Living on Fault Lines
Just when we thought we were moving toward a “new normal” at the outset of 2021, a once-in-a-generation snowstorm blew into Texas, our home state for Buckner International. 2020 introduced COVID-19, racial tension, political division, and the beginning of a new normal. Then an arctic blast blew into the mid-section of the USA through Texas reaching Corpus Christi, my hometown, “Sparkling City by the Sea.”
Like many in Texas, we lost power in our home in Dallas for several days with only intermittent bursts of electrical power for two hours at a time, three times a day, for three days. On the fourth day our power was restored and remained intact. We were able to prepare meals on our gas stove and stay warm by our gas fireplace. We saw four inches fall on the first snow day followed by another three inches in the second wave midweek. We heard reports of fires and people who lost their lives due to carbon monoxide poisoning and hypothermia in their homes. Some lost power and water, and some had to boil water for safety.
Laura Cadena, staffer in Dallas City Councilman Omar Narvaez’s Office and Joe Carreon, DISD Trustee, asked us to consider opening the Buckner Family Hope Center at Bachman Lake near Love Field as a Warming Center for area residents. The Buckner team quickly responded with staffing, volunteers, and DISD support to host a Warming Center. Bachman Lake Together, United to Learn, Chick-fil-A, Flying Fish, and Northway Church came forward with food, blankets, water, and other supplies for more than 600 individuals in the Bachman Lake Community including support from the Buckner Center for Humanitarian Aid in East Dallas. The Texas Rangers Baseball Club contributed a financial gift to provide food and other needed resources. Dr. Jeff Warren, Senior Pastor at Park Cities Baptist Church in Dallas led members to provide food, blankets, and serve meals at the Buckner Family Hope Center at Bachman Lake led by Ricardo Brambila. In Houston, Dr. Duane Brooks, Senior Pastor of Tallowood Baptist Church, rallied members to bring extra water for residents at the Buckner Parkway Place Community. In less than a few hours, members loaded a truck full of water for senior adults at that campus. Gateway Church of Houston also responded to the need and contributed water.
I have been reading Rings of Fire: Walking in Faith through a Volcanic Future by Dr. Len Sweet, author, theological, historian, and semiotician. Dr. Sweet says we are living along global fault lines at the beginning of the 21st century. He is right. We have ample opportunity to offer hope and demonstrate our faith in Jesus; to pull weeds (Justice), do deeds (Mercy), and sow seeds (Faithfulness).