Like everyone everywhere, Texas is on my mind. I have had several encounters with the lone-star state. As a young man, I traveled through Texas on a troop train on the way to Civilian Public Service duties in California. After about nine months I returned home to Pennsylvania through Texas by bus. The bus trip seemed awfully long. I wondered if I would ever get out of Texas. (I may relate other encounters with Texas in later posts.)
If my memory is correct, Texas holds within its constitution the powers to divide into five states, or to secede as a unit from the other 49 states. Many Texans have a Texas-sized ego that dares anyone to mess with Texas, but nature often humbles the prideful. The waters of Hurricane Harvey allows Texans to value their connections with and reliance on the federal government.
A news release from The Mennonite reported that four Mennonite congregations in Houston lay in the path of hurricane Harvey. To go to that article click here. The pastors are staying in close touch with one another, and each pastor is concerned for each member of the church for whom he or she is responsible. Because of a little personal knowledge Hurricane Andrew’s effect on the Homestead Mennonite Church I feel fraternally attached to the pastors and fellow Mennonites in Houston.
The Mennonite article introduced me to Marty Troyer who is the pastor of one of the congregations. It appears to me that he is a skilled communicator. I found a You Tube interview with him about his personal growth, his ministry as a father and as a pastor, and as the author of a book. This interview proved to be helpful and hopeful. You may find the You Tube interview by clicking here. I expect more stories of the Mennonite churches in Houston as influenced by Hurricane Harvey. In such disasters, the Red Cross is usually the first organization to arrive, and is often the first to leave. The Mennonite Disaster Service usually arrives later for longer term ministries. It is often the last aid organization to leave the site of disaster.