There is a great difference in excellency, usefulness, and comfort between people of clear, digested knowledge, and confused, undigested apprehensions. -Richard Baxter

every drop in the bucket helps

Thanks to all of you who helped us organize a little supply-drive Sunday morning. David, Sam, Nick, Kirk, and myself headed for the Convention Center/Reunion Arena but were turned away, having been informed they were “maxed out” with supplies. A couple phone calls later we were on our way to the Residence Inn off LBJ and Hillcrest where there was a sizable effort going on to collect whatever displaced people might need. The representative for Residence explained, almost in tears, that a garage sale that a few women had conceived of had burgeoned into a massive, city-wide supply-drive. By the time we’d arrived, they’d already filled nearly 15 of those 18-wheeler trailers and had dispatched them to a number of places in Louisiana and elsewhere.

If you weren’t at PCPC Sunday, our church has birthed a bold plan asking PCPC families (which includes YOU, even if you’re single! partner with 2 or 3 other folks!) to contribute both financially and in some persistent and tangible ways to help victims of the storm establish a new life. Have a look. Dick Steele just stopped by my office to let me know Interfaith Housing has already screened and assigned PCPC 190 familes for us to “adopt!” PCPC’s strategy of having four (4) family units rally around, pray for, and brainstorm a plan of action will begin within 2 days. So sign up at the desginated page. We need A BUNCH more “family units” to help provide for all the familes we’ve promised to adopt. This will be a messy work that will likely not follow your schedule or your expectations, but if this ain’t Gospel work, I don’t know what is.

Also, the PCA has begun to outline how churches in our denomination can serve the affected areas. I’ve signed 20+ up as a prospective work team. As they become more aware of what’s needed and can organize a scheduled plan of bringing in volunteer work teams (if everyone were to flock there right now, it would create more problems than solve them), we will very likely send a team down. Stay tuned. If you don’t live alone ( and would be willing to house a displaced person–either from our denomination or outside it– sign up at the PCA’s relief registration page.

Right now, this all seems exciting. In time, the lustre of “helping” will wear off. Then our convictions will be tested. Prepare. What Skip said Sunday about the essence of Paul’s prayers has eminent application for us in this work. We will need spiritual insight to know how best to serve; and we will need spiritual strength to continue in this work when it gets hard, frustrating, or not as immediately fruitful as you had hoped. The part about Paul’s prayer pertaining to ‘patience and endurance’–it’s as if Paul knew precisely what we would need in order to ‘bear fruit for God, please God, and walk in a manner worthy of God.’ Pray. Buckle Down.


  sophigirl wrote @

Patrick and all,

if you want to get a perspective on how things are “down there” that is different from what we hear on TV (which is a lot of discouraging stuff), look at this blog: http://justsoyouallknow.blogspot.com/. This guy, KC, is an old-time regular on my and my blog and on those of my friends. I did not realize it until yesterday, but he is from Lower Alabama, and stuff that he has to say about the relief effort is very good.


  Patrick Lafferty wrote @

reading about the failures to adequately respond does have a visceral effect on me….glad to hear of where it’s going well…blame is often the abdication of responsibility and the indication of guilt…many thanks for the clarifying post…the recriminations, I fear, will only increase–>

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