Today the church office was really busy as more Katrina-related concerns continue to press upon us. A Hispanic church, Bethel Ministries, up the road from us has about 60 evacuees and although some have already moved out to temporary housing in the area, more evacuees are then being referred from the Astrodome, Reliant Center and Brown Convention Center in Houston.
Bethel desperately needs more volunteers to help prepare and serve food for the next couple of weeks. My study group is covering the Friday lunches. Our custodian, business manager and one of the pastors just loaded a donated freezer into a truck and are taking it to them to store the perishable food there.
Over the long weekend a number of medical professionals from the church did screenings of the evacuees and dispensed appropriate medications. Everyone was taken to a nearby clinic for preventive shots such as tetnus, depending on what they had been exposed to.
Our sister church, St Paul's Presbyterian, has about 120 people they are feeding and they need more food--so the food being collected from families at our school is being designated for them.
Over at our church school we are starting to get calls from evacuees in the area looking for places for their children. The local Catholic grade school is now maxed out and so are some of the local elementary schools.
Next week is "Presbyterian week" at the large shelters in Houston. The three "mega" Presbyterian churches in town are covering Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Our church is in the next size group and has been assigned Thursday. Our presbytery office is coordinating this.
Even the High School Youth Rally has been affected. It's been moved from one church to another because the original church is now a shelter. Hard to keep up with all of this.
I would love to blog about something else. Before starting this post I spent some time surfing around and trying to get another inspiration, but nothing came. Right now we are living and breathing all of the logistics of matching willing helpers to the needs that come to the church.