“Volunteers do not necessarily have the time; they have the heart.” – Elizabeth Andrew
Last Saturday, over 500 people from Tallowood gathered at the church for breakfast and then spread out to different locations in order to “Serve the City.” For months now, plans have been made, supplies purchased and collected, details arranged, people contacted, and volunteers enlisted in order to better serve the people and organizations that had been selected. From preschoolers to people in their 90s, families, Bible Study departments, and friends volunteered to help meet needs in Houston and Katy. From Gracewood, Star of Hope, MAM (Memorial Assistance Ministries), the Baptist Mission Centers and other agencies, groups gathered to help. Volunteers did landscaping, helped in food and clothes closets, fed and ministered to inner city families and the homeless, worked on houses, cleaned and organized, and lots of sweaty hard work. Books were distributed to children, Vacation Bible School work was assembled, and widows were helped. Several of the high school students and adults repaired homes that were damaged during Hurricane Ike in 2008. People took time out of their busy schedules and free time to make a difference for others. Even though rain was predicted, it was a clear and beautiful day.
Today and tomorrow around 13,000 people will be biking in the Houston 2017 BP MS 15o. Organized by the National MS Society, funds will be raised for research in hopes of finding a cure for Multiple Sclerosis. The participants pay an entry fee, spend months training on long bicycle rides, raise funds, and voluntarily subject themselves to fatigue, soreness, head winds and sometimes rain. There are over 3,500 volunteers, as well as thousands of spectators who cheer the riders along the way. Help is needed for first aid, distributing snacks and water, keeping the roads clear, setting up and manning the overnight places to sleep and rest, as well as the provision for other needs along the way. The race will start early Saturday morning and conclude on Sunday in Austin. This year I again have several friends and friends of friends who will be riding for me. It is humbling to realize that so many people voluntarily give these two days, and the previous months of training, in order to offer hope for a cure for those of us who can’t ride YET.
And it’s great to know that God doesn’t limit us to ministering and helping to just one weekend of the year. When we see, hear, and feel with His heart, we can continually find opportunities to volunteer our words and deeds to help share and make the burden easier for others.
Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I Send me!”
You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.
Galatians 5: 13
Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.
I Peter 4:10
If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.