by Mario Delgado: The Street Level View

by Guest Blogger Mario Delgado

This week, myself and eight individuals traveled from Randall Church to southeast Texas to participate in the disaster relief efforts occurring as a result of Hurricane Harvey. Located about 95 miles east of Houston our base of operations for the week has been the small commuter town of Vidor, TX (population 10,000). Upon arriving we joined over 100 individuals from 10 different states serving as part of the relief efforts.

Although Harvey made landfall in Texas at the end of August, there are still visible signs of damage on most streets - piles of debris, damaged/destroyed homes. In one community alone, close to 400 homes were inundated with flood waters reaching as high as 12 feet. In other places it would seem as if nothing happened. Businesses are open and folks are trying their best to continue with their daily activities.

Our team has been tasked with “mudding out,” which essentially means we have been removing damaged property from the inside of a home and placing it on the curb. The first home we worked on this week belonged to a couple who actually has a connection to West Seneca; isn't it great how God works these things out? The homeowners, BJ and Amy, along with their 18 year old daughter, had to wade through chest level water while evacuating.

Upon returning back to their home, a week later, they found their residence had received about two feet of flooding. Whatever was not damaged by the water was ruined by mold. Because the home consisted of brick walls our team spent two days removing the hard wood floor, ceiling tiles, bathtubs and debris from inside the home. We also had an opportunity to spend time sharing the love of God with Amy. At the end of the day the opportunity to tell people about God's love is what these kinds of trips are all about.

The opportunity to love those who are hurting and struggling is an opportunity for believers to be the hands and feet of Jesus. John the Apostle makes this point when he states “No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.” (1 John 4:12) In fact, John goes on to say “Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.” (1 John 4:20-21)

Take a look around you, what are you doing to love people? It shouldn't take a mission trip or a natural disaster to bring out the “goodness” of your heart. Ask God today to show you ways that you can serve others and by extension show them God’s love. You might be surprised to see that God has already provided opportunities to do so and now it's time for you to take a step forward in love.

Pastor Mario


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