What does it mean to be the body of Christ? I saw last week how powerful this concept is. When people get together and use their strengths to represent Christ, amazing things happen! “Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, so it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other.” Romans 12:4-5 (NLT)
We had wildfires in Gatlinburg, TN last week that destroyed 1,500 homes and businesses as of this writing. My heart was
so sad for the people who live in Gatlinburg. The morning after the wildfires, I called the American Red Cross in Knoxville to see how our church could help. The Director explained that they would need 500 fire ash sifters for those whose houses had burned. These would be used to sift through the rubble and try to find anything that was able to be salvaged.
I told the Director that our church would love to take the project on! Then I found out what was going to be involved and how important it would be for our church to function as the body of Christ.
Body of Christ in Action
Below are the 7 things that needed to happen and how God worked through our church to bring this plan to completion.
1). We had to raise $1800 in 2 days so that we could buy the materials to use.
I put the information on my personal Facebook page and our church’s Facebook page. A woman from our church made calls to other members to request donations. Members of the church received an e-mail that let them know about the project and how they could help. We raised $1600 in two days and expect to have the entire amount covered by the end of the month.
2). We needed to know someone who could help with the design of the fire ash sifters.
We have a guy in our church who works as a fire investigator. He has built many fire ash sifters for his job and was happy to help us with the design and construction. If you have ever been gem mining, the fire ash sifters look like large versions of what you use.
3). We needed at least 25 volunteers to come out on a week day to help us make the fire ash sifters.
We had 27 volunteers total.
4). We needed volunteers to bring power tools so that we didn’t have to spend money to purchase them for a one time project.
Our volunteers brought enough power tools so that we never slowed down because we didn’t have enough.
5). We needed experts who knew how to use a circle saw to cut wood and metal mesh without cutting their fingers off.
We had at least 4 volunteers that felt comfortable cutting the wood and mesh. They were also skilled enough that they still have all of their fingers (bonus)!
6). We needed at least 2 people available with trucks and trailers so that we could stack the fire ash sifters on them to drive them 2 hours south to Sevierville, TN to the American Red Cross command center.
We had 2 trucks and 2 trailers the day we needed them.
7). We needed to work fast because to make 500 fire ash sifters in 11 hours we would be completing them in approximately 1 – 1 and 1/2 minutes.
We completed 411 fire ash sifters and spent approximately 90 seconds making each one.
There is no way we could have completed this without God having his hand in it and everyone using their God given talents, abilities and resources. From start to finish, this project took approximately 3 days. Galatians 6:2 asks us to “Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ.” This project was a remarkable example of stepping out in faith as the body of Christ to help those in need.
Below is a link to my previous post about the Gatlinburg wildfires: