I watched in dread as Hurricane Dorian parked itself over the Bahamas…
I watched in dread as Hurricane Dorian parked itself over the Bahamas for more than 48 hours bringing unprecedented destruction to the island paradise. I know the struggle that lies ahead of pastors called to serve the people of the Bahamas. I know because we have served pastors facing this crisis on numerous occasions. And candidly, I believe PastorServe does an amazing job of serving leaders post crisis. I recently received a testimonial from a Houston area pastor confirming this belief.
As you remember, around two years ago, Hurricane Harvey slammed into the Gulf Coast producing unmatched destruction. PastorServe was immediately invited by Houston area denominations, networks, pastoral associations, churches and pastors to provide assistance to Houston area pastors. PastorServe responded. Collectively, as a team, we spent thousands of hours on the ground in Houston extending emotional support, spiritual care and financial assistance to hundreds of pastors. And, two years later, we continue our work of serving Houston pastors impacted by Hurricane Harvey.
PastorServe primarily does three things. We coach, consult and provide crisis care to pastors across America. In many cases, crisis care involves a crippling conflict or a moral failure. And sometimes, crisis care means caring for pastors following a hurricane.
I was recently in Houston where, in a period of four days, I was privileged to personally connect with nearly two dozen pastors impacted by Hurricane Harvey. One of those pastors gave me one of the greatest compliments PastorServe has ever received as a ministry. I say “one of” because there are a handful of pastors who have written to tell me that PastorServe literally saved their physical life. But… this is right up there!
Steve Besner is the lead pastor of the Houston Northwest Church, a large congregation making a significant impact on their community. In the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, their massive structure shifted one foot off of it’s foundation. Twelve inches!! Local inspectors arrived and condemned the entire building. They were forced to tear down what they had worked so long and hard to build. Not surprising, about six to seven hundred people left the church, unwilling to go through the long and expensive rebuilding effort. Those who did stay have met in the local YMCA and tents constructed on the property for the last two years! Steve was solidly committed to leading the church through this difficult process.
For the past two years, Bryant Lee, PastorServe Houston Executive Director, and his wife Del have done a beautiful job of caring for pastors and ministry leaders impacted by the hurricane. Bryant has provided care, counsel, coaching and connection during difficult days and months of recovery and rebuilding. One of the pastors Bryant has consistently served is Steve.
During my recent visit to Steve, he gave me the greatest compliment. Steve said,
Everyone in the country cared about us in the immediate wake of Hurricane Harvey. But few people were checking in a year later. And no one—absolutely no one—was checking in on me after two years, with the exception of one group—PastorServe. They have encouraged, loved, and provided for us in our darkest times, and I am thankful to God for them.
I tear up every time I read those words. That is what PastorServe is all about. We consistently care for pastors over the long haul. We aren’t trying to make a big splash, and then pack our bags and head out of town. We continue to deeply and consistently care for pastors who have been impacted by hurricanes, wildfires, earthquakes and tornadoes around the country and in Haiti.
Thank you for partnering with PastorServe, a place where pastors can turn when they are overwhelmed. We are grateful for pastors like Steve and we are grateful for partners like you. You enable us to Strengthen the Church by Serving Pastors. From Houston to you – Thank you!!
Grace and Peace in Jesus,
Jimmy Dodd, Founder and CEO
Strengthen Your Church
Strengthening your church, for us, begins by serving you, the pastor!