If you don’t know already, Austin has some pretty incredible adult Singles!!
With a crew of 65 uh-mazing austin1027 volunteers, representing 17 churches citywide, we departed Austin at the crack of dawn, heading out to serve the Survivors of the September ’11 Bastrop wildfires.
Upon arrival and check-in, we had our morning rally, including prayer, breakfast, safety training and a big send-off for all of the teams. Then, 12 teams ventured out to help 10 different families in the first sector being affected by the government withdrawal deadline (this means that no more financial aid will be offered to help with debris removal).
This awesome bunch rallied together, rolled up their sleeves and dove right in – doing everything from picking up, chainsawing and bobcatting branches, logs & other debris – to painting, hanging drywall and even digging trenches! Through these few short hours of serving, they exemplified Luke 10:27 by pouring out Christ’s love on each of these families, letting them know that they haven’t been forgotten and giving them much needed hope!
Hearing the Team Leaders’ and their members’ enthusiasm as they shared about their experiences at the closing rally was SO inspiring. As they chowed down on sub lunches, they recounted how amazing these families were and how they had been touched by their kindness, appreciation and personal stories of survival and overcoming tragedy.
Many first-glance reports were that of utter devastation, but as brush and debris were removed, evidence of new life was beginning to spring up in the form of grass, tree saplings, flowers and even wildlife (the frog stories were great)!
There was the story of one resident who is building a school in Haiti and how this small act was allowing him to get down there much more quickly to finish building and help the survivors of the 2010 earthquake. We even had a team stand-up and demonstrate the sign language they learned from their family (“throwing trees…AWESOME”)!
Of course, we couldn’t just show up and make this all happen. Without the efforts of Kate Johnston and her Bastrop County Long-Term Recovery Team, as well as the Austin Disaster Relief Network, this would have never been possible. THANK YOU!!
Also a HUGE thanks goes out to the Church of Christ of Bastrop for allowing us to use their disaster relief pavilion as our Command Central!
Finally – THANK YOU to all of you amazing austin1027 volunteers who came out and served alongside us on Saturday. God continues to blow us away with your willing hearts and passion to serve others! We can’t wait to serve with you again at our next citywide event!!
[There is still tons to do in Bastrop, so if anyone is interested in helping with the continued efforts, please contact Kate & her team with the Bastrop County Long-Term Recovery Team at (501) 827-8086 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.]