After a disaster decimates a community, it is easy to become plagued with thoughts of defeat and doubt. How could a small, eclectic team from Fort Collins, CO make even the smallest dent in repairing the devastation left behind from Hurricane Harvey?
The battle against these thoughts becomes even more prevalent when you enter a community like Copano. After a long, exhausting (but successful) day in the Texas heat operating chainsaws, carrying heavy debris, and providing Hope through the Love and Reach of Jesus, we decided to scope the projects planned for tomorrow. None of us were truly prepared for the devastation. Each community we inhabited in 24 hours had manageable damage where most of the rebuild would be covered by insurance. The debris removal we assisted with included simple tasks that could be completed within a few hours. Each homeowner was very appreciative to not incur the additional charge of removal and cleanup and was excitedly awaiting the opportunity to resume normal life. We were each extremely thrilled and eager to help and it was easy to see the tangible difference we were making.
Then we drove through Copano. The piles of rubble and memories that cluttered the earths floor represented what was once the home of a family. These are homes that due to destruction and lack of available tools have hardly been touched. But, since there are no coincidences with God, our team received the work order for Mary. Her home now consists of a huge pile of broken items and pieces that once created a structure. After driving passed this and feeling slightly overwhelmed, we looked to the next lot and there was a family enjoying dinner on what used to be their driveway. Even from a distance, it was easy to see the true joy they experienced. This illustrated such an important lesson – when we truly find our identity and worth through Christ, even when we seemingly have lost everything, we can still find Love and Joy in the Hope put forth by the one true God.
Could this community be where God is calling our team to focus for the next week? Possibly. Could this be the community our team is supposed to raise awareness and prayer warriors for? No question. As I sit and pray over today and the decisions coming in the days to follow, I remember one of our foundational verses – Isaiah 6:8. Here I am Lord, send me. We are here, we are ready, we are willing to be sent and used in any ways the Lord chooses. Please continue to pray for each of us on our team: Mike Walker, Ashlee Schmitt, John Lochard, John Ledingham, Michelle Schneider, Lauren Schneider, Julie Trujillo, Jeff Kamps, and Matt Sutherland. Please pray that we will follow where God may be calling us no matter how great or how small it may seem. Pray that we do not become overwhelmed or underwhelmed by the tasks put in front of us. Please continue to pray not only for our team, but for the communities we will be working in – we need your prayers and so greatly appreciate your dedication and continued support!!