Insurance is good.
Community is better.

by Ennie Hickman

On the night of May 24th, 2015 and into the early morning of May 25th, due to a massive downpour of rain in Texas and Oklahoma, one of my favorite small rivers in Texas, the Blanco River, rose from around 5 feet to a massive crest of 41 feet in a matter of hours. Entire blocks of homes, people, and animals were swept away and destroyed as a tidal wave of water came tumbling down into the small town of Wimberley. Horrifi ed and empathetic, some ragamuffi n friends of mine, my family, and I did the only thing we knew how to do, we got in the truck and drove out to help.

As I was gathering folks to roll out west to help our friends in Wimberley, I was surprised to hear the same questions, over and over: “Don’t they have fl ood insurance?” “Won’t the Governor declare it a disaster?” “Won’t FEMA step in?” Now, I’m not mad at anyone, and I don’t blame anyone for asking these understandable questions, but it puzzled me. Have we become so dependent as a society on programs and plans, that we have forgotten to be human? Have we forgotten that we all have a role to play for the good of mankind? Insurance is good, but community is better. Sometimes you just can’t wait for someone to organize a trip or a service project day. Sometimes you have to jump in the truck and go.

Now it goes without saying that we need disaster relief and fl ood insurance in situations like this. But these things, a lot like Church programs, often don’t reach the entire person, the whole person, and every angle of the person. People need help, but more than that they need love. Love penetrates all the cracks and satisfi es the deepest parts of the human body and soul.

After a full day of digging folks’ destroyed memories out of the mud, we were eventually evacuated from Wimberley due to more dangerous weather in the area. Wouldn’t you know it, that storm followed us home. All night long, I battled water coming into my house, and by 4 a.m. on the 26th of May, an estimated 4,000 homes in Houston were signifi cantly damaged by rising waters from our multiple bayous and rivers, including hundreds of homes in our own community. We smiled, shrugged, and got back to work. We knew what to do, and were happy to do it.

Loving our neighbors, whether they are a part of our community or not, isn’t hard when we have empathy and compassion. When we see the value of every human life, the innocent and the guilty, the rich and poor, we can’t help but do stuff when doing stuff is necessary. Oh, and here’s the coolest part, we barely made a dent in cleaning up and rebuilding our neighborhood! The fruit of loving is healing. When we gather to love others, to encourage and bring hope in situations like this, guess who is healed in the process? You guessed it, we are. It’s in loving our neighbors that we share in the experience of loving as the Father loves, indiscriminately compassionate.

Ennie Hickman - a missionary to both the churched and unchurched for over 2 decades and President of Adore Ministries.


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