Recently I had the chance to travel to the Dominican Republic with World Vision. While on that trip I met Andrea, a fellow Child Ambassador from Alabama. I love Andrea. She is wonderfully random and brilliant yet absolutely dialed in to Jesus and passionate about His Word.
She led a devotional one morning that moved me deeply. Her topic was unity. She talked about how unity is an identity that God has already given us. She spoke about how Christ went from place to place and emptied himself. How He didn’t empty himself into nothing, He emptied himself into our hope. I think about those words everyday, in every situation.
A month to the day after we returned from our trip, tornadoes ripped through her town of Tuscaloosa, Alabama. I was really worried about her. I made contact via Facebook and was able to hear back quickly that she was ok, but her city wasn’t. My heart ached for her and the things I could only imagine were coming her way. I wanted to be there to give her a hug and have a quiet chat like we did on the bus in the DR. But I couldn’t. And yet, I felt like we were united through compassion and prayer.
That being the case, there was no other option for me, than to do what I do, (not sand blasting – that’s my other job) but respond to people with my whole heart and do everything within my power to help. I live in New Mexico. She lives in Alabama. But we both live in the United States, so it seemed doable. I prayed for her and her city and all the hurting people and the missing and the lost and the grieving. My heart was broken and empty because of the distance, but then Jesus emptied himself into my hope.
My hope was to coordinate a response from my city to hers, from me to her, because it will glorify God to honor that identity that He has already given us. I currently have the time and the know how to get something like this organized, so I began the process of coordinating the details.
For the last 3 weeks I’ve been coordinating transportation and donations and volunteers and all the other things I can think of that we might need or want to do. I’ve seen a local trucking company step up to the plate and donate big expenses like a semi truck and the entire cost of transportation. Local friends have donated items and out of town friends are finding creative solutions to help in this effort. I have friends who are helping me to get the tools I need so that I can write about it and get to Alabama. What a great, great God He is and how fun it is to watch Him work through the people around me.
Relief organizations are on the ground by the dozens. Artists are having concerts and raising hundreds of thousands of dollars. Is our one little truck, going to make a difference? Yes. If I learned anything on our Vision Trip, it was about the power and importance of “one” . One person, with one idea, one desire to serve. One person with a willingness and wanting to help just one other person. I learned that, frankly, one is enough. It won’t make a headline or a national TV news report, but it will be seen by the One that matters. And all the people that contributed things, big or small, physically or praying, will be a part of something beautiful.