Shelter From the Storm (part 2)

Make sure you grasp how amazing our God is!

In yesterday’s post, I shared how God worked mightily, enabling us to shelter many people during the rising flood waters during Hurricane Harvey. Today I want to share one particular story that displays God’s glory.

By Randy Puckett (Eagle Heights Church, Richmond)

In the waves of people that came, we had people from homes, from apartment complexes, and even parking lots that were brought to our shelter. A small group was brought by a large bus to Eagle Heights Church on Day 2. We unloaded them, along with their pets, and their clothing. As they went in to get a bite to eat, the young officer driving the bus that just dropped them off told me that there was obvious substance abuse going on with a few of the people he had just dropped off. He identified them specifically from the group, so I could watch them closely and keep the others safe. He encouraged me to get them to their home ASAP, but said he had to aid them in their evacuation and take them to a safe environment. It was his job.

Trailer Delivery 1 copy

As I spoke to the officer, one of our own volunteers who knew nothing of our conversation came outside to where we were standing. She said, “We have to get these people out of here. They are clearly on substances right now. They’re a danger to everyone in the shelter.” By the way, one of these people admitted to me later that she was under the influence when she came in, so this was no false alarm or over-reaction! At the same moment we stood deciding how we could possibly remove the threat to everyone there (including babies and many children), one of my friends from the local area, Pastor Lance Guess, pulled up in his SUV. He had been there dropping off supplies at the other end of the building, and I had not known he was there. He stopped 20 feet from where we were standing. Here is where I must tell you about Lance; he stands about 6’4’’ and about 3-feet wide. His size and his command bring calm to the crazy, I promise you! Lance opened his car door, stepped out and said, “Pastor, is there anything else that you need me to do for you guys before I leave?” I laughed. Then I told him, “As a matter of fact there is! I need you to take these people who are dealing with chemical dependency to their home. You can make it and they will be safe on their third floor apartment, but they can’t stay here and put the other 125 people here at risk. It’s a bad situation, but I need someone who can handle the danger and ensure the other people’s safety. Are you willing to do that?” He said he would do it. He said it was not a problem at all! Pastor Lance’s wife, Delana, stayed at EHC and we sent an additional volunteer to go with him. The volunteer drove, and Lance was hands-free… just in case craziness won out with these folks.

Trailer Delivery 2 copy

After they left, Delana spoke to Shelly. As they talked, Delana asked Shelly if we knew anything about her husband’s past. Shelly said no, we did not. Delana then told Shelly that Pastor Lance was a former boxer. Further, she said that Pastor Lance had spent approximately 20 years working as a guardian in the juvenile detention system. Let me say it: I could not have ordered a better person for this job FROM AMAZON! Pastor Lance had the right heart, the right skill set, and showed up right when we needed him! Further, just so I could not miss God’s clear and amazing provision, he got his 6’4’’ inch frame out of the car, and asked us to tell him how he could serve; right in the moment! Wow! Make sure you grasp how amazing our God is; Pastor Lance had already been sent to us by God BEFORE any of us even knew that there was a need we should be looking to solve or pray for! I will say again and again, what an incredible God we serve!

I could share even more examples of how God knew our need, even before we knew that a need existed! I could tell you of how He moved in so many hearts and met needs supernaturally – how God used people locally, as well as people from miles and miles away. God did it all, and if you were one of the many who gave, I want you to know He used YOU as part of His plan to serve our community! If I have learned anything from this amazing experience, it is that God is a God “who is able to do exceedingly, abundantly above all that we ask or think”! (Ephesians 3:20)

After the floods receded, we closed the shelter, but the story doesn’t end there. Tomorrow, I will share what it was like to go into the communities and help with clean up.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Access the Eagle Heights Church Facebook page or Eagle Heights Church’s website

Both have videos, pics, stories, and information, and from people who were displaced and stayed in the shelter.
VIDEO: “Harvey 1” and “Harvey 2” are 2 different videos that we have online. Access them through the webpage  or the FaceBook Page timeline.
PICTURES: Access pictures at eagleheightschurch.org/hurricane-harvey-relief/
PODCASTS: If you are interested in the happenings of the shelter or the reactions of the
people who were served by the shelter, you can check out EHC’s “Shelter Stories” podcast
from September 17, 2017.

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