Hurricanes. Wildfires. Mad gunman. What could be next? It is not a matter of "If" but "when." Disasters are prevalent in this sinful world. We will not know a pain free life until this life is over and heaven is our home. No one is exempt to tragedy. It comes for the good and the bad, for the believer and the unbeliever, and it serves as a reminder that this life is temporary.
Recent events have caused the Freedom Church staff to ask questions such as: "What can we do to prepare for tragedy?" and "What can we do to be a light in the darkness when tragedy comes?" While there are no perfect answers, Freedom Church wants to do everything we can to prepare to help our community in advance and exemplify the love of Christ in the darkest, and hardest of days... because that is what the church created to do.
In recent days, the Spirit of God has moved and provided wisdom, answers, and discernment on how, when, and what to do. When Hurricane Harvey hit, God presented us with the unique opportunity of sending two tractor trailers and a 16 foot trailer to Houston, filled with supplies. This would not have been possible without the Spirit of God working every detail out. Volunteers dropped their work for the week to prepare to take the long haul to Houston. Pastor Terrell was eating with a staff member when a man overheard him in the restaurant discussing the trip to Houston. That man donated a surplus of boxes, tape, and packing supplies for free. This man doesn't attend Freedom Church. He was simply drawn in by the Spirit of God. We do not believe in coincidences. People stepped up to give monetarily and of their time, without complaint. It is beautiful when the church bands together to give without the expectation of credit but instead heavenly reward. We know that God has been smiling upon you, church!
And then... Irma. Bam, Bam so you would say. In the midst of so much pain, these tragedies became opportunities for the church to step up in unity, and to band together to make a difference. Freedom Church was able to donate monetarily to three different ministries in Florida through the generous offerings of God's children. 4 men stepped up and dropped their lives to drive to Florida and serve, removing debris and sharing God's love.
Beyond natural disasters are those which are created and chosen by lost, broken, sinful, and destitute people. The recent tragedy and loss of life at Antioch Church of Christ prompted an immediate time of prayer in this past Sunday's service. Satan often tempts us to ask "why," and to demand to understand something that only God could comprehend. While we will most likely never be able to wrap our minds around the senseless, evil sin of that day... we can accomplish much when we ask different questions.
What should we do to prepare, Lord?
What should we learn from this?
How can we help?
Who needs us?
While we are heartbroken, we are thankful that God has spoken to us the ways in which we can serve... when disaster strikes.
Freedom Church has just been approved as of yesterday, to be a lighthouse church through Samaritan's Purse. This bestows two future opportunities upon us, to be a "host church" or a "Lighthouse church team" the next time a natural disaster strikes our area. Host churches help to house volunteers, store equipment, and share information and insight about the community. Lighthouse Church Teams are organized groups from within the church that work to bring disaster relief. We are honored that God was kind enough to present this idea through our Pastor's wife, Shanda.
While the former opportunity helps us to prepare for good works when natural disasters hit, what about sinful disasters? God prompted our safety team and Pastors this past Sunday to give the knowledge that God has gifted them with away, through a Safety Team Conference this coming Sunday. While we cannot prevent everything, we take the responsibility of the protection of God's sheep seriously- not only spiritually, but physically as well. Our goal is to always create an environment where people are FREE to worship Jesus without fear. Only God can do that- but we also know that His Spirit works through his people. So if you are a church, organization, or individual who is interested in joining our safety team, join us Thursday, October 5th at 6:30pm for our Safety Team Conference. We look forward to sowing seed that one day could possibly reap a harvest of protection around not only Freedom Church, but our community.
We want you to know Freedom Church that God's Spirit is moving and He is moving through YOU. We are overwhelmed by the experiences of the past two months. We are thankful for the impact you have made in Texas, Florida, and around the world all throughout the year for God's glory. We know and we believe that the best is yet to come as we continue to band together to see people come to know and experience God's love and power by reaching, growing, serving, giving, and connecting. God has not given up on us so let's press on to what is ahead, believing Him for more than we could ever ask, hope, think, or imagine!
We love you all,
The Freedom Church Pastors and Staff
"For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me."
Matthew 25: 35-40
The authors of this page include the Pastors and Staff of Freedom Church. Check here often for updates and news!