relationships whose only goal is to be the presence of Christ in times of need.