Forsythe Responds

What are you doing this Labor Day weekend? Camping out? Big barbeque plans? Maybe even a little dove hunting? I noticed we were all fairly silent on my "what are you going to do about it?" blog. But Forsythe Avenue Church of Christ, my congregation where I grew up, is jumping in. Jason Barnard, the youth minister there, sent out this email late last week:

Attention those wanting to assist the Mandeville(Immediately North of Lake
Pontchatrain) community: One of the Elders at Forsythe church of
Christ traveled down there yesterday from Monroe. He sent this
message to me"There is plenty of work to do for able bodied men (mainly getting
trees off the houses)." Ronnie is a very humble and
honest man that would not have said this if there wasn't a significant
need. He is an electrical engineer and will be organizing our labor when
we get down there. He stated that we can enter St. Tammany Parish and that
there has been some miscommunication about that. I am organizing our team
here too and will be communicating to the different relief ministries and
churches that will be helping support our efforts.

Things we need our men to bring are: Gas Cans(filled with
Gas), chains saws, ladders, rakes, ax, ropes, cots for yourself to sleep on, ice
chest with food in it to take care of yourself but requires no refrigeration as
there is no electricity. FEMA is giving out MRE vouchers for ice and water
to people. Make sure you have a full tank of gas in your car -- you can
get gas in Tallulah before leaving Louisiana. If you have trucks also get
gas for the chain saws. We will try to consolidate our people into as few
vehicles as possible so we can have plenty of fuel.

We will leave tomorrow morning at 7:00 am from the church building
at Forsythe. We plan on returning Sunday evening. If you have
Walkie Talkie's please bring those to aid us in communication. Members
from Forsythe, WFR, University, Calhoun, Lake Providence, Jackson Street and
other congregations are planning to make the trip. Don Yelton from WFR
Relief is checking on getting us supplies. Relief ministries from
Nashville will be there Sunday with supplies. Hopefully a generator
of significant power for the Tammany Oaks church building will be able to
surface.(I believe Don is checking on this.) We will be
sleeping at the Tammany Oaks Church of Christ building in Mandeville.
It is a new facility without power or damage.

If you can't participate please do not feel bad. We just want to
share this information and invite anyone that desires to participate
in this blessing. I used to work at this congregation and organized
numerous events with their elders. I was richly blessed by this
congregation and want to help. They need us.

So if you are spending Labor Day weekend on the lake or at the pool, say a prayer for the gentlemen (I think they're all men) that are spending their Labor Day weekend away from their families, with chainsaws all day so that they can sleep on a pew, cot, or floor in a building without power. Thank you, guys, for being the hands, feet, and backs of Jesus to those people. While my minor flood didn't leave me without any earthly possessions, I know what it is to know some things will only be accomplished through the grace of other people, and how overwhelmed and humbled you are to receive such grace.

"Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.' Then the the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?'
The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'"
Matthew 25: 34-39


dad said...

Our guys - Jason, White Graves, Micah Harper, John Turbeville, and Curtis Eberts arrived home safely Sunday evening. Micah said "we saw a lot of the Lord at work in Mandeville" and I told him I'm sure they showed the Lord to a lot of people. It was hard, hot work, followed by a shower under a garden hose in the church parking lot (after dark!). Ken Dorsey is leaving today with a pop-up camper intending to stay until Saturday, doing what he can. The rest of us continue to pray for other ways to reach out.

Amanda said...

I am itching to get down there and do something! Unfortunately, that's difficult for someone who's immunosuppressed to do. I'm looking at going down in late October with the Red Cross. I really, really hope that works out. I feel so useless right now.

dad said...

Update: our preaching minister, Rob, and one of our members left this afternoon to go help a specific person in Mandeville. The good news is that the "helpee" has lights and running water, so they can sleep in beds and with A/C. We elders will be meeting tomorrow night to try to map out our response. We are getting lots of calls from other churches wanting to know what to do, and we hope to be able to answer them soon.

Lisa C said...

Thank you Sarah for bringing attention to Forsythe's response. Rob and I are tremendously proud to be a part of this congregation. Please pray for Rob & Ken's safety this week.
Lisa C

Design by Deluxe Designs