In times of trauma or disaster, people will either run to or run away from God. No matter which way they are running, our churches need to be safe places where they can rest and recover. Is your Church that safe place?
During my time in Houston while serving the Southwestern District, I saw a multitude of opportunities for “The Church” to demonstrate Christ’s Love to the communities we served. Many of these opportunities were recognized and embraced, while others were missed because the church was absent. It was amazing to see the number of Alliance Churches from across the United States come together to serve the Greater Houston area by sending teams and financial support.
The support from our Alliance Family was very well received and it was awesome to see attitudes change from despair to dependence on Christ. I heard over and over again that “God is showing me that I have too much stuff” or “I’m learning to put my trust in God and stop trying to do everything on my own.” In these moments, people started to reach out to their neighbors and come together as I believe Christ intended. Alliance Churches were partnering with other area churches and showing love to the community in a way that had never been seen before. Local radio and television stations were reporting that 80% of the relief efforts in Houston came from Churches and other faith based organizations. That statistic did not go unnoticed.
In addition to the physical work of demolition and repair that was being done, there were opportunities around every corner to share the Gospel. I watched teams praying for people and share the answer to the question “Why would you come all the way to Texas from ___ ?” These times of sharing made an impact on the community and the teams as well. One team member told me “I think coming here helped me just as much or more than I helped them.” Another told me “I had never shared my testimony outside of church before but now I know I can do it.”
Please pray that our Alliance Family will continue to support people who have been impacted by disasters and keep asking God what He wants us to do. Pastors and elders, I challenge you to ask yourselves this question: When a disaster happens in or near your community, will you be engaged or absent? If you need help answering this question or figuring out how your church can be prepared to help, please contact me and I will walk through the process with you.
In Service for the King,
Philip Lohmeyer, Disaster Response Coordinator