Disaster relief teams shine hope into the lives of Austin homeless


By John Hall, director of communications at TBM

It’s breakfast, and the smell of hot breakfast tacos wafts across the five-acre lot in Austin that serves as a temporary living space for the homeless. People emerge from all sides of the property, following their noses to food.

Roughly 50 homeless people are greeted individually with smiles and conversation as they work their way through the line, where they are served by TBM Disaster Relief volunteers wearing yellow caps. Then, the volunteers suddenly put their serving instruments down.

A woman has asked the team to pray for her. She’s been experiencing some pain. The team stops what they are doing and lifts her needs up to God.

“We’re sharing Christ with people,” said Gary Finley, who is leading the TBM feeding team. “They’re seeing what we’re about.”

In between serving three meals a day for those who live here, TBM volunteers visit with people. They connect with them. Over a cup of coffee, volunteers and the people who live here get to know each other. Several individuals asked the TBM chaplain to lead a Bible study for them.

“That’s been really impressive to them,” Finley said. “We’re here with them. They see we care.”

TBM is serving from Dec. 13-Dec. 20 in response to a request from Gov. Greg Abbott’s office. This fall, the Texas Department of Transportation cleared homeless people and debris from underpasses across Austin and opened a 5-acre plot of land to serve as temporary housing for people.

“TBM has been asked by state emergency management to alleviate the hunger and spiritual needs in the area,” said Dwain Carter, TBM Disaster Relief director. “During Christmastime, every person needs a warm meal in their stomachs and hope in their hearts. Christ cares deeply about each and every person.”

The deployment extends one of the busiest stretches of TBM Disaster Relief in the organization’s history. TBM Disaster Relief volunteers have responded to needs for 39 straight months, with some people serving more than 100 days this year alone in the wake of windstorms, hurricanes, tropical depressions, tornados and more.

In that span, TBM Disaster Relief has provided millions of meals and cleaned out hundreds of homes.

“God calls and equips His people to share the Gospel of Christ in word and deed,” Carter said. “TBM volunteers continually respond to that call to deliver help, hope and healing.”

Disaster relief responses like this are made possible by the generous prayer and financial support of people like you. To donate, visit TBMTX.org/donate. 100 percent of disaster relief donations support disaster relief ministry.

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