While talking to the city inspector about the back packs, I told him that we wanted to partner with the city on several events and become a bigger part of the town. On that call he told me very bluntly that he did not believe me. He said that a lot of churches say they are going to do stuff and then they do one thing a year or at most two and that he doubted we would do any different.
I asked him what the needs of the town were, he said that the new city manager had decided that when trees and limbs blew down in people’s yards, if they did not clean them up within 30 days the city would issue them a warning and give them another 15 days to do it or receive a fine of $250-$500 dollars. I told him before he fined anyone to give me a call and we would come and clean the yards for those who did not have the ability to.
Several days later he called me and told me that a man with epilepsy was going to be fined $500 for a tree he had down in his yard. The storm troopers had to jump quick because the man was past his deadline for the fine. We went out with almost every man, woman and child in the church. There was not one tree down there was four. We cut them up, split the wood and gave it to an elderly couple that needed firewood for winter and we took the limbs to a spot in town piled them up and held a bon fire for the teens.
The great part of this was that we needed a burn permit, when I called the inspector; he did the paperwork for us, waved the fee and then came to the church to deliver the permit. He told me he had asked 4 other churches to do the work two said yes and two said no and even though two had said yes, the trees laid there for more than six months while he had tried to stop the city from fining the man.
A few days after this I went to see him in his office to talk about more projects, when I sat down he began to cry, I don’t mean he was blubbering, but he had a drop roll down his cheek, he said he had been inspector in the town for more than twenty years and that he had called churches and talked to every pastor in the town and not one had ever set foot in his office.