Connecting with Cruz

This is a story from one of our Harvey Response volunteers serving in Corpus Christi.

“On a recent trip with ReachGlobal I was told that Cruz, the homeowner whose home we were repairing, may not come across real friendly. We were told that he was hoping for a total house rebuild instead of a repair to his house. He has been living with his daughter next door to his house for the past 3 years and wanted his house done now. I personally struggled with how he could be grumpy when he was getting free help with his home. I tried to set aside my preconceived notions and just went to work. When God calls us to be his hands and feet, we need to move and let him deal with all the outcome.

My first contact with Cruz was on Tuesday in the backyard, and he wanted to know what was getting done and who was coming the next week and what were they going to do. He was distant and closed off. I told him what we hoped to accomplish during our week at his house and that I wasn’t sure about the next group. He shrugged and walked away. That afternoon, I felt a tug from the Holy Spirit that I should see if I could clean out his flower beds and put some fresh mulch in them to spruce things up. I have always believed that the littlest things can bring great payoffs. By the way, I really don’t like yard work, and his garden was a mess, and who knows what is crawling around in the Texas sand! The flower beds had not only been neglected for the last year or so, but because of the recent freezing temperatures, many of his plants had frozen. The ReachGlobal staff allowed me to do this, and with permission from his daughter, I went to work. I just wanted to bless him so I kept it really to a basic clean out and picked up some mulch on my own dime.

On Thursday, I walked over to where Cruz was staying to deliver some muffins that a staff member and I had baked. To my delight, Cruz was actually there and came out to the porch. I was a little concerned how he would react since Tuesday’s initial meeting had not been a great first moment of contact. To my delight, he was so tickled to get the muffins. Then I asked him if he would like to walk over and see what I did with the flower beds? That is when suddenly, the distant, prickly, chilly Cruz started melting right before my eyes. He told me he had walked over earlier and he really liked what I did. I told him I just wanted to do a little something from me to him. He smiled and put an arm around me, giving me a little side hug and patted my back saying ‘Thank you!’ several times. I asked him if we could do a selfie together and he said, ‘Oh yes,’ so I grabbed my phone and we got a great shot of us with his start of a warm smile. I have no idea how these flower beds will look, even 6 months from now. I have no idea how he will care for the home that we have worked so hard to make safe and clean for him. I have no idea if he will carry around crustiness because he didn’t get the home he had hoped for. I just really don’t know. What I do know is that at the end of the day, I obeyed God and did what I was supposed to do for this man and God is more than great enough to be able to multiply 8 bags of mulch and some time on my knees pulling weeds into bringing a soul into His Kingdom. Little things do pay off.”

We would love to see you and your church serving on a team, having experiences just like this one. If you would like to book a trip you can email respond@efca.org or check out our website for more information on our current responses.

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