First Christian Church in Arlington–the Church I currently serve–has been collecting, sorting, and transporting donated materials this week. We have moved about six full truckloads, two 6’X12′ trailer loads, and two flatbed trailer loads in three trips this week. We sent everything we had on Friday. Thankfully, Carter Jr. High sent us a couple of PE classes to help us load. When that was done, we said to ourselves, that we’d probably not need to take a trip on Saturday.
Then stuff started coming in. One of our members has a lot of international contacts through his work. This week he’s been running a go-fund-me account and raised $1500. He used that to buy push brooms and the stuff for clean up buckets. It was all there when I got back from lunch. As were a couple of my members who went shopping for items. Two more volunteers from the church showed up about 1:45 and then two more showed up with items they had collected at work. I left them in the gym to sort things out and about 2:30 in the afternoon, my friend Kennedy Jones, pastor of Greater Community Missionary Baptist Church rang the doorbell.
He brought 100 clean-up buckets and about 60 hygiene kits. Thankfully he also brought some volunteers to help unload. because the buckets kept coming and coming and coming.
In the conversation and fellowship, Kennedy very quietly expressed his concern that we have an equitable distribution of resources. Rather clumsily I asked if he wanted me to earmark these for areas that were predominantly African-American. No, he said. We–Greater Community Missionary Baptist Church–are part of the whole church and want these to go to whoever. We just want to remind the whole church not to forget about some of the people we tend to forget about.
I agree and think this is about two concerns. (1) Getting Resources into less affluent areas; and (2) Getting resources to the areas outside of Greater Houston—Corpus Christi/Rockport area to the Southwest of Greater Houston and the Golden Triangle of Beaumont, Orange and Port Arthur to the East.
We delivered the 100 buckets from Greater Community and the supplies that came on on Friday to Grace Crossing–a community Church of Christ–in Conre. You can get their official information here
Grace Crossing is known for proactive community service and intentional efforts to bridge cultural divisions.
They are doing several things, but right now they are working on gathering and distributing supplies. The place people can connect immediately is with the Hurricane Bucket Challenge. I don’t know if the 100 buckets donated by Greater Community Missionary Baptist Church that we delivered today puts them in the lead, but we made sure to credit them to Grace Crossing. They are the top donating congregation in our little pool.
The buckets given through this challenge will go out in a few ways: (1) They will supply their ministry partners with buckets and the other supplies they have collected. Grace Crossing has been helping affected families in Conroe but they have also been sending truckloads of supplies to an Inner-city ministry, a non-profit that helps women who are pregnant, and a company that put its salesforce to work distributing donated items throughout greater Houston, and a couple of local schools where a large portion of the student body lives in home that were flooded.
(2) They are doing bucket brigades on Sundays for the next month. Their members will enter affected areas and offer buckets, prayer, and information about working with FEMA and insurance.
Grace Crossing is committed to sharing with whomever without distinction based on race, religion or any other category that we use to divide people. That said, they do have some geographic boundaries. As Doug sees it, there are three areas of need–the Corpus Christi/Rockport area (southwest of Greater Houston); Greater Houston (The Woodlands to Galveston); and the Golden Triangle/Southeast Texas. Their focus will be on Greater Houston. Hopefully other churches will rise to the challenge the way grace crossing has and serve the affected areas around Houston.
Please pray for Grace Crossing’s work. Please look at their website. If you’d be willing to help facilitate getting stuff to him, please do. The email for this ministry is firstname.lastname@example.org