July 10, 2024

“Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.” -Romans 12:13

Hurricane Beryl made landfall in Texas this week. It left significant damage in its path. Homes, churches, and businesses have been damaged. Some families have even lost loved ones, with a reported seven deaths in Houston and the surrounding area. A hurricane is a terrible natural disaster that claims so much and leaves behind destruction that takes so long to clean up. Many are left without a place to stay. They have a long and challenging road ahead to rebuild and recover.

It takes so many people to help recover from a storm like Beryl. Just over 2.1 million people lost power as the hurricane made landfall. Utility workers from all over the country have been deployed to the surrounding states to help restore power. The recovery will require many people with varying skills to restore life to normal.

One group of relief workers on their way to Texas is the members of Operation BBQ Relief. This group was founded in 2011 to help those affected by the Joplin, Missouri tornado. A call went out to help feed first responders and those who had lost their homes. BBQ pitmasters from nine states arrived in Joplin to help feed those in need. That first time, they served a few thousand meals to first responders.

This week, the staff and volunteers of Operation BBQ Relief deployed to Lake Jackson, Texas. They will work to serve 15,000 meals while in Texas. Since 2011, they have served over 11 million meals in 36 states. It is an act of kindness that meets the needs of workers and displaced people alike. Stan Hayes is the co-founder of Operation BBQ Relief. Stan says that their presence is far more than food. “We provide hope to the community and remind them they are not alone.”

It is hard to know how to help in dark and difficult times, like a hurricane in Texas. The staff and volunteers of Operation BBQ Relief have demonstrated that combining our talents, passions, and kindness makes a tremendous difference, even in the midst of challenging times and loss. When we offer kindness in the face of misfortune, it provides hope to those affected.

Rev. Keith King, Pastor of Worship