God’s Pit Crew and PAR representatives met with KSBJ to survey damage in the Houston community, and surprise three reeling staff members with offers to rebuild and replace their homes and furnishings.
An amazing video hit social media and the Dear Christian Radio website today! To view it, visit www.dearchristianradio.com. Here is the backstory:
Positive Alternative Radio (PAR) and #ENCW Project Partner God’s Pit Crew, traveled to Houston, Texas on Tuesday, September 25 to survey damage from Hurricane Harvey and to meet with representatives of 89.3 KSBJ. The station and its staff—which serve the greater Houston area—were among the millions impacted by the historic storm. The purpose of the meeting was two-fold:
• To gauge and plan for support efforts and resource allocation within the KSBJ community;
• To extend an offer to rebuild homes for four KSBJ staff members who lost everything in the hurricane.
Houston is the fourth largest city in the U.S. and home to 2.3 million people. Hurricane Harvey dumped a record rainfall of 50 inches on the city over the course of a week, forcing tens of thousands of residents to evacuate the city prior to the storm’s August 26th arrival. According to early reports from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), more than 450,000 residents are expected to seek government-funded disaster assistance. However, that assistance is only a drop in the bucket for many who were underinsured or uninsured when the Category 4 hurricane made landfall. The #ENCW Project and its Partners have made relief efforts in Texas and Florida a priority for this reason.
Brian Sanders, Executive Vice President for PAR said:
“As brothers and sisters in Christ, it is our responsibility to care for one another. It may take years before Houston and its people fully recover from the effects of Harvey. God’s Pit Crew and other #ENCW Partners are already on the ground helping community members regains what they lost. KSBJ, which was equally impacted, is actively helping their community recover, as well. Even so, we must ask ourselves: ‘Who cares for the caregivers in these moments?’ We believe Christian radio is part of the answer. The #ENCW Project has made it possible for that to happen.”
Randy Johnson, Founder and President of God’s Pit Crew—a crisis response organization that focuses on global disaster relief, building projects, and the distribution of food and essentials supplies—and Derek Withrow, Director of Impact for PAR, flew to Texas Tuesday morning to meet with KSBJ staff. While nearly every KSBJ employee incurred some level of loss, three station employees suffered significant damage not covered by their insurance. As part of the #ENCW Project, God’s Pit Crew has promised to rebuild those three homes and refurnish them with furniture and appliances. Following the initial tour of their homes, Johnson broke the good news to each of the three women, individually. His offer was met with shock, hugs, and tears of gratitude. Johnson presented one of the women—who was left with virtually nothing—a $10,000 check to help her, her husband, and four daughters begin the recovery process.
“We could not be here today, doing what we’ve done, or making these commitments to these families without #ENCW, PAR, and all the Partners involved. I wish everyone who has given, played a part, or raised money on-air, could have spent the day with us,” said Johnson. “Until today, these three families had no idea what they were going to do tomorrow. All of them are so grateful…so thankful, and all of them gave God the praise, which is where it needs to be.”
“The #ENCW Project is about impacting lives for Christ wherever that might be,” Withrow added. “Being here today is a reminder of just how devastating a natural disaster can be and how important it is for those who can, to work together in times of crisis. We are truly stronger together.”
KSBJ’s Director of Community Relations, Suzanne Boase-Honeycutt shared her feelings about the site visits and the work planned for KSBJ staff:
“It has been the most amazing day. It’s very hard to find the words to describe how full my heart is and how much gratitude I feel toward God’s Pit Crew, PAR, and #ENCW. KSBJ was hit so hard by Hurricane Harvey as was all of the greater Houston area—complete devastation. Our hearts are breaking for so many people around Houston. We were impacted as well—our tower and our staff. Several staff lost their homes, but there were three in particular who had no flood insurance. They truly did not know how they would be able to start over. God’s Pit Crew and PAR flew in, visited these ladies homes, and are going to rebuild their homes. The thing that is so beautiful about this is testimony these ladies will have to share about the hands and feet of Jesus; and how these amazing, Godly people have taken the money that has been raised by these Christian radio stations to help restore Houston and these families.”
The #ENCW Project is a coalition of Christian radio stations, industry partners, and service ministries united by a single idea: to impact one billion lives in five years. The #ENCW Project was initially scheduled to be unveiled the first week in September at the Christian Music Broadcasters’ (CMB) Momentum—the industry’s premier annual conference. However, Harvey’s devastating landfall made it imperative that the Project launch a week ahead of schedule with little promotion and only a handful of early adopters.
“We had no choice but to act and act quickly,” said Brian Sanders. “Certainly, we wanted more stations on board, educated about the Project, and ready to help, but God knew that we would be strong enough if we simply worked together. It was a powerful opportunity that was met head on by an industry that truly cares about Christ’s mission here and throughout the world.”
Sanders organized an industry-wide conference call on August 28th to coordinate a planned response to Harvey. From there, #ENCW Project Partners began implementing coordinated fundraising and relief efforts that resulted in more than $750,000 in online donations toward God’s Pit Crew’s relief effort. Following Hurricane Irma’s Florida landfall—a second initiative launched, but this time with even more #ENCW Project Partners, which included Convoy of Hope, Samaratian’s Purse and others. The #ENCW Project and its growing list of Partners continue to raise awareness and provide financial support and relief services to those affected by hurricanes Harvey and Irma.
Any Christian radio station, network or organization may join the #ENCW Project as a partner. There is no cost and the only commitment is to agree to help impact one billion lives in five years. For more information about the #ENCW Project, visit https://dearchristianradio.com/ or contact Jerry Grimes at firstname.lastname@example.org.
PAR is a non-profit ministry founded in 1985 by Edward Baker’s father, the late Dr. Vernon H. Baker and his mother, Virginia. Today, PAR owns and operates stations and networks in key markets in Virginia, eastern Tennessee, West Virginia, Ohio, North Carolina and South Carolina. They include WCQR, broadcasting from Johnson City, Tenn.; Walk FM, Ashland, Ky.; Spirit FM, Lynchburg, Va.; Joy FM, Winston-Salem, NC; and Your ‘PER, Fredericksburg, Va. The stations provide adult contemporary and Gospel music, as well as Christian content available across a variety of digital platforms. PAR is a certified 2017 Best Christian Workplaces recipient.