Alan and Sheri lost two-thirds of their home to the EF4 tornado that struck Rowlett, TX the day after Christmas in 2015. The loss was devastating. Almost as devastating was the news they were under insured. Their insurance barely covered the remainder of the mortgage. Alan said, "We own our home free and clear - what's left of it, that is."
Being in the concrete construction business, they figured they would rebuild themselves using savings. Once they started the repairs, however, the savings weren't near enough. With their resources depleted, no FEMA funds available, and all the money from their business going into the house, there still just wasn't enough. At that point, Alan turned to the church. First Christian Church of Rowlett was the closest one to their home. Alan thought, "I'll start here."
It was a good place to start. Since the days of the tornado, FCC Rowlett has been an active part of the relief and response efforts. With support from Week of Compassion and the North Texas Area of the Southwest Region, they transformed their fellowship hall into a housing space for volunteers and a spare office into a dorm-style room for a long-term volunteer. FCC Rowlett Senior Minister, Ann Dotson, notes that the church, with support from Week of Compassion and Disciples Volunteering, is committed to serving the community through the whole recovery, even as most other organizations have moved on to recovery efforts elsewhere.
From Alan's first visit, three volunteer college students and a long-term volunteer from Disciples Volunteering began a journey with Alan and Sheri. Together, they rebuilt a house. At the same time, they also built a lasting relationship.
Alan and Sheri are back in their home, but many more residents in Rowlett are still in the process of recovery. Week of Compassion and Disciples Volunteering are here to help make more stories like this possible. You are here by your gifts to Week of Compassion, and you can be here, too, by volunteering your time. Click here to register as a volunteer.
Using the Special Offering Resources
The special offering videos are more than just commercials! They can be helpful tools for Sunday school or discussion groups. Together, watch the animated video "You Are Here," and discuss what it means for the church to be "here" for people who are hurting and in need. Use these prompts to guide your discussion:
- Read Matthew 25:31-45. How does the scripture relate to the video? Does it change the way you think about the video?
- When was a time you were in need, and someone was there for you?
- What does it mean to be "here" for people we may never meet?
- What did you notice about the transformations in each story in the video?
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