By Randy Carter Katy ServeFest Project Manager, Member of The Fellowship at Cinco Ranch
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Saturday, September 24, was a very special day for some disadvantaged people in the heart of old Katy. That was the day they were recipients of help from Katy ServeFest volunteers who had been recruited and organized by Compassion Katy. Why these recipients? Because as always, the Compassion Katy leadership team asked the Lord our God for guidance and direction — which He faithfully provided according to His good graces. It all started with prayers for Him to show us opportunities to be of service to our community. It’s a story of how God provides a way when we cannot see the way.
The Fellowship at Cinco Ranch has always had many people with a heart for serving people in our community who are less fortunate, in need or caught in a disastrous situation. Since organization is the key to effectiveness, Compassion Katy was formed to link willing helpers with those who need a hand. Directed by Diane Walker, Compassion Katy has grown from an idea birthed at The Fellowship at Cinco Ranch to a multi-church, multi-project network with more than six years of experience organizing believers to be the hands and feet of Christ.
As the Compassion Katy leadership team prayed for an opportunity this fall to mobilize volunteers for a new local project, Diane contacted her network of churches for ideas and got a response from Mike of Grace Methodist Church. It just so happened that Mike had a list of homes in Katy that are in need of basic repairs. These fit well with the talents and skills of typical Compassion Katy volunteers. We also received a referral through Katy Christian Ministries. This was our first answer to prayer. Simply by asking our network of Christian community churches and organizations, we were led to some great projects.
Then our prayers were focused on finding leaders who could organize the projects to help these families. We needed people who could get the right talent, materials and instructions in place to accomplish the tasks. It’s not as easy as it sounds and takes many hours of preparation. So we prayed and God provided leaders from The Fellowship and two other churches to take responsibility, evaluate each family’s needs and develop a budget for each project home.
Our leader Diane then had the figures and knew how much money would be required to buy the materials to repair these needy homes. We prayed, God provided. Within 12 hours of contacting our partner churches, $5,500 was donated. This included donations from a new church that had never partnered with Compassion Katy before. Once the needed funds were in place, it was time to prepare for our event.
We prayed for volunteers — those who could perform the skilled work, those who could minister and those who just wanted to help. We prayed and God provided some 110 volunteers for our four project sites. Members from Holy Covenant, Grace Fellowship, Epiphany of the Lord, Cornerstone Presbyterian and The Fellowship at Cinco Ranch worked together and we give all they glory to God for providing these incredible volunteers.
The leaders of Compassion Katy then prayed that not only would we help those who are in need with physical improvements, but that people would be touched emotionally and spiritually – both the helpers and the ones being served. We prayed, God provided.
Here is a short list of what God used Compassion Katy to accomplish:
•Provided an elderly widow with running water in her house, including the installation of two sinks. (Yes, she was living with no running water indoors.) Painted her living room, cleaned her house inside and out and hauled away large trash items.
•Provided a handicapped woman with handrails down her ramp so she can once again walk out of her house. Secured and installed a new window air conditioner and repaired kitchen cabinets which were detached from the walls.
•For another elderly woman we cleaned up the yard, fixed the fence, repaired the roof, solved major electrical problems and installed new ceiling fans and working outlets. Oh, by the way, it was discovered on site that to fix this electrical problem would require Center Point Energy to work on their connections to the transmission lines. We prayed and God provided as only He can. With one phone call, we had a Center Point truck at the site within 30 minutes!
•For an elderly couple with rotten siding and eaves on their home, an army of men from several churches attacked the problem up on ladders and weatherproofed the residence.
AND BEST OF All:
•Heard the elderly widow sing gospel songs to us to express her appreciation.
•Saw tears of joy flow down the face of the handicapped woman as she and her children expressed their thanks with hugs for the volunteers.
•Saw the other lady show her appreciation not only with words, but by helping with raking.
•Witnessed young men learning the basic craft of construction as well as experiencing the reward of serving others.
The Bible tells us that “faith without works is dead.” Compassion Katy provides the opportunity to put our faith into action and to love and serve our community with the heart of Christ. But we have learned to pray every step of the way. We pray and God provides!
John 15:7 “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.”