Nineteen United Methodist Churches from the Hill Country District gathered clothing and supplies for the Lenten season. They have been working in conjunction with a warehouse the Seventh-Day Adventist Church in Alvarado, TX operates as part of their disaster relief.
Lent, the six-week period before Easter, is supposed to include personal sacrifice and giving alms. According to Rev. Lee Romero of Johnson City First United Methodist Church, clearing still-wearable clothes out of the closet counts as sacrifice, and giving them to disaster survivors definitely counts as alms giving.
"Helping those in need is what people of faith are supposed to do,” said Rev. Romero, “and someone who’s just lost everything he owns is about as needy as you can get.”
Churches in the Hill Country District decided to start doing a Lenten drive to prepare for the upcoming tornado and flooding season.
“We wanted to be part of this because we know from first-hand experience what disaster survivors on the receiving end are going through,” said Rev. Vanessa LeVine of Carrizo Springs United Methodist Church. “We and our neighbors in Cotulla and Eagle Pass have recent experience with flooding, so we know what it’s like to wake up in a shelter after sleeping in the only clothes we own, and wondering where we can find something fresh and clean to put on.”
United Methodist Churches from the Hill Country and non-denominational churches from all around the area contributed to filling the warehouse.
“Just as all the churches shared in the work, all of them can claim a share of the recognition for a job well done,” said Rev. Bill Henderson, superintendent of the Hill Country District. “Our members and neighbors make the donations, the churches are the collectors, the Adventists do the hard work, the survivors reap the benefits, and the glory goes to God. That’s a win-win.”