All Will Know
Feb 21, 2021 | by The Fellowship
Last Sunday when Valentine’s Day was celebrated, as always love was the focus of that annual observance! God’s Word clearly teaches that we are only able to love because He first loved us (1 John 4:19), and the greatness of His love is as high as the heavens are above the earth (Psalm 103:11). That love was incredibly demonstrated this week through the people of The Fellowship praying and rising up to meet a multitude of needs brought on by a bitter winter storm seldom, if ever before, seen in Katy, Texas.
On Sunday evening, a sister church opened a warming center for the homeless. Our church’s mission pastor offered help to the lady who had volunteered to provide breakfast for Monday morning. Juice, milk and fruit were being taken to the center very early on Monday morning when a call came that the lady’s car had iced over. She would not be able to deliver her breakfast tacos! The pastor was able to swing by and pick her up despite very icy conditions. Because God provided the way, 25 needy people had a great breakfast the first morning of the storm.
The historic low temperatures caused widespread power outages and frozen pipes bursting in homes, resulting in millions of dollars of damage and huge problems with water supply. On Tuesday, The Fellowship started contacting the congregation through texts, emails and phone calls to offer needed help and encouragement. The Community Building was opened for people without heat to warm up and have some food and access to workable Wi-Fi. A crew quickly formed to provide help for those with broken pipes.
About 100 people took refuge in spaces at The Fellowship where there was heat, running water and coffee. Some church members brought ingredients to serve pancakes and hash-brown potatoes, and others provided a multitude of snacks. An appeal went out for any with heat and extra space in their homes to invite in those who were without. Many responded, and others volunteered to pay for hotel rooms.
On Thursday, a crew of Fellowship men, armed with donated plumbing supplies brought to the church, was in high demand to access damage and if possible, repair pipes so water could be restored to affected homes. About 30 homes received repairs of one or more broken pipes. One house had five different breaks – the record! That one required creativity to get them all fixed with the limited plumbing parts! In many instances, single women and families without water received various help for their broken pipes.
Wi-Fi available at the church was vital for a number of businessmen. One man said he had no other way to get payroll out to his employees. Others needed it to keep their businesses running. Many people were grateful to be able to contact relatives and loved ones.
Our church family served many through LIFE Group efforts and also individually met needs of neighbors and friends. Often members of our congregation were the first to respond to a call for help with plumbing problems and flooding. One wife walked into her house to find a couple of inches of water from a burst pipe. She sounded the alarm and literally within minutes others were there to move furniture, rip up carpet and even remove wet sheet rock. One couple was blessed after the ceiling collapsed onto their unoccupied bed -- the landlord was able to get a repair man there very quickly. There has been unbelievable sharing of food, drinking water, paper goods, wipes, hand sanitizers and even water from swimming pools to flush toilets.
One Spiritual Multiplication church group went above and beyond. A retirement center not far from the church lost power and water for a time. And residents, who could not be taken to buy groceries because of dangerously icy conditions, were low on food. Our church was contacted and this group stepped up to collect non-perishables, water and Gatorade. Some of them went door-to-door to the 50+ residents in the facility to hand out supplies. One elderly woman cried after receiving a box of mac and cheese.
A young couple lost power and water on Monday and went to stay with relatives. The next day they returned home to check on things. There was still no power and only drips from their faucets. They decided it was a good time to praise the Lord! The husband got his guitar and they sat in the master bath and sang praise songs. Suddenly they heard a loud pop. A frozen pipe had just burst! Neighbors helped cut their water off at the street, and later a church crew came and repaired the pipe. Without taking time to praise God, they would not have been there when the pipe failed and untold water damage would have resulted!
Very noticeable has been the unselfish attitudes demonstrated over and over again. So many with problems, upon being contacted, immediately said, “We are okay. Please help others first!”
The Holy Spirit at work has been incredibly evident throughout the week. Jesus said, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33). And He has overcome by using His people to be the answers to the prayers of others! His love poured out through His family of believers is beautiful to behold!
By this all men will know that you are my disciples,
if you love one another.