DARKE COUNTY — As Texans continue to seek relief from the devastating wintry weather from last month’s storm, Darke County churches have come together to send a “second wave of blessing” to the Friendship state, providing water and other basic necessities for families struggling to cope with the lack of power, bursting pipes, diminishing supplies of water and empty supermarket shelves.
Leading a community effort by sending 1,500 cases of water last week to Houston, Greenville’s Radiant Lighthouse ministry team returned with a renewed sense of purpose to meet the growing need for essential supplies. With 14 million Texans still without power, and COVID-19 vaccination sites being transformed into water distribution centers, Radiant Lighthouse Senior Pastor Wes Lynch reached out to the community once again, to help those struggling within Houston’s Gulfton neighborhood, one of the most impoverished areas within the city.
“Our community has shown up in a huge way!” said Pastor Lynch. “What an amazing response and action that shows we are ‘Better Together!’”
Many additional area churches responded again by donating water, basic essentials, supplies and funds to support a second trip and wave of blessings to those hardest hit by the storm. Pastor Danny Wright of Greenville Grace Brethren Church, located at 4805 Ohio 49 South, donated $1,000 toward the purchase of water, along with other much needed items.
In addition, Community of Faith Church, which has three locations throughout the area (Arcanum, Lewisburg and Eaton) also responded by donating hundreds of items and funds to the relief effort.
“Pastor Wes reached out to us, and we just wanted to help donate and fill up this entire semi with necessities to bring down to Texas,” said , Kyler Schatz, Student Ministries Director at Community of Faith Church in Arcanum, Eaton and Lewisburg. “It’s exciting to be a part of this, and show that we can come together for a greater cause than just our own.”
Dennis Garber, a semi driver for GTL Transportation in West Manchester, Ohio, donated his time and talent to haul the donations to Texas. Garber and his wife, who are members of the German Baptist Church, left Ohio early Friday morning to make the 19-hour journey to meet Pastor Scott Binkley from the Children’s Activity Center in Houston’s inner city.
“It was a sunny day and heavy traffic, but I made it through to the Gulfton neighborhood,” said Garber, adding, “Everybody was so happy. It was such a blessing.”
In addition to Garber, Pastor Nathan Paulus, and a five-person ministry team from the Radiant Lighthouse Wichita, also brought donations and assisted with the distribution of water and supplies. Pastor Paulus, himself a Darke County native, who previously lead congregations at Bradford Church of the Brethren, Trinity Wesleyan Church (Greenville), and Covington Christian Church, moved to Kansas five years ago to start the Radiant Church in Wichita, and helped Pastor Wes Lynch get Greenville’s Radiant Lighthouse Church started in January 2020. Radiant Lighthouse Wichita has supported Pastor Scott Binkley and the Children’s Activity Center in Houston for over 15 years, and enthusiastically supported this ‘second wave of blessing.’
“So many people were so desperate for the water,” said Pastor Paulus. “ When we pulled up, residents were notified, and for many hours, we were giving out water and supplies. Parents were so grateful to get the water and other essential things, like diapers, for their children. There were no arguments or complaints when we had to leave. Just sincere thanks. In a world of division, it was encouraging. So much unity! It was a beautiful thing to see.”
Pastor Scott Binkley of the Children’s Activity Center and Walking Faith Ministry, expressed his thankfulness to God and the communities in Ohio who came together to help meet the needs of his community. “It reminded me of the miracle of God’s provision! All the things that had to happen in His timing and His way to get the water and supplies here…it reminds me of the story of Jesus feeding the 5,000 in Matthew 14: 13-21,” said Pastor Binkley. “ Every person who came to the truck received something. Not one person who came left empty. It was like He was right there with us, in that moment. God does things in such a way that you know it’s Him!”
To find out what’s happening at Radiant Lighthouse in Greenville, visit them at www.radiantchurchgreenville.com, visit their Facebook Page for upcoming events. To learn more about the Radiant Church Wichita, or to connect with Pastor Nathan Paulus, visit www.radiantchurchwichita.com. To visit Greenville Grace Brethren Church, visit them online at www.greenvillegrace.org, or on Facebook. To connect with Community of Faith Church’s campuses in Arcanum, Eaton or Lewisburg, visit them on the web at www.cofchurches.com, or on Facebook.
To learn more about the Children’s Activity Center and Walking Faith Ministry, visit the ministry website at www.Sgnh.org, or on the CAC Facebook page. To reach Pastor Scott Binkley, just call the ministry at 713-667-0442, write P.O. Box 2851, Bellaire, TX 77402, or email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Carol Marsh covers community interest stories and handles obituaries for Darke County Media. She can be contacted by email at email@example.com or by phone at 937-569-4314.