Monday, October 23, 2006

One Person and One Cell Phone


Keywords: difference, one, help, work

Leave it to Presbyterian Church General Assembly Moderator Rick Ufford-Chase to give an exciting insight into how little it takes sometimes to create a vital network.

In the muddle of Katrina's aftermath, when all was confusion, ONE person on the scene with ONE functioning cellphone became the critical LEAD organizer of a first response effort. Amazing!

Ufford-Chase's blog entitled "Glimpses from the Gulf Coast of Mississippi" tells of his visit to Diamondhead Community Presbyterian Church in Mississippi, just across the border from Louisiana and just a few miles north of the gulf:
"Back at the church...I find a 'seat-of-your-pants' disaster recovery center that Pastor Chas Jones and members of the church have put together. There is a five-foot long poster board showing the organizational diagram that they have come up with. Chas’s name is at the top (for a long time, his was the only cell phone that worked, and he was the entire organizational chart), and then there are about ten different task forces with the names of responsible folks under each one: communications, pastoral care, material aid, clean-up, etc. After two weeks of learning as they go, these folks look like pros."
One man. One cellphone that worked when others phones didn't. An opportunity for connectivity. Connectivity leads to purposeful organization, and organization begins to mean the difference between life and death.

The lesson for today: God's Networks can be born from surprisingly humble resources, if they're in the right place at the right time. They can be born if we're willing to take advantage of the sometimes small breaks that come our way.

God, help us to notice those small breaks, and press them into Kingdom service.

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