Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | March 7, 2011

Caring for Katy 2011

On March 6, Kingsland closed its doors for the fourth time on a Sunday morning. Our parking lots and pews were empty. With the exception of a few greeters, there was not a soul in sight on our campus. For the fourth time on a Sunday, we asked our folks to not come to church but instead to go out into the community to be the church. And once again, an army of servants blessed people throughout our community by performing practical acts of kindness. Our small groups identified almost two-hundred service initiatives in more than fifty geographical locations in Katy and then mobilized to meet those needs. It was an amazing day as we worked side by side to care for so many people throughout Katy — people in pain, people who have suffered loss and setbacks, people who are lonely, people who serve others at local hospitals and clinics and food pantries, people who care for the elderly, and more. I wish we had a way to measure the amount of love, hope, joy, and encouragement that was restored to those we served. But, if the joy reflected on the faces of those who served is any indication, then our investment in the lives of those we served on Sunday is immeasurable.

These are a few of the things that made our Fourth Annual Caring for Katy Day a success.

Identification | Our small groups took the time to look at our community and to identify needs. One thing we have learned over the past few years is the importance of sharpening our peripheral vision and developing peripheral compassion. It’s far too easy for us to overlook the needs to our left and to our right when we are in a hurry to get from Point A to Point B. We have learned that many of the needs in our community are found in the blurry world of our peripheral vision. I am thankful to each of our small groups for slowing down and identifying needs.

Mobilization | Identifying needs is only the first step. Caring for Katy is about mobilizing our people to meet the needs they have identified. There is no way to describe the feeling of seeing our people meeting needs throughout the community. I was more impressed than ever by the organization and careful planning that went into every single initiative. And, I am grateful to Jon Davis, our Missions Associate, for assisting our small groups with their plans and for getting them the resources they needed for their respective initiatives.

Cooperation | Caring for Katy was characterized by the highest level of cooperation. Our small groups worked together, got their hands dirty, and included their kids in serving others. Moms and Dads made special memories with their kids. We were reminded that we need one another and can accomplish great things when we work together.

Inspiration | Not only were our folks inspired by the stories of those they served, but those we served were inspired by our practical expressions of God’s love. Our connections with so many people in need gave us the opportunity to remind them that they are not forgotten but are loved by God. It’s one thing to say “God loves you.” It’s another thing to demonstrate that love in a tangible and practical way.

Conversation | Caring for Katy gave us many opportunities to have conversations about God and His love for us. Jon and I spent three long days helping our groups purchase their supplies at Lowe’s. While doing so, we had many opportunities to share the story of God’s love with others. And, those who served also shared with others the story of God’s love and how His love compels us to serve.

But, the best thing about Caring for Katy is that God was glorified. Jesus said, “In the same way, let your light shine before men, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16). And, as a result of the practical expressions of God’s love demonstrated to so many on Sunday, many people in our community now think differently about God. Proverbs 3:3-4 remind us of what happens when we live out our faith — “Do not let kindness and truth leave you; bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart. So you will find favor and good repute in the sight of God and man.” Thanks to each of you who rolled up your sleeves to bring glory to God and to help make Caring for Katy a special day in our community.

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