Pat Phillips, BMH board member and lay leader at the Columbus (OH) East Side Grace Brethren Church (Chip Heim, pastor), has sent along the following report of how East Side has teamed with a Houston church to help Katrina victims:
After having served as youth pastor and associate pastor at East Side GBC in Columbus, OH for years, Jay Firebaugh accepted a position several years ago at Clearpoint Church in suburban Houston, TX. Jay is now the senior pastor at Clearpoint, a church that is reaching out to help those evacuated from New Orleans due to Katrina.
Partnering with a smaller church in the community, but a church blessed with wonderful kitchen facilities, Clearpoint decided to help feed people from several shelters and a local hotel. The problem: where was the money going to come from to help these meals become a reality?
When Jay shared with Chip Heim, pastor of East Side, about the opportunity and the problem, Chip decided to ask the congregation at East Side to partner with Clearpoint financially. Labor Day Sunday, a day when attendance is traditionally down, Chip shared his heart with the congregation and a special offering was taken.
Given the attendance and the fact that many people had already sent money to GBNAM, the Red Cross, the Salvation Army, etc., Chip was hoping for the special offering to bring in around $3,000. However, God had other plans.
As a result of the special offering, approximately $11,000 will be going to Pastor Jay’s church to help feed those left homeless by Katrina. At least, based on what has been given thus far. Several families who were not in church last Sunday have suggested that Chip make the request again this week, so that those who were away for the holiday could contribute.
Our God is surely a God of mercy and grace.