Hurricane Harvey brought devastation to much of the Houston area with flooded homes, buildings, and loss of basic resources. An abundance of help was needed, and many felt led to go out and serve those in need. One of those families was the Ming family. With eight kids and a new baby, they had every excuse NOT to help, but because they are a family that prioritizes serving others, they put their kids to work and found ways to bless those who needed assistance.
GKFTK: How did you involve your whole family in serving others affected by
Ming Family: It was tricky for us because we have such a wide range of ages in our children, being 8 months to 15 years old! We really had to let God show us how each of us could be involved. My husband, Tim, the big kids, and even the younger boys gloved up and helped with demolition! They were warriors as they pushed through their own exhaustion each morning in an eagerness to stay engaged and involved!
I looked for ways to be involved with the younger kids. We were able to do laundry for a dear friend as she sorted through her flooded home, volunteer at a distribution center, collect supplies needed at demolition sites, share needs that came up on Facebook, and (my personal favorite) take supplies out into the community to those who needed them.
All of the kids were able to do something, but mostly we wanted for their hearts to be engaged! We wanted for them to grow in compassion and empathy and to feel a great responsibility to care for those who were hurting out of our thankfulness for what God has done for us!
GKFTK: How did you find out about serving opportunities?
Ming Family: Social media was such a huge blessing in the relief efforts! I truly believe so many more needs have been met because they have been shared on Facebook. I was able to stay connected to the needs of the church relief teams, shelters, and the community, and then respond in ways that we were able.
Ming Family: It was good in so many ways! They grew in compassion and empathy. They learned to serve, not just when it was fun and easy, but when they were tired and had to persevere until the work was done.
GKFTK: What were your kids favorite things about serving?
Ming Family: They really loved all of it. I think the boys loved doing hard physical work for a purpose. There was a sense of accomplishment that you could see filled their souls. They were in it – gritty, grimy, tired and dirty- because their compassion had called them to action. It’s such a great lesson!
The girls loved the heart of it. To see a need and be able to meet it in practical ways is always
rewarding. There is something truly amazing about being an answer to prayer, a small piece of hope, or a relief for someone, especially when it is done in the name of Jesus!
Ming Family: My hope and prayer is that everything we do is always for Jesus! Because of that, I hope that we are able to not just be a blessing to those we are serving, but I hope that we are able to show them the heart of Jesus for them personally. For them to know that He sees them, loves them and is with them even on the darkest days!
I also hope to be an encouragement to other families like mine! There is always a way to be involved. God knows our season of life, the age of our children, and all of our inabilities, and STILL He has a plan, purpose, and opportunity for us each and every day to engage in the things He is doing in the lives of those around us!
GKFTK: Any other benefits from serving with your kids?
Ming Family: It refocused us as a family! We were in it together, not for ourselves, but for others
because that is what God called us to do! My kids still ask every single day what they can do to help with the relief efforts…..and if they can do more demolition!
GKFTK: Those are some great ideas to involve kids in sharing the love of Jesus during natural disasters! I love how in the midst of such terrible situations, God can even use our children to share His love with those in need. Thank you, Ming family, for sharing your experience with us!