SENT is part of a new weekly series telling stories of people at Pulpit Rock living missionally in their unique contexts. We believe that all of us have been SENT into our neighborhoods, workplaces and city. Our hope is that you are encouraged and inspired to lean into the places God has called you. And then we’d like to tell your story. Because we know that the story of God’s people is the story of God. If you have a story you would like to share with us send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
You recently went down to Corpus Christi, TX with a group from the Navigators. What did you do while you were down there?
Our group went down to help clean up some of the damage caused by Hurricane Harvey last year. Corpus Christi was one of the areas hit the hardest, and there were still massive amounts of debris and visible damage left despite it being seven months after the storm when we were down there. Our team cleaned up debris at a few different sites, did some demolition work, gutted two mold-filled sites (gas masks and all), and cleaned out some trailers for displaced families to move into, along with few other random jobs.
What was a favorite memory from the trip?
The first day there, my group was cleaning up debris from some houses that had been mostly destroyed. The owner of the houses was helping us, and he shared his story with a few of us. He told us about how he had been a hardcore drug addict and about to try to kill himself when God intervened and told him to go and spread the Gospel. 30 years later he has lived this crazy life; he told us stories ranging from going to over 50 countries planting churches to once shooting down a charging water buffalo. He had been using the now-destroyed houses for his ministry in that area, and when one of his friends asked why he thought he had been hit so hard, his response was “who else would the Devil go after, besides those doing ministry?” Seeing and hearing about everything God had done in and through his life was really amazing and inspiring.
What was something you personally have seen or learned about God on the trip?
God’s presence with the people there was probably the most striking thing. Almost all of the people we were helping with whom I interacted were actively praising God and trusting their situations into His hands. It was challenging to me to see the faith they had despite in some cases having lost everything–through those trials their faith has become in some ways much more real than my own. It was cool do get to personally be God’s physical answer to their trust and prayers, even as God used them to grow us in return.
Any questions or stories I missed that you want to tell?
One night some of the middle schoolers from the youth group of the church at which we were staying (about 15 kids) had a worship time in the same room where we were having dinner, and so several of us joined in. It was clear at the start that most of them didn’t care about the guy with his guitar and slides trying to lead them in worship. They talked and goofed off and didn’t sing. But they noticed that we (a bunch of college students) were singing–and they watched. I saw some of them looking at us, some of them start singing themselves, all of them talking less and paying more attention as it went on. The guy playing noticed too, and it was obvious he was really encouraged by having people joining him in worship; at some points during the last song he stopped singing entirely and let us carry it. It was amazing to see God using us to make an impression on the kids as role models, and to give the worship leader hope for what his kids could grow into, just by us showing up and singing some songs with people we may never meet again.
If others were interested in being a part of this, how would they do it?
Our group partnered with World Renew, which set us up with a local organization in Corpus Christi that was directly organizing the relief efforts. On their website there is information about service opportunities all over the world, including Harvey relief work, which I’m sure is (sadly) still needed.
Asher volunteers with our student ministry each week. Thanks to your giving here at Pulpit Rock we were able to help fund this trip for Asher and other college students from UCCS as they were SENT to love our neighbors in Texas.