Office of the Governor Rick Perry

Second Baptist

*Note - Gov. Perry frequently departs from prepared remarks.
Sunday, September 18, 2005  •  Speech

Thank you, Ed.  This congregation is truly blessed to be led by such a godly man as Pastor Ed Young. 

I am mindful today of a January morning more than two years ago...
...the day I took the oath of office...
...when we heard a special message at a prayer service from Pastor Young. 

He spoke about how God had ordained “such a time as this.”

And as I think about that message today, I am reminded of how he has called upon the people of Houston...
...the men and women of Second Baptist...
...at “such a time as this” to provide refuge, nourishment, and hope to hundreds of thousands of neighbors who had lost most everything. 

I commend you for all that you have done in Christian love to reach out in compassion to those in need...
...and it makes me so proud to stand before such strong laborers for the kingdom.
From my perspective as governor, the past three weeks have been a time of tremendous sorrow, great pride and deep humility...
...pride in the abundant compassion shown by the people of this state...
...and humility that God would allow me...
...a sinner who has accepted His grace...
...to serve as governor for such a time as this. 

I have always believed that God calls people of all circumstances. 

Growing up the son of tenant farmers in rural West Texas, I didn’t have much choice.

But in recent days, I have seen that article of faith evidenced like never before in the lives of thousands of men and women of faith...
...and nowhere more so than Houston.

Texans of all different backgrounds...
...of every circumstance...
...of every income and neighborhood and race...
...are making a profound difference in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.
Today as Doctor Young teaches on the topic of building a better life for ourselves and our families...
...I am mindful of all you have already done in that spirit:...

...the tens of thousands of volunteers you have helped train...
...each meal you have served...
...every time you’ve held a trembling hand, or wiped away a tear, or prayed in the quietness of your heart to our living God...
...showing a faith that is alive, and a faith that is bearing good fruit for human beings in need.

The great good you have done will be rewarded...
...both in the joy you feel in serving, and in the Eternal kingdom.

Your efforts are a part of an unprecedented movement of compassion taking place in every corner of Texas.

In Corpus Christi, a church volunteer helped an elderly Louisiana man locate and reunite with a missing sister in another state. 


In Austin, churches helped organize donation drives...
...and the city had to temporarily stop accepting donated supplies because they could not organize everything fast enough. 

In San Antonio, a first grade boy convinced his classmates to donate more than 100 toys to children in area shelters...
...which were distributed through local churches. 

They even pooled their allowance money and donated it to the Red Cross.

And as many have done here in the Houston area, one couple opened their home to displaced family...
...all ten members...
...and now they’re helping the dad find work.

Our displaced neighbors have found more than food, medicine and shelter in sanctuaries and in the homes of church members...
...they have found hope for tomorrow...
...and the love of God delivered through the hands of man.

To date, we have taken in more than 300,000 displaced Americans...
...and that could never have happened without so many churches, parishioners and faith-based organizations opening their hearts and homes to their fellow Americans in need.

 (pause)

Sometimes it is in our darkest hours when the light of hope becomes most visible. 

That is true for many enduring the destruction of Katrina...
...as it was for many in the days and weeks immediately following the tragedy of September 11th.

Four years and one week ago, the world was reminded that we remain in the midst of a struggle between good and evil...
...with enemies who hate freedom and every ideal upon which this nation was founded...
...and who will stop at nothing to see America destroyed.


While the struggle between good and evil is almost as old as time...
...in today’s modern world the hands of evil can possess more powerful weapons that could do more harm to more people than ever before. 

Yet even so, they are nothing in the face of a living and Almighty God. 

Nor is any natural occurrence that men fear. 

We serve a God who rebuked the wind and waves... 
...saying “Be quiet”...
...so that we might know He is in control, even when we do not understand how or why.

A few days ago, someone asked me why Texas didn’t hesitate when called upon to help the victims of Katrina. 

The reason is simple:...
...we understand that it is by the grace of God alone that the roles of volunteer and victim are not reversed.

And for those of us who adhere to the tenants of the Christian faith, it is only natural to adopt the weary...
...because we too have been adopted.

Today there are thousands of human beings who are thankful...
...as I am thankful...
...that you are sharing your blessings with those in need.

I want you to know that the letters and e-mails are pouring into my office from all over the country. 

Americans are expressing their deep appreciation for what you have done at “such a time as this.”

In the coming months...
...as we continue to seek to meet the long-term needs of Katrina survivors...
...I encourage you all to follow the command of Paul, who exhorted the Galatians to “not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”

May your love and compassion continue to sow seeds of hope...
...and may you reap a harvest as big as your hearts. 

Thank you, and God bless you.

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