30 Aug A Time To Pray, A Time To Give, A Time To Serve
An important message from Pastors Barnabas Willis and Nathan Brown concerning our response to Hurricane Harvey.
At this point it is nearly impossible that you have not heard about Hurricane Harvey and the affect it has had on our great state. As of the writing of this there are at least 30 deaths blamed on the storm that has dumped a whopping 50 inches of rain in some parts of Texas, setting a record for the continental United States along the way. I have lost count of how many weather professionals and first responders I have heard use words like, “astounded”, “speechless”, “unbelievable”, “unprecedented”. Gov. Greg Abbot has stated that this storm is “one of the largest disasters America has ever faced,” and that we are “facing a new and different normal for this entire region.” FEMA manager Brock Long has said they anticipate over 450,000 people to apply for federal assistance and underscored that “the state of Texas is about to undergo one of the largest recovery housing missions the nation has ever seen.” Needless to say, this is a disaster of epic proportions that even the best prognosticators are struggling to wrap their minds and arms around. If you are anything like me, you have probably asked yourself about a thousand times in the last 5 days, “what can I do?”. The answer is, there’s a lot you can do.
1. You Can Pray. We can and should be praying. Psalm 34:15 says that “The eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous and his ears toward their cry.” If there was ever a time to cry out towards heaven on behalf of our fellow image-bearers, this is the time. We serve a God who can bring hope into a hopeless heart, he can bring peace that passes our ability to understand and he can make ways where there is no way. When God parted the water for Moses he didn’t use up his only water escape miracle. He has more where that came from. So, let’s go to him and pray for those who are too tired and weary to pray for themselves. Let’s hold up those who have lost everything and believe that the God of all comfort who has comforted us in all our troubles will comfort those who are in a time of trouble now.
2. You Can Give. 1 John 3:17-18 says, “if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet shuts his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him? Let us not love in word or talk but in deed and truth.” For those of you who have been around Mosaic for more than a year, you know that every year we have something called “Live Big Sunday”. This is a day where we are very up front that our goal is to raise as much money in one day as we possibly can, so that we can give away 100% of it. Our “Live Big Sunday” was not scheduled to happen until November, but we felt the Lord put it on our hearts to move it up to this week. Last year we raised just over $33,000 dollars and gave away every penny of it. This year we are believing God for even more than that. In the past, we have focused these efforts on organizations that support widows and orphans. All the money raised this Sunday will go directly to disaster relief efforts in response to Harvey. We will give you all the details on Sunday. I can’t tell you in strong enough terms how important it is to show up this weekend and be a part of this incredible opportunity to sow your financial seed in faith to help those who need it most.
3. You Can Serve. Praying fiercely and giving sacrificially are both things we should all be doing right now, but some of you can physically serve as well and we want to help you do that. In fact, as I sit here writing this email we have a team of folks from Mosaic Church rolling into Houston with rescue boats and supplies. We are already on the ground doing what we can in this time of crisis, but there are other ways to get involved as well. As you may know we partner with Austin Disaster Relief Network for such times as these. They are currently working both in hard-hit areas of Central Texas as well as in the Houston area to bring basic supplies to those who have lost everything. They are bringing hope in the midst of crisis by showing the love of Christ in the most practical ways. If you would like to get involved as a volunteer with ADRN, you must attend an Orientation & Preparedness Training class THIS THURSDAY, 8/31/17. This training will take place from 6:30 – 9:30 at GT Austin. You can register for this training and find more information by clicking here.
In addition to serving, you can also give emergency supplies to ADRN. They are holding a “Community Survivor Donation Drive” today from 6 am – 7 pm.
For more information on items needed and where to drop them off, please click here.
Finally, in the midst of all of this, we are still holding our annual Back to School Service this Sunday! That’s right, 2 of our biggest Sundays all year, “Live Big” & “Back to School” are being combined into one great service this weekend. You do not want to miss this as we will both celebrate our future generation ministries while giving generously towards a pressing need of our present generation. Unless you are on the ground serving this weekend, please do everything you can to join us for this service!
I want to thank this church for being the church. Mosaic, you are a treasure among treasures in the Body of Christ. I’m so proud to labor and serve among some of the best people in the Kingdom of God. Thank you for always having a yes in your spirit to meet the needs of others. Thank you for always having a word of encouragement in your mouth for those who are discouraged. Thank you for being the hands and feet of Jesus in this world that needs him so desperately. You are amazing people with amazing hearts, living amazing lives transformed by the Gospel of Jesus Christ! As we come together to Live Big and give big this weekend, I know we are simply providing an opportunity for you to be who you already are. A generous, Jesus-Loving, People-Loving family of faith. You are a blessing!
I love you and cannot wait to see you Sunday.
A million blessings,