Saturday, November 9, 2013

Austin Flood Relief - Partnership in Action

Today I served with some of my friends at the flood relief warehouse distribution center in south Austin. With large amounts of donations pouring in the doors, Austin Disaster Relief Network has struggled to find enough people to help them organize everything. Piles of clothes, linens, and shoes were scattered around the floor and grouped into large categories, but finding a specific size or type of item was like finding a needle in a haystack. Enter: the volunteers. Many of us worked to organize the overwhelming amount of material, but I kept noticing a group of men who would appear occasionally and then disappear back outside. I poked my head out to see what they were doing, and I was confronted with stacks of 2x4 wood and the whirring of circular saws. They were building tables! Sturdy, well-designed, simple, plywood tables. The tables were large and wide, such that you could stack at least 4 rows of clothes deep. They also built a support system for a horizontal bar to span across the top of the table and hold hangers. There must have been 10-15 of these tables in the room by the end of the afternoon - they just kept pumping them out!

I was most impressed with the way that one job can use a multitude of skills. There is always a place for you to serve, no matter what your gifting is. I imagine that a husband skilled in woodworking came to help organize clothes, took one look at the place, and said, "you know what you need are some tables. Some good, sturdy, big tables. That will give you 2-3 times more storage than you have right now. And I know how to make them - just let me grab my tools!" What a great example of how the different members of the body of Christ complement each other. One area supplies what the other is lacking, and together we accomplish the goal.

What about you? Have you seen a situation where a team of people with vastly different skills all partnered together?

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