It started with a text message:
"I have very limited phone service. We are OK. NO power. This area would make a great partnership ministry between Westmont and 1st Pelham. We are feeding all we can, but resources are limited."
I received that message at 4:53pm yesterday, from C.B. Scott. He's pastor at Westmont, my best friend, and we'd left messages on his cell phone and landline, asking if they were OK. They live, and the church itself is situated, immediately adjacent to McDonald Chapel, an area devasted by this week's tornado.
In fact, if you draw a line through all the communities devastated by the tornado .. Tuscaloosa, Concord, Pratt City, etc, the church and parsonage are right on the fringe of that line!
Now, I can't do a lot myself, owing to arthritis, age, etc, but I can sure make phone calls. So I called my pastor, Mike Shaw, and read him the messages, and also gave him CB's cell phone number.
A few minutes later, the following message from Brother Mike appeared on Facebook:
"Westmont Baptist Church is in need of Styrofoam bowls,plates,cups,as well as napkins and plastic utensils. Pastor C. B. Scott and his congregation are feeding hot food to people in a community where there is no electricity and many of the people are elderly or poor. Robert Heard will leave at 9AM in the church van Saturday morning to deliver these supplies. Bring them to the church between 8 and 9. Thanks"
A host of folks showed up by 8 and brought the stuff Bro. Mike mentioned. And then, a guy stopped by and asked us if we could use some bread .. we think he runs the "Second-Day" Bakery store across from the church. We said sure, and he brought a pickup truck with the bed full of trays, 6' high, loaded with all sorts of breads, bagels, muffins, rolls .. an absolute mountain. We unloaded it all into vans and cars and had a caravan to Westmont at 9am this morning. Less than 18 hours from the text message!
That's the bread, unloaded and sorted, in the Westmont Fellowship Hall, in the picture. Off-camera is all the cups, plates, napkins, and other similar stuff we took there.
Westmont's a small church; a good ol' Southern Baptist Church if ever there was one. Hymns, piano & organ playing happy stuff when we walk in, just a really neat place to be. But these days, they're reaching out to feed the folks from the adjacent communities, who've lost most .. and sometimes all .. of what they have.
One of our guys, John Spann, is a retired firefighter. He had a generator, which he brought to church this morning, which was great news in light of Westmont's lack of power. As it turned out, their power had come back on by the time we got there .. albeit not across the road or in McDonald's Chapel .. but John said that didn't make any difference. He was going to see the generator was used by someone that needed it. And he fueled it up and left it there!
That's the nice part about doing something. Something. When we do something (like make a phone call), then God can get hold of it and do something with it Himself.
I sure love it when the church acts like the church. I got to see two of them doing just that, today.