How You Can Respond to Hurricane Harvey

“In the midst of brokenness, there is the beauty of the people of God.” – Jimmy Seibert

As the Church, we want to be people who run to the crisis and not away from the crisis. During this time, we want to respond and offer help to those who have been affected by Hurricane Harvey.

Take a look at three ways you can be a part of our relief efforts:

1. PRAY //

    1. For comfort for those who lost loved ones and healing for the sick
    2. For restoration for people’s homes and people’s hearts
    3. For protection and provision for our teams that are helping with the clean-up efforts
    4. For a move of God in Houston and Southeast Texas

2. GIVE //

We are raising money through Acts of Mercy, our relief organization. Our goal is to fund our clean-up efforts as well as offer support to those affected by the flood. If you would like to give, you can do so here. Be sure designate “Hurricane Harvey Relief.” You can also text to give by texting “ANTIOCH” to 444999, be sure to select “7” for Acts of Mercy.

We also encourage you to donate toward Antioch Houston’s flood relief fund. Antioch Houston is leading out in our relief efforts, and you can give directly to them here.

3. GO //

Across the Antioch Movement, we are mobilizing workers to serve the people of Houston and surrounding areas. There are several opportunities for you to be a part of a relief team. Each team will partner with Antioch Houston in tearing down dry-wall, tearing out carpet and other tasks throughout the neighborhoods. Lodging is provided, and more details will come from your team leader. Sign up for a team below:

An Update from our
Hurricane Harvey Relief Efforts // Update 2

Today our College Ministry sent around 200 students to Houston to help with clean-up efforts. They are joining teams from Fort Worth, College Station, Austin and Houston. Antioch Houston also held their Sunday service in the parking lot of their office building this morning. It is amazing to see the people of God coming together to worship and and serve. We are so encouraged by the response of each and every one of you, and we encourage you to continue to join us in praying for all who have been affected.

Here are four things you can pray for today:

  • 1. Pray for comfort for those who have lost loved ones, and for those who have seen destruction in their homes
  • 2. Pray for restoration for homes and for the hearts of those who have been effected
  • 3. Pray for our teams to have safe travels and to be effective
  • 4. Pray for a move of God in Houston and the rest of southeast Texas

An Update from our
Hurricane Harvey Relief Efforts

There is nothing better than seeing the Church, the people of God, come together to respond in the midst of crisis. Many people from across the Antioch Movement have come together to help in Houston as they begin the restoration process. Antioch Houston is doing a great job hosting teams and organizing our relief efforts.

Check out a few stats and pictures from the last couple of days:

  • 905 total volunteers
  • 436 volunteers from out of town
  • 87 houses completed

For more updates, be sure to like Antioch Houston on Facebook. If you are interested in being a part of a team going to Houston, please fill out this form. If you would like to receive email updates from us, sign up here.

A Letter from Jimmy:
Our Response to Hurricane Harvey

Dear Antioch Family,

As I write this letter our hearts are grieved for all our friends, loved ones and those we have never met in Houston and across Southeast Texas. The Antioch Houston church and leaders are doing an incredible job taking care of their own, loving their neighbors and have started helping with clean-up as they begin the restoration process. Additionally, for the last two days we have had teams from Waco and College Station with boats doing house-to-house rescues to help get people to safety.

In the midst of the devastation, there are several ways you can help those affected by Hurricane Harvey:

PRAY

  • For the rain to stop and stay away so the waters can subside and the restoration can begin
  • For no more loss of life and for everyone to be rescued
  • For full provision for all of our friends, family and Antioch Houston
  • For those helping to be great witnesses of Jesus’ love to their neighbors
  • For a revival to come on the heels of the devastation and for full restoration to happen physically and spiritually

 GIVE

  • Our goal is to raise $100,000 to fund our clean-up efforts as well as to support those affected by the flood through Acts of Mercy. If you would like to give, you can do so here. Be sure designate “Hurricane Harvey Relief.” You can also text to give by texting “ANTIOCH” to 444999, be sure to select “7” for Acts of Mercy.
  • If you would like to give directly to Antioch Houston’s flood relief efforts, you can do so here.
  • We have also identified several resources needed in order to be the most effective in our relief efforts. Please check this list to see the items we need. If you would like to donate, please bring your items to 2021 Fort Avenue, a grey house, by Friday at 5 p.m.

GO

Our relief team leader, Blake Hartsock, and his team are working directly with our Houston team to provide practical assistance:

We are looking for men and women who can help deconstruct drywall and carpet in houses, which have been flooded and need to be cleared before mold begins to spread. We are sending out teams this Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Teams will be formed based on people’s availability. If you are interested, please fill out this form.

We love you all. These historic moments give us opportunities to pray, love, give and go as the Holy Spirit leads. Be lifting up the people of Houston, that they may find the glory of God in the midst of the pain and challenges.

In His strength and love,

Jimmy Seibert

A Sunday Morning Picture Recap

We had a great Sunday yesterday! Our college students are back, and everything feels normal again. Jimmy Seibert also continued our Return to Radical: Being the Church in the 21st Century series by unpacking the question, “Who is Jesus?” We were challenged and encouraged to discover who Jesus is because our perception of Jesus will shape the rest of our lives.

Check out a recap of our morning:

Deeply Knowing Jesus – A College Lifegroup Testimony

When we step into community, we see our lives transformed. This happens year after year in our College Ministry, and it never gets old!

Check out how one of our college leaders has seen his life changed through community –

“I’m originally from Houston and went to school for a semester at the University of Mary-Hardin Baylor before moving to Waco. I’ve been in Waco for about four years, and I am a Lifegroup and Section Leader in the College Ministry. I am also on the worship team.

Before moving to Waco, I worked with the worship department at a church in Salado, Texas. I was invited to a Lifegroup a few times, and eventually came to check it out. It was a 45-minute drive, so I was hesitant at first. I was familiar with Christians and religion, but when I walked into Lifegroup and started talking with people I realized they had something I didn’t. They had a deep relationship with Jesus, and I was floored because these people actually knew Jesus. I was working at a church, but it felt like I was just there for a paycheck. These people had relationship with Jesus, and I figured the best way to learn how to have that was to move to Waco and really do life with them. So, I transferred the next semester and went to community college in Waco. It didn’t make any sense, but I felt a tug and an invitation to move here and learn how to follow Jesus.

The deep invitation into community has completely impacted my life. I can step into relationship with people in my community, and I know it’s okay not to be okay. The pressure of religion is thrown away because we simply want to know Jesus more. Lifegroup started to take down the walls of religion for me, and it made the Gospel simple. Being in community also revealed how messy I was. I remember being in discipleship, and unpacking the messy stuff I had been carrying around. I didn’t realize it was there until I started chasing after Jesus. But I wanted Him more than the mess I was carrying and more than things in the past. It was very painful but refining at the same time.

Focusing on relationship with Jesus and with one another has been a game changer. It’s the reason I keep coming to Lifegroup because I know I’ll leave looking more like Jesus.

I love the way the Lord uses community to invite others in to what He’s doing.

Recently our Lifegroup leadership team felt led to read the parable of the lost sheep one night. So, we split into groups and discussed the passage together. There was a girl that came to Lifegroup for the first time, and as we were talking she stopped and said, “I’m the lost sheep tonight.” At that moment she gave her life to Jesus and jumped into discipleship the next day. Stories like that never get old, and it reminds me of why Lifegroup is so worth it.

Lifegroups aren’t just little religious huddles.

It really is an invitation to know Jesus more, maybe even to meet Him for the first time.

For anyone considering Lifegroup, I would say to not overthink it and to just show up. When I first started going to Lifegroup, the way people looked and the way they made me feel didn’t keep me coming back. It was the deep relationship they had with Jesus that kept me coming back.

My hope for anyone looking for a Lifegoup is that they would find a community that feels like family, and that they would leave each week feeling like they know Jesus more.”

– Corey O’Connell

If you are a college student, we are so excited to meet you! Come meet us at the tent on the lawn after each of our services on Sunday morning. We also have our first College Service on Wednesday, August 23rd, at 7 p.m. in the Auditorium. We can’t wait to see you there. If you have questions about the College Ministry, email Meredith Gordon.

Abide

Can I just have a little honest moment with you?

I have really been struggling to abide.

Prior to moving to Ann Arbor, I lived in Boston for two and a half years while studying for my doctoral degree in Physical Therapy. For those of you who have not lived in New England or encountered native New Englanders, let me tell you, these people are fiercely passionate about their gardens in the best way possible. I remember multiple patients giving me weekly updates about their tomatoes, their green beans, their lettuce, their peppers and the list goes on. In fact, I distinctly remember one patient telling me that as the gardener, his job was to intimately know his plants, know what would harm them, create an environment that would foster growth, and prune them to prepare for future growth. Each week when I finished treating that patient, there was no doubt in my mind that this man loved his garden.

Fast forward to last weekend, our pastor spoke on John 15 and the concept of abiding. I started getting restless in my seat as he spoke. I became like a small child squirming around, and I suddenly forgot how to discipline myself to sit still for 45 minutes. I was uncomfortable and just wanted to zone out.

ISN’T IT FUNNY HOW THE LORD PUTS THINGS RIGHT UNDER OUR NOSE WHEN WE AREN’T WALKING IN HIS WAY?

That’s what Sunday was for me – a strict realization that I struggle with abiding because I often try to find fulfillment in everything (a job, an event, a reputation, a status, a friendship, an accomplishment, etc.) other than living in a place of abiding with Jesus. I was convicted of finding contentment in my earthly circumstances instead of finding contentment in the presence of Jesus despite my circumstances. I was deeply convicted of being in a place of complacency, where I was okay with not abiding.

I was later processing with the Lord as I was cleaning my house and he sweetly reminded me of my patients who were gardeners in Boston. Earthly gardeners long to spend time in their gardens because they want to see their garden thrive. The gardener knows that a harvest does not happen without a life-giving source and without cutting away the dead parts of the plant to produce more fruit.

JOHN 15 IS ABOUT THE SAME THING.

Our heavenly Father is the master gardener. He longs to spend time with us. He, as the vine, is the only source that fruit can grow from because without the vine, there can be no life.

And by being in a place of complacency, where I was okay with not abiding, it is almost as if I was saying that I am okay cutting myself off from the vine because I don’t think I need the life from the vine to produce fruit.

As I was on my knees a few nights ago repenting of this sour, filthy attitude and nature of my complacency, I asked the Lord to replace this with an unquenchable thirst for the presence of Jesus. To replace my tendency for self-reliance with a total dependence on the presence of Jesus. To fill even the deepest crevices of my heart with a longing to abide, resulting in experiencing the transformative power that only the presence of Jesus brings.

And through it all, the Lord so gently and graciously continues to remind me that His command has not changed — to be faithful in soaking up, sitting in and walking in the presence of Jesus – to abide.

IN RESPONSE

This week, I encourage you to read John 15 and ask the Lord to highlight areas you have excluded His presence or relied more on your independence than the dependence that comes from walking with Him. John 15 explicitly states that apart from Him (the vine), we (the branches) can do nothing. What areas of your life are you operating apart from Jesus and apart from the life-giving presence of the vine?

By Christina – this post is originally from Antioch Ann Arbor. Check out more of their posts here.