We’ve had a week with lots of thunderstorms and rain, which has interfered with the recovery work somewhat. The workers were very quiet and visibly tired at breakfast this morning. That is a testimony to their hard work all week. The humidity has been very high this week, although temps have been down due to the showers. I commend these young people and their leaders for their effective work this week. I believe one group is leaving tomorrow. Tomorrow night we will receive over 90 workers for the next week. I look forward to having 100 visiting volunteers in worship Sunday morning!
Thanks so much for the thoughts and encouragements on the last post. We have lived in the “recovery” mode for two years now. As we transition out of that mode we certainly do not want to move away from “recovery” altogether. I also do not want us to revert to “normal”. While listening to a sermon from David Kibler, I heard him quote a recent Barna Report:
An estimated 73 million adults are presently unchurched. When teens and children are added, the total swells to roughly 100 million Americans. … To put that figure in context, if the unchurched population of the United States were a nation of its own, that group would be the twelfth most populated nation on earth (trailing only China, India, the churched portion of the United States, Indonesia, Brazil, Pakistan, Nigeria, Bangladesh, Russia, Japan and Mexico). … Included among the unchurched is an estimated 13 to 15 million born again adults and children.
These are staggering figures. On a positive note (for us), people in the SouthEast are more likely to attend / visit a church service than most any other region of the country. An immense amount of the population of America do not make the church a part of their lives. We need to ponder that … pray about it … and realize that we are not connecting. God’s mission to win the lost to Himself involves His people adopting and living out that mission. Speaking generally, if we could adopt that mission and protect it as fiercely as we protect our traditions and dogmas, we may see revival break out across the nation. Developing an Open Door perspective of the church is essential, as well as getting out of ourselves, out of our perceived limitations, and into the hearts of those 100 million people who need Jesus.
A couple of things that happened this week…
Two of the ladies here with the Kentucky group needed a haircut. They tried to get it done before leaving home but were unable. So I pointed them to a salon a few blocks from our building. While there the beautician asked them where they were from…what they were doing. The owner of the salon informed them that their haircuts were free of charge and then said many kind things about Central. This says so much about our community and the gratitude of the people for the volunteers that come our way.
The 100 Homes in 100 Days effort is “officially” over. The last day was July 4. I believe they have about 85 homes completed and are working in the rest. They have committed to finishing the task, which is awesome. We were privileged to participate with this program during the process. There was a celebration ceremony Wednesday morning. During the course of that ceremony, David Kilbern was presented with an award for being “The Most Valuable Volunteer” … a pretty high honor in a city filled with great volunteers.
Partnership. As we transition out of full time relief work, we will be partnering as much as possible with other groups doing relief work. For instance, if a group wants to come in during a week that we are not conducting a work camp, we will help them find accomodations with another group. We might potentially call First Presbyterian to see if they can host the group. If so, then the group would stay there and work under their leadership. These kinds of partnerships are going to be essential to continuing the work with fewer volunteers. Resources are still available, but the workers have thinned out a bit.
I would post more pictures but I cannot locate my camera. I think I put it somewhere unusual … and I even think I saw it recently … but I can’t remember where for the life of me.
Walk…Don’t Walk. Most mornings recently I have been walking to the dining hall and help serve breakfast and wash dishes. Afterwards I go across the street and walk a mile on the track. On the walk home I have to cross Market Street, so I dutifully wait for the WALK signal. I’m no speedy gonzales, but before I’m halfway across the street the DON’T WALK signal is flashing! I can’t beat it! I keep thinking it’s a practical joke or something. Anyhoo, I haven’t been run over yet!
On a sad note, Willie Sandlin has gone to be with the Lord. There are at least two beautiful tributes to Willie’s life and influence. One is on Al Sturgeon’s blog (scroll down to July 4 since Al evidently does not know how to set his blog so that you can link to an individual post) and the other is on Seth Simmon’s blog.
Jim Martin continues his thoughts on journaling. I’m encouraged to see these blog posts on the spiritual disciplines.
I have my first weigh-in at Weight Watchers in the morning. It feels a bit like judgment day.
I’ll be speaking at Gateway Church of Christ next Tuesday night at their Homeless Experience Workcamp. Contact them for information / details if you’d like to come.
Thanks for stopping by! I hope you have a great weekend.