by Sandy Kirby Quandt
Christian brothers, we want you to know how the loving-favor of God has been shown in the churches in the country of Macedonia. They have been put to the test by much trouble, but they have much joy. They have given much even though they were very poor. They gave as much as they could because they wanted to. They asked from their hearts if they could help the Christians in Jerusalem. It was more than we expected. They gave themselves to the Lord first. Then they gave themselves to us to be used as the Lord wanted. 2 Corinthians 8:1-5 (NLV)
In an email exchange with a writer friend in Harlan, Kentucky, Carlton told me a lady from Harlan organized a donation drive for the Houston flood victims. Oh, my. The truck was scheduled to leave Kentucky yesterday, September 2, 2017.
Unless you’ve been on the receiving end of such generosity you might find it hard to understand the impact that sacrificial act of the folks in Harlan has on my heart.
Kentucky and Houston are not next door neighbors by any stretch of the imagination. I just Googled it. The distance is 1,021 miles, and the predicted time to get here from there is 15 hours and 38 minutes. That is if the roads are passable and there is no traffic. Over 1,000 miles! For strangers. Amazing.
Houston has been overwhelmed by the outpouring of sacrificial love not just from fellow Houstonians and Texans, but from people all over the country.
This outpouring reminded me of the Macedonian church Paul spoke of in his second letter to the Corinthians. Macedonians were Greeks, not Jews. They were new Christians. They were people the Jerusalem Jews often looked down on. Yet … out of their poverty they gave to the Jerusalem church because of their love for God first, then their love for their fellow man.
I am not saying that you must do this, but I have told you how others have helped. This is a way to prove how true your love is. You know of the loving-favor shown by our Lord Jesus Christ. He was rich, but He became poor for your good. In that way, because He became poor, you might become rich. 2 Corinthians 8:8-9 (NLV)
Only the Sovereign LORD knows how long the recovery of the Houston area will take. He is the one who places the desire to help on people’s hearts. There is great need, but I’m aware enough of my abilities and lack of, strengths and weaknesses to know although my heart cries for those who lost so very much, I’m limited in what I can do.
As a former elementary school teacher, my heart grieves for the children who lost all their new school clothes and fresh school supplies. I grieve for the teachers who worked so hard over the summer to have their classrooms ready and inviting those first few weeks of school.
I grieve. And in my grief I make a decision. I will contribute new clothes. New shoes. New school supplies to the school district where I taught. Clear Creek Independent School District is taking donations both physical and monetary to help those students so horribly impacted by Hurricane Harvey’s destruction.
Other districts are doing the same. If this is something that interests you, here’s the CCISD link to learn more.
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If a man is ready and willing to give, he should give of what he has, not of what he does not have. 2 Corinthians 8:12 (NLV)
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