DALLAS—In the wake of an explosion and a series of fires in the Bachman Lake community of Northwest Dallas, Atmos Energy shut off natural gas service to 2,800 customers while lines are replaced. That was more than two weeks ago.
For many people in the area—at least those who weren’t evacuated—that means two weeks with no hot water, gas for cooking or heat for clothes dryers.
That’s why residents smile when they see “Bubbles”—the name Woman’s Missionary Union of Texas gives to its mobile laundry truck.
Volunteers wash, dry and fold loads of clothes for free for those caught in the gas crisis. Residents simply drop off their items and come back later for a neatly folded bundle of clean clothes. It’s a practical way Texas WMU can help people and—leaders hope—have an opportunity to share the gospel.
“We can meet a physical need, but we can offer that hope and peace that only Christ offers,” said Tamiko Jones, executive director-treasurer of Texas WMU.
Buckner brings hope to families
The service of the laundry truck is the latest expression of ministry cooperation between Texas WMU and Buckner International, which serves area vulnerable children and families through the Buckner Family Hope Center at Bachman Lake. The Family Hope Center equips, empowers and elevates families through family coaching, practical classes and after-school programs.
Buckner has shipped more than six tons of aid into the area during the gas crisis, including clothes, drinks, hygiene packs, diapers and food.
“The families we minister to already are struggling financially,” said Family Hope Center Director Ricardo Brambila. “These evacuations add to their economic burdens. In the midst of this crisis, we want to continue to shine hope in their lives. WMU’s laundry service is a crucial part of helping us do just that.”
Serve families, share the gospel
People become more open to the gospel when Christ’s love is communicated through service, Jones said.
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“As we have the opportunity to serve these families, we pray the door opens to share the gospel,” she said. “As WMU moves forward, we anticipate more opportunities like this to serve.”
Texas WMU is piloting Thrive 2:7 through the Hope Center. A Christian Women’s Job Corps-like eight-week program for teens, it encourages healthy relationships, spiritual growth and educational success. The program helps young people gain the skills they need to succeed now, overcome obstacles when they encounter them and thrive as leaders well into the future.
“We certainly believe in discipleship. We believe in spreading the gospel,” Jones said. “As a Christian, as a believer, we are compelled to serve. Being able to do that through Bubbles, being able to do that through Thrive, these are our conduits.”