During the church’s 175th anniversary celebration in April, the generosity of church members enabled the church to continue its long legacy of difference making in the community. Using funds earmarked for community distribution, here’s how one group of children from Houston’s First honored a team of our City’s first responders.
Opportunities exist all over Houston to change lives: in crisis pregnancy centers, prison ministry, homeless ministries; in local elementary, middle, and high schools; by fighting substance abuse, rescuing trafficked women and children, and for first responders, by keeping our community and its citizens safe.
Firefighters and EMTs at Houston Fire Department Station 13 received an unexpected blessing from one class of first graders in the First Kids Children’s Ministry. They picked up the gauntlet for the churchwide initiative in blessing community Differencemakers. Life Bible Studies were asked to uncover a worthy organization and present a check to celebrate their making a difference in our city.
Houston’s First members Mike and Cindy Morgan are directors of one of the first graders in the First Kids Children’s Ministry and as they pondered ways to be a blessing with the funds provided to each Life Bible Study, she remembered the firefighters she had seen exercising in the park in their Oak Forest neighborhood.
Houston Fire Station 13 was undergoing a remodel that began in 2014 after being in service for 60 years. Firefighters were being displaced from the workout room in the station, so they walked in the park for exercise.
“They interacted with all of us who walked in the park,” said Cindy. “They even brought the engine for the kids to see and climb in, and were just generally so friendly.” Cindy had an idea that the children could reach out to that station with church funds so the firefighters could have the best possible circumstances while doing their jobs.
“I think it is very important to support our first responders,” she said. “Not only do they fight fires and put their lives at risk for all of us, they also show genuine compassion when their emergency crews come to our aid during medical emergencies.”
Part of the firefighters’ job is maintaining the equipment on fire trucks, which includes periodically cleaning, stripping and repainting tools, and also performing weekly general maintenance. The bays that house the apparatus (fire trucks and ambulances) are not air-conditioned and the Texas heat can be brutal for firefighters.
“A majority of the funds the children brought allowed our station to purchase a fourfoot fan that makes working outside in the bays bearable,” said Will Gunderson, shift Captain at HFD Station 13. “Now we can work comfortably in the station during the hot part of the day. We are so grateful.”
Year-to-date totals from Jan 1 to Aug 31, 2016