By now, you might have heard someone at the church mention this new phase of hurricane relief that we are calling Hope Beyond Harvey. Leadership knew that 10 months (and counting) removed from the hurricane that there were still major ways that our congregation could continue to respond and there are still so many that need it. The problem is, at this point in the stage of recovery, those affected, are dizzy with contractor problems, ongoing fights with governmental organizations and/or insurance companies, and they are just exhausted. Unfortunately, people just don’t know what they need and we all know it can be difficult to ask for help in the first place. Still, Kingwood United Methodist Church’s work continues in the best way we know how…looking for ways to partner with people and the community. This past week there was an incredible story that came forward from KUMC’s relief efforts.
Beth and Chris Slaughter have been active trying to assist neighbors as much as possible. One neighbor, in particular, they have been asking for months if there was any help they could provide when the homeowner finally said yes, maybe out of need or they wore her down, the Slaughters recruited friends and the church put out the call. Expecting that the job was large enough to warrant two work days they began to make plans. Then, on the first workday KUMC congregants and so many others showed up to help…on a Tuesday morning, and they got everything done in just a few hours. Through tears, the neighbor thanked Beth profusely. And in conversation, she learned that she has several friends that attend our church. “It will be easy to save you a seat,” they shared with this neighbor. What a beautiful opportunity and we are thankful for a new friend.
You see, the lesson God is teaching us in this season is that Hope Beyond Harvey is less about financial assistance or physical labor, though that is so important, and more about the hope of Christ shared in relationship. This is the transcendent love of God that delivers and heals even in the middle of jacked up circumstances and hurricane messes. Hope beyond…this is the phrase I want to infiltrate my heart and my faith. Where in your life is God teaching you to have Hope Beyond…?