I am currently sitting in a motel room in Grenada, Mississippi on my way to deliver a van full of clothing and toys to the Outreach Center near Mobile I have tried to support for years. Since my van is filled to the ceiling with supplies, I get the unexpected blessing of staying a place I stayed at perhaps 20 times back in 2006.
I was thinking as I walked to the restaurant for supper about the many times I stayed here with a huge 26 foot truck taking up many parking spaces. There were many times when I had my trailer in tow filled with food and other things. As wonderful as those times were, they also devastated me financially and taught me that there are other ways to help people besides single handedly trying to provide food for thousands of hurricane victims.
I am the first one to admit that I went a little overboard back in Â'06. In my zeal to help people, I spent every dime we had and thousands of dimes we didnÂ't have. Sure people were thankful for the food and other supplies, but in due time the funds ran out and the whole thing ceased being a blessing to either me or the groups involved.
Many times after a disaster groups spring up spontaneously providing food, counseling or shelter for those who lost everything. Now days the government pretty much handles this stuff along with the huge charities, but back after Katrina, it was still being handled by concerned churches and individuals.
It is sad in many respects to see the changes that have taken place in disaster relief and long term recovery. Now days a person would just about have to sell out to either a major relief group or FEMA to even get in to provide help. Long gone are the days when lone rangers such as me could drive trucks full of food directly to the people. Now it all has to go through many hoops to get there.
I am truly thankful that some people such as Carolyn, whom I am on the way to see and about whom I have written some other blogs, have never sold out and continue to function as an independent organization intent on helping people rise up above the disaster and become self reliant. That attitude has been sorely missing among relief agencies who have been intent on just giving people fish indefinitely.
I am truly thankful to have so much to give and I look forward to being with these incredible saints who have been doing this for 4 years straight with NO PAY whatsoever and many times working 80 hour weeks and depleting their personal savings accounts to help others. Anybody so committed as to still be doing this kind of work for the Lord demands my respect and my willingness to do whatever I can to help.
I pray we all take a cue from those who tirelessly work day in and day out at TCCO and thousands of other small charities around the world. If these people can be so committed to sharing the love of Christ to volunteer most of their time and donate almost all of their income; why canÂ't we do a little bit more? That is the question we must all ask of ourselves as we struggle to get up from our easy chairs to get the remote to change channels on the television.