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Harvey has moved on, and now we begin to pick up the pieces.

It’s been said that Harvey passing was only the end of the beginning, and that is right. For churches here in the Houston area, the race ahead is a marathon, not a sprint. Houston has months and months of recovery in store, and our local churches have an opportunity to serve and proclaim. It will not do for relief efforts to be faddish. In the immediacy of a moment such as this, with media pointing a spotlight, volunteering seems reasonable. Packing up donations is just what we are supposed to do. But soon, as it always does, the media’s gaze will turn away for this city so desperately trying to rebuild itself. This will happen long before the work is done. Something else will grab our national attention, and then the spotlight moves on.

But the attention of our local churches cannot move with it.

Right now, we all feel like we want to do something, and we should as we can. I am encouraged by the swell of effort I see from our local churches here. Many are taking donations, serving as shelters, and already trying to aid neighbors in cleaning up. But the real test of our churches, our gospel communities in this city, will be the longstanding service to our neighbors when people are no longer watching.

Regarding our mission as local churches, I want to direct your attention to an article published today by the International Mission Board. In one sense, it is a shameless plug, because it was written by my wife. However, the article is practical concerning the missionary implications of Harvey, and it would do well for all of our local churches here (and in similar situations) to read and take note.

You can read it here:

What My Experience with Hurricane Harvey Taught Me about Missions