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Pledged: A Bus from Bethel (& Other Providential Developments)

Morning Star Relief & Hospitality Ministry: Up Until Now [Monday, 5am]

Dear Friends,
In the extended entry portion of this post (click “Continue reading” below), or on the new “what’s new?” page of the Morning Star Relief & Hospitality Ministry website (globalgracemissions.org), you can read the latest news about our efforts. Please stay tuned, and please pass the word.

[see also the “what’s new” page…]

Mon. 9/5, 2am
Change of plan?

  Pastor Bixby and Pastor Garard are slated to meet up with the Operation Renewed Hope folks in the morning for breakfast. There is some possibility, since this town is relatively nearby Shreveport, that they will go ahead over there and investigate the situation for themselves. Pray for wisdom. Pray also for health and protection on this trip (they haven’t slept much this week and are not normally night drivers in the first place).

Sun. 9/4, 10pm
New idea: Christian education

  Three more individuals have contacted us about hosting a family/families. These layman and church leaders are located in New Mexico, California, and Missouri. One had the foresight to suggest the possibility of helping some of these “adopted” refugee children obtain scholarship admission into Christian schools.

Sun. 9/4, 5pm
Texas mayor calls for help

  After an afternoon of van-loading and final preparations, Pastors Bixby and Garard departed Rockford around 3:30PM. They’d been on the road for less than two hours when they received a phone call from the mayor of a small Texas town about 150 miles from Shreveport, Louisiana (which is where Southland Christian Camp and Operation Renewed Hope are based. This mayor related his story — how he was sent 250 refugees with only 30 minutes’ advance notice today. Due to the timing and other circumstances, a woman had just delivered a baby in the bathroom of a church in this town. The mayor asked Pastor Bixby if there’s anything our ministry can do to help them organize and meet the needs of these refugees who have been deposited so suddenly there.

Sun. 9/4, 8am
Pledged: a bus from Bethel

  Bethel Baptist Church in Schaumburg, Illinois (pastored by Brad Smith), has promised the use of their road bus to transport refugees from the disaster zones to the Chicagoland area. To those of you larger churches with bus fleets or road buses, please note that this kind of willingness to provide transportation is key. Transportation OUT of the danger zones is a more than welcome prospect to most of these needy families. Thousands are ready for a one-way ticket to anywhere. Ready transportation is a crucial element in demonstrating “stranger love” to people during this Christ-appointed crisis. Particularly if you are willing to bus people to areas where they can be accommodated by church families, we would love to load your buses up with needy refugees. Areas that would be logistically ideal (considering our queries and offers so far for hosting families and churches) would be the Kansas City area, South Carolina, the Detroit area, Arizona, California, Denver, Minneapolis, Indianapolis, and Pennsylvania.

Sun. 9/4, 12am
New idea: Apartments & rent pledges

  Two church leaders (one from South Carolina, one from Michigan) have contacted us to inquire about “adopting” needy families. One of these churches has been working to secure local apartments (5 so far of 10 hoped for) and raising over $30,000 to cover six months’ rent for each apartment they are able to reserve for a refugee family seeking relocation and recovery.

Sat. 9/3, 2pm
Opportunity: Fill this truck!

  First Baptist Church of Rockford will have a truck in their parking lot for a limited time, collecting donations for refugees struggling to survive in camps. We have been given a list of requested items, many of which are urgent needs: View latest list.

Sat. 9/3, 1pm
Letter posted on blogs

  Pastor Bixby has written a letter to fellow pastors and believers, explaining the rationale behind our hopes to facilitate the “adoption” of refugee families. This letter was posted both on his weblog and on the SharperIron.org website. If you have not yet read this letter, please do. It’s a great summary of what we are trying to accomplish with the Morning Star Relief and Hospitality Ministry, and why.

Sat. 9/3, 11am
Katrina-specific Gospel tracts

  Kids4Truth, the publisher of the “Why?” tracts (themed to answer questions in the wake of disasters like the World Trade Center bombing or the December ’04 tsunami) is going to be able, with gracious help from Gospel Literature Services and Operation Renewed Hope, to design and print a “Why?” tract written specifically with Katrina victims in mind. In addition to offering physical aid, our ministry hopes to be among those who will be able to distribute this Gospel literature.

Sat. 9/3, 5am
Ministry website goes live

  The Morning Star Relief and Hospitality Ministry website has been launched, and we are taking steps to clarify and publicize the project.

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