Update from Fr. Casey after the November 10-12 Work Trip:
I am proud to have been a part last weekend of a team of 16 who traveled to the coastal bend area to help hurricane victims continue to clean up. Led by Colin Hills, our team consisted of folks from three churches in the Diocese of Dallas, including seven from Transfiguration. We drove down to Corpus Christi on Friday, worked a twelve-hour day on Saturday and another six hours on Sunday, then drove back to Dallas in the evening. We divided into two teams of eight, with each team equipped with a disaster response trailer filled with tools and materials that Colin brilliantly assembled in recent weeks. One team worked to help the Episcopal Church of the Ascension in Refugio that got blasted by wind and rain from Harvey. That team, led by our own Jon Herber (who used his considerable knowledge from years of working with Habitat for Humanity), removed and replaced a destroyed fence. The other team bounced around Rockport, which suffered a direct hit by Harvey and still looks devastated three months later. The team put tarps on damaged roofs, removed destroyed fences and yard debris, and removed ruined furniture and household items from damaged homes.
It was exhausting work. Except for Jon’s skills in building the fence, it was mostly unskilled labor, grunt work that didn’t require much particular know-how or expertise. Just loving hearts and willing hands. And I’ll admit that the level of need in the area can feel overwhelming at times. But many times during our short stay people pulled up next to our team and called out words of thanksgiving that we were there. Simply being there was possibly the most important thing we did, as it showed that these folks are not forgotten. I know the Augustine family, and Mrs. Sanchez, and Ms. Sylvia, and the folks at Ascension all appreciate the work we did for them, but they expressed just as much gratitude for us simply showing up.
I hope you’ll consider joining one of the future trips to the area. You don’t have to be skilled with tools. You don’t have to have the strongest back. You just have to care and be willing to work hard. That’s what compassion is all about. Letting your feelings of sympathy turn into fuel for your hands and feet. That’s when we go from thinking Christian thoughts to living Christian lives. See photos from the trip, taken by Richard Alan Anderson, here.
Hurricane Relief Work Trip Training | December 2
The next hurricane relief trip to the Coastal Bend area is December 8-10. Work teams are for those age 18 and up who are able to do unskilled labor. Groups leave at 9:00 a.m. on Friday morning and return at 10:00 p.m. on Sunday evening. In order to travel, participants must attend a mandatory volunteer training on Saturday, December 2 from 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. at the church. If you’re interested in participating you can sign up here or by clicking the Hurriance Relief button above. Questions? Email Colin Hills, Disaster Relief Coordinator, at email@example.com.