Stories - Continued

Stories - Continued

The Bucket Church - Continued from the Home Page

Our most recent venue has been provision of flood recovery buckets. Last October, when the rains fell and once again flooded Onion Creek, the church missions team sent out a challenge – can we build 100 buckets in one week? In response, members of the church brought cleaning supplies, cash and buckets loaded with the full UMCOR recommended list. Yes,

indeed, 100 buckets were completed and, in fact, when approached by representatives at the district office, Oak Hill agreed to serve as the way station for other area churches that could drop off their buckets for transport to either the disaster sites or to the warehouse storage facility in Kerrville.

We pegged ourselves the bucket church.

Spring rains brought additional flooding to Texas including not only Central Texas, but also to portions of Southeast and Southwest Texas. The situation was further complicated by the fact that the flood recovery bucket surplus in the Kerrville warehouse was now completely depleted.

With no time to advertise for supplies, Oak Hill’s community ministry team tapped financial resources recently donated by members to purchase supplies to build an additional 100 buckets. A team of shoppers went to work to find supplies; an assembly line was set up in Fellowship Hall; and an announcement was made in worship for those willing to come, help build a bucket.

Response was so great that all buckets were stocked, capped and ready for transport within two hours. Still others came to Fellowship Hall eager to help, only to be told that the work was complete.

With additional funds available and willing shoppers and bucket builders, Oak Hill repeated the process the next week, completing an additional 111 buckets the following Sunday.

The two-Sunday event proved a wonderful opportunity to help meet the need for additional flood recovery buckets, but it did much more.

Individuals in the church who traditionally do not participate in

missions work due to age, physical limitations or busy schedules, found there was a place for them as close as Fellowship Hall to serve as the hands and feet of Christ – and they discovered that mission work is actually fun and extremely satisfying. Families with young children walked through the assembly line working together

to gather supplies while folks with limited mobility helped measure and cut rope for clothesline and count and bundle other supplies. Many of the Sunday morning bucket builders offered funds as they realized the impact that a bucket of cleaning supplies can make to a homeowner trying to determine where to start to recover from a flooded home.

Members of the ministry team, many of whom may have grown weary from the ongoing need for flood recovery were energized by the eager faces that came to Fellowship Hall and experiences in the field as they shopped for supply items.

One member of the team reported staying in a local Dollar Tree store for almost three hours as she filled numerous carts and eventually her car with items for the buckets. One store employee, in particular, stayed with her throughout the process, pulling inventory from the storage area, helping her count and recount, and offering to check other sister stores for needed items. When the shopper was ready to leave and thanked the employee, her response was, “It was my pleasure. I love helping people help people.”

Still another shopping team, looking for ways to gain the most from the donated funds, found a partner in ministry at the Sunset Valley Lowe’s store when the two assistant managers in

charge that evening went above and beyond by agreeing to sell the buckets and lids at half the cost and even transported a pallet of buckets on a fork lift out to the shoppers truck and loaded them. In the week since the second bucket building Sunday, funds have been donated to build more buckets. Oak Hill will be ready.