In response to Hurricane Harvey, LifeWay recently hosted two Pastor Date Nights in the areas of South Texas deeply impacted: Corpus Christi and Beaumont, Texas. Approximately 170 pastors and spouses attended, many of whom lost their homes and churches to the week-long siege of that brutal storm.
Texas is my home state and I was encouraged by the enthusiastic, generous support of both Baptist state conventions represented by my friends Tony Wolf and Dowell Loftis. Several associational missionaries and host churches also chipped in to bless these wonderful ministry couples.
Church Partner Pat Ford insisted that I meet three brothers who are pastoring with or near each other close to Beaumont, all of whom had lost their homes and churches. Their story and spirit were so compelling that I asked these brothers if I could capture and share it with you. Their three minute impromptu testimony (see video below) tells how these brothers helped each other, and how they were helped by other ministries like LifeWay.
While I was in South Texas, I discovered not only the extent of the storm damage, but also the extent of the compassionate response from the beautiful body of Christ. For example, Beaumont Store Manager James Peterson organized a blitz to 200 churches, which included seven Church Partners and six LifeWay Store Managers. They organized in seven zones oriented around LifeWay Store locations to deliver to pastors and Directors of Missions a CSB Pastor’s Bible, a promo card with free WORDSearch resources, and a promotion for the upcoming Pastor Date Nights. LifeWay Store employees in the Houston and Golden Triangle areas are still sacrificially serving churches and associations eight months later!
I also found out what had been done from our LifeWay headquarters in Nashville. Corporate Relations Director Amy Thompson leads our LifeWay Disaster Assistance program which provided foundational resources to pastors to help them start to rebuild pastors’ damaged libraries, replaced one quarter of their ongoing curriculum orders, and provided Bibles for dozens of churches.
So much more Kingdom work was done beyond what LifeWay has contributed, and for all of those who help pastors and churches through storms, thank you. Your sacrificial love brings to mind this verse:
Good works are obvious, and those that are not obvious cannot remain hidden. (1 Timothy 5:25)