We have set up a reception center for items being donated for tornado victims. With only the announcements you made at church on Wednesday and word of mouth we have already received quite a lot of items. We are getting clothing which we are sizing and separating and repackaging in sets of several changed. This will allow us to fill orders from the churches/communities we are helping.
We have gotten enough personal care/hygiene items to put together about 50 kits to distribute.
We have gotten toys, some food stuff, shoes, etc. Caruso’s is sending an assortment of severaL hundred Christian T-shirts. Lighthouse Christian Products is sending 360 insulated cups. A Church in Chicago is sending a misc. truck load. I am hoping that we will have lots of stuff coming in Monday from our affiliated congregations.
We have had some nice money donations, some of which we are using to round out the personal care kits that we are preparing.
New Salem has been staffing, with some help from PBA, the reception and packaging center. We will need more volunteer this coming week. Call the office to schedule: 367-8632.
Bob Little has gone to Geiger and gotten requests for specific items. JC Bryant is taking some down today.
Bob Little will also be in contact with the Forkland/Tishabee area and have specifice requests from there.
Glen Sandifer and Mt. Pleasant are working with Sipsey for the long haul. I took some parishable stuff to him to take on up tomorrow. And I hope that he will be getting specific requests to us on Tuesday.
Again, our plan is to send requested items to the three places we are seeking to aid, not just sending a pile of stuff to a community and dumping it on them. We will seek to be good stewards of what is intrusted to us.
Now, here are a couple of stories–one good and one bad.
We are told that FEMA has denied help to Geiger because not enough of the persons there went to “shelters” after the storms. Apparently, the FEMA folk do not understand rural folk. We know how to make do. In many instances the folk in Geiger found shelter with kin and friends. This is putting strain on these Samaritan like folk. More evidence that communities and churches with some aid from elsewhere can manage a response to a crisis better and more effeciently than bureaucrats.
Now for the good story. Most of you will remember February of 2005 when 4 churches where burned in our area. The association and the state convention provided lots of help to these churches although they were not members of either group. Our Westend church which had lost a building to a fire about 20 years earlier provided shelter to workers who came to work on the Dancy and the Galilee churches in the very building that they had received help in rebuilding.
About a year ago, Bob Little, while working at Lifeway in Tuscaloos, became acquainted with some of the leaders of New Fellowship over in Greene County. He and his two associate pastors began preaching at this church on the two Sundays each month when they held worship. Bob with the help of PBA and the Friends of Greene County provided resources for New Fellowship to complete its stalled building program.
When the storns came through a neighboring church, Christian Valley, was destroyed. That church will begin worshiping on alternate Sundays at New Fellowship.
The churches that have been helped have remembered their blessings and become a blessing to others. sound Christian to me.
One more thing. We helped our first refugee from Tuscaloosa to resettle here. I imagine that there will be several more in the weeks to come. Think about this. Do you know of housing that might become available?
I hope that all of our pastors who are free on Tuesday morning will come to breakfast at 9am. We have invited Kenney Gibson from EMA to speak to us.