Thursday, October 13, 2016

Hearts of Service and Hands Full of Tools

"What is in your hand?"

That is the simple question that God asked Moses in the Sinai desert before God uses the staff in Moses' hand to deliver the Israelites from Pharaoh, to part the Red Sea, to win the battle with the Amalekites, and to bring water from the rock in the desert.

That staff was a pretty impressive tool. And it reminds me of how God equips us all in various ways, like he is equipping a group of our civil engineering students with a great heart of service and a handful of tools to make a difference in the lives of our community.

LETU's Habitat for Humanity (H4H) Club has acquired the use of a 12' x 6' box trailer and is outfitting it with hammers, nails, saws, screwdrivers, shovels, rakes, ladders, extension cords and a host of other tools and equipment for their weekly construction ministry. The student chapter of American Society of Civil Engineering (ASCE) is partnering with the club in hopes of being a blessing to others who have need.

ASCE President Rachel Smithers said, "Our hope with these resources is to be able to give of our time and eager readiness to help anyone who may need it." Smithers sent out an email to encourage others at LETU to "give us ears all over campus" to suggest projects that they knew about that could bless widows and the elderly in the area, and even assist some of our own LETU faculty, staff and students.

Smithers said the group is hoping to seek out where the Lord is calling them most, and then to plan a work day to help meet needs. Smithers, who is also a regular volunteer for the H4H Club, said the club approached LETU's student senate to ask for funding to purchase the trailer, the sale of which was facilitated by one of our engineering alums.

Dr. David Dittenber is the faculty sponsor for both the student chapter of ASCE and the H4H Club, which has been working since last fall on Habitat houses on Sabine Drive in Longview, providing much of the labor as anywhere between 15-40 LETU students work on the houses every Saturday. He says that ASCE also has about 30 to 40 civil engineering students attending their monthly meetings where they bring in people to talk about their work in civil engineering.

The two groups have talked about doing service projects together, and this trailer enables these LETU students to use "what is in their hands" to respond to disaster efforts and respond to the community as needs arise-much like students did last year in Lindale when several volunteered to help clean up after tornadoes.

Our students take seriously their call to make a positive impact on the lives of the community. I heartily applaud their efforts.

When we offer what we have in our hands to God, no matter how simple, He will use it to do His work, to bring glory to Himself. We just need to be willing to ask ourselves, "What is in our hand?