Texas….it was a good experience! Myself and 13 other guys went for 2 weeks of re-building under Christian Aid Ministries DRS program. DRS is the acronym for Disaster Response Services which is, by name, anything to help in a time of natural disasters. Debris clean-up, brush clearing, building homes, remodeling damaged areas, virtually anything to help out those unfortunate enough to have been in the way of the hurricane, tornado, flood, fire and earthqueake. Primarily, the focus is on low/no insurance disaster victims. They have been all over the States, California, Florida and most recently, Indiana, Texas, and New Orleans. Not necessarily confined to a States-side presence, they also have had a presence in Pakistan and Thailand.
The labor is all free; volunteers from all over the States donate their time in a effort to help people recover from disaster. There is no “carrot” involved, no promises of material gain. Satisfaction comes from knowing that a difference has been made in the life of someone who otherwise might have had no hope of fixing their property themselves. Also, their desire is that people might see Christ reflected in their life by their work and willingness to help out, even in the menial tasks. Indeed, that is the stated motto of DRS; although not word for word, the idea is there.
Wow! The breadth of that project was staggering!! This just hits me as I’m writing this now. From Houston, with all its high rise buildings, exotic sports cars and exorbitant luxury, to Liberty with trailers set on 3 courses of loose block and open air sewers, it was more like travelling to 2 different lands in one trip. It made me very satisfied with where I sit in life. Our work mostly consisted of reroofing. Dirty work it is but when your with 6 other guys, guys you already have known, the work is a lot more enjoyable. That indeed was probably the most fun part of the trip. Since we all had known each other, it saved about 3 days of dancing around the bush that usually happens when you meet someone for the first time and you are spending a extended length of time with them. As such, getting back together was just like old times. Whatever it was, be it playing rook, basketball, volleyball, football, we enjoyed it to the max. We came from all over…Pennsylvania, Ohio, Iowa, Arkansas, Indiana. The best part was the fact that there was no cerain group chosen. Just who ever it happened to suit. Of course, on a project like this, it didn’t take long to get the required number of guys around. None of us were younger than 18; none older than 22. No total tally was kept as to how many roofs we did but somewhere around 20 is the estimate.
One thing that I wished we would have had more of was discussion with the people. They have so many stories to tell…about surviving Hurricane Ike, their own culture, etc. Somehow, it just didn’ t happen. But hopefully, and this is my prayer, they saw something…Christ?….in us that would cause them to seek for the true satisfaction in life.
So that is a brief snippet into Texas. From what I saw of it, it really does not have the “wow” factor that Texans make it to be….my opinon, of course.
Until next time,