What a weekend! Many across the nation were keeping an eye on the weather and Hurricane Ike which slammed into the Texas coast on Saturday. Prior to the Hurricane’s arrival, many, many people had been evacuated from Galveston, Houston, and other communities in that region. Some people stayed with family and friends in other parts of the state. There were also many other people who stayed in shelters located in communities located throughout the state.
In our area, our church served as one of these emergency shelters. By Saturday morning, 87 people had arrived at our community center (located next door to our main church building). Of course, they were concerned about their homes, their neighborhoods, and their businesses. They stayed several days and by today most had returned.
Sunday morning, a number of these people joined our church family as as we gathered for worship and encouragement. One lady named "Rose" asked the people who had come together to pray for her and for all those whose homes had been destroyed by the hurricane.
A few things which encouraged me this weekend:
1. The number of men and women from our church who worked in our community center, some through the night, in order to serve these displaced people.
2. Generous restaurants that provided meals for these people. These include: Olive Garden, Chili’s, Rudy’s Barbecue, Fazoli’s, Jason’s Deli, and others. These restaurants graciously fed those who were staying in our community center plus the workers.
3. Our local police department who provided a constant presence giving these people a sense of safety and security.
4. Some of our teens and children who spent their Saturday playing with some of these visiting children.
5. That our building was being used day and night by some people who really needed shelter. It makes more sense to use these church buildings for the people of our community instead of locked up, preserved for the Christians one day a week.