OPERATION COMPASSION

Chronicle story about Operation Compassion.

THE MEETING:

Already, the refugees have become a moving target in the effort to provide relief. Things keep changing. In 24 hours, location has already changed. Now we are responsible for feeding the 8500 people in the George R. Brown Convention Center. The Astrodome and Reliant Center (which are side by side) are covered now by enough Red Cross (and other) volunteers and supplies. By the time my church takes their turn, we may be sent to yet another shelter housing a large number of refugees. Only time will tell. There are still more evacuees arriving each day.

I attended the training meeting this morning at Second Baptist. All creeds, races and faiths were represented. It was an amazing sight. The priority to meet the basic needs and bypass evangelical agenda at this time was addressed and I was thankful. The level of cooperation of this faith-based effort is high and will have to be maintained for weeks or months.

Many of you know my comfort zone. I have already been stretched out of it, but it’s kind of interesting out here. I went to this meeting by myself as I am still meeting people at my new church and getting involved there and I didn’t know which meeting my work colleagues were attending. So, I walked in and sat down by myself, confident that the sea of humanity would not swallow me whole and I’d be home in an hour or two eating lunch and still be okay. You laugh, but I’ve come a long way, baby.

I sat next to a man who was there from his mosque. On the other side of me was an older couple from Second who happen to be parents of one of the deacon wives at the church I work for. They were so sweet. In all, 4500 people attended the meeting, the first of many this weekend.

A friend of mine said that her apt complex is now full and that is what I am hearing from other places. It was such a God thing that we signed a lease last week and do not have to be looking for a place to live. My friend also said that several displaced Louisiana teens have enrolled at her daughter’s high school on the West side of town. I don’t know of anyone in Houston who is not coming into contact daily with someone affected by Katrina.

Again, prayers are needed. We were cautioned again today that they expect people to still be in shelters after Thanksgiving and that we will be serving more than once. Pray that people stay diligent to the task and that hope can be restored to these devastated people.

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