HUHH … Help Us Help Houston
It was Mid-September when a truck driving couple in our congregation called the church office and said, “Pastor, we’ve prayed about this and talked to our boss. We’ll donate the time, my boss will donate the truck, if you want a trailer for Houston relief, it’s yours.” He would go on to say, “with my life and my schedule, I can’t do much for the church, but I can drive a truck, that’s what I know how to do.”
Our staff went into overdrive – sometimes with a clutch and sometimes without. We contacted World Renew, connected with another Christian Reformed Church in Houston, and we said, “what do you need, we have a 53’ trailer?” Weeks later they told us and our jaws dropped at the lists of items. The need was bottomless.
A new posture with the community…. “Help us”
We decided to put it out there – out to you. We said, “activate your connections, see what can happen. Here’s a great, non-threatening way to connect with your neighbors, business connections, and everyone in your orbit. Cash in favors and talk it up.” We wanted this to be as much about you and your connections as a relief effort. We changed the direction of this; instead of thinking of ourselves as having something someone else needed, we turned to the community and said, “we need your help.”
Some gave money, time away from work, and even their own possessions. Thank you. Some took risks and had new conversations with people not connected to a church – thank you! We would hear back from many who said, “this is exactly what the church should be doing – God bless you Georgetown!” Some stood long shifts at the trailer without a lot of drop-off traffic; thank you for that. Some were sometimes met by skeptical folk and you may have had some skepticism of your own. You did this as individuals and in some cases, couples. Thank you for that.
A 53’ trailer was packed tight – tighter than the driver had ever seen a trailer packed. It was packed to the very last inch and personal messages of love and good wishes (Godly graffiti) were written on the cardboard from Georgetown and West Michigan.
More than enough…
Our 53-foot truck was not enough’; we had another 30 feet of donated items that did not fit on our truck. As this was celebrated and reported in worship on October 15, another person stepped up and donated a second truck. It was donated with one string attached, that truck must be filled as well!
As we considered the best ways to fill the second truck, Pastor Marc, Al, and Dwight delivered the first truck in person to Pastor Andy and our new friends at New Life in Houston. Their images and stories are included in the media below. Humanly speaking, all of this began because one person said, “I can’t do much for the church, but here’s what I can do.” It is amazing what can happen when we approach our life together with that attitude, with that Spirit. The stories continue.
Milestones… Truck 2.0
· On Saturday, October 28, the second truck was loaded.
· On Sunday, October 29, Rev. Andy Sytsma visited us from Houston and shared firsthand what life is now like in Houston.
· On Wednesday, November 1, the second truck arrived in Houston
· Houston continues to distribute the items from that truck and do needs assesments.
What is next?… Truck 3.0
We continue to receive financial contributions each week. We remain open to seeing where our relationship with Houston is going. We have heard from individuals and organizations about continuing this project; we remain open to see what is next!
How You Can Help
- Give financially. You can donate by submitting a check to the church office or by mail one to Georgetown Christian Reformed Church 6475 40th Ave. Hudsonville, MI 49426. Gift receipts will be mailed to all donors.
- We have an Amazon registry with a broad spectrum of items from "simple and cheap" to "larger ticket" items: http://bit.ly/reliefamazonlist. While these won't go on our truck, they will be shipped directly to the church for distribution.
- Our partners in Houston are still expressing needs in 6 major area: appliances, construction materials, furniture, tools, household items, and clothing. We remain open to the Spirit's leading and welcome the ideas and cooperation of our community.
October 16 visit: