Being a part of a church plant comes with a long job description for both church planter and members. The ministry involved can include everything from hauling hymnals, to park evangelism, to Sunday evening Bible studies. According to Mark Sumpter, regional home missionary in Houston, Texas, “We are seeing that a big, big umbrella under ministry is hospitality.” One member of Sumpter’s Bible study in Houston, David Blecher, and his wife, Kindra, were able to show extreme hospitality to their neighbors in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.
When Harvey hit Houston on Saturday, September 2, the Blechers began bailing the immense amounts of water coming down on their home. Unlike most of the homes in their old, inner-city neighborhood, the Blechers’ house has a small second story. Kindra texted all the neighbors she knew to invite them into their second story and before long they were hosting seventeen people, five dogs, and one bunny. Around 10 p.m. on Sunday, a boat chugged up to the front porch with bad news—a levy was going to be released, the water was going to rise fifteen feet or more, and their whole house would soon be underwater. The Blechers told their neighbors that they were welcome to make whatever decision was best for them—but that they were Christians, and they were going to pray to ask the Lord whether to board the boat or not. After praying as a group, they decided to stay. An elderly couple, because of health concerns, were the only ones who got into the boat. The rest stayed overnight with the Blechers. Mercifully, the waters receded by the next afternoon.
Most OP members will not need to open their homes to neighbors during a record-breaking, city-wide flood. But perhaps we should be ready to show hospitality. “We as Christians have to be prepared and pray that God gives us an opportunity to be a safe place for non-Christians,” Kindra said. “The barriers came down suddenly during the flood, and people … were very openly sharing the pains and the struggles, so that gave us a lot of opportunities to talk about the Lord,” reported David. In the aftermath, the OPC Disaster Response teams were able to build on David and Kindra’s relationships to provide aid in the neighborhood, including hosting two neighborhood luncheons at the Blechers’ home. Looking back, Kindra insists that Luke 17:10 is the right lens for their hospitality. “We didn’t do anything radical really,” she said. “We were just there, and God in his grace used us. We just did what we were supposed to do.”
Taken from the article written by Judith Dinsmore in the February 2018 edition of New Horizons. Judith is the managing editor of New Horizons. Click here to read the full story on page 14.