Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Tupelo Tornado: Battered but blessed, part 2

Last night, I wrote about an elderly woman and her son who requires custodial care. She has spent a lifetime caring for others with a heart full of love and hands open with generosity.  Her losses in the recent tornado were devastating. She and her son have been making do in the two rooms of her home that are still standing, daylight visible through one of the remaining walls. Her church family had been providing meals, water, clothing. They had secured a tarp on her roof and provided dry mattresses.

There was one other thing they had been doing. Although the elderly woman and her son had no idea, church leaders had quickly realized that the needs were far greater than their small congregation could meet. They decided to do the only thing that made any sense at all. They asked God to send help, and lots of it. In fact, they asked God to send enough help to meet all the needs. 

This morning, I learned about their prayers and today, I watched with joy as the answer began to unfold. The director of the brotherhood ministry for their county and the pastor from another church went to assess the situation at the request of someone unrelated to her church. The house is a total loss. The man from the brotherhood "just happened" to have blueprints for a small house that meets all the codes in our state. They contacted the woman's praying pastor, who was thrilled to hear from them. A member of his congregation had offered to provide concrete for the foundation as well as the plumbing. One part of the project after another came together. 

By early afternoon, there was amazing news!  I was told that, if volunteers will do the work, a new home can be built for them and likely completed in thirty days! A work crew has already been making plans for finishing touches, interior design, and landscaping. 

How's that for answered prayer?  

Friends have helped her gather what could be salvaged and the bulldozer work has begun. She and her son will live in a small apartment until their new home is ready. I can't wait to see their faces when they see inside their finished home for the first time. I hope they are as thrilled as those who are a part of making it happen. 

This answered prayer has not come because of government intervention or FEMA provision (both of which are very helpful to those in need). It appears, at this point, that their home will be built without any disaster relief funding at all. It has come directly from the hand of God through the body of Christ working together as Jesus intended. How do you like that? 

People with hearts full of compassion have looked around, seen her and her son's need, and embraced their suffering. They are giving from their hearts, and making a difference for those who are hurting. They are not waiting around. Instead, they have set to work and are accomplishing great things in a very short time. 

These volunteers understand what we all need to realize. None of us can meet every need, but all of use can meet some need. When we work together, and all do our part, no need should be left unmet. The question we all should answer is, "What need will be unmet without my help?" Dear ones, how can we turn aside from the one depending on us? Let's step up and do what only we can do. 

Don't hesitate. Look for a need you can meet and get started. When it gets too big, ask God for help, but don't stop until all the need is met and the rejoicing is done.