Hurricane Harvey caused the biggest rain damage in Houston’s history. Starting from the middle of last week, I visited several flood-ravaged areas and It was truly brutal. The rotten smell filled the air, and household items and pieces torn out from houses were irregularly piled high on the front yard. A garage door which could not bear the water pressure was dented and people were there with blank eyes. In such a situation, our congregation kept bright faces. Pictures taken from recovery site shows such bright smiles, it is difficult to distinguish who is the one who suffered flood damage. I suppose the reason is we have much encouragement in the middle of adversity.
One main reason was the activity of the recovery team. If water receded at the same time, the need would overwhelm the amount of helping hands available. However, we formed a team made up of 6 villages and the work went very efficiently. As a result, by this afternoon, we accomplished emergency remediation of 60 houses. Many worked tirelessly from morning till late evening moving from one house to the other. They were sweating profusely since there was no electricity and doing manual labor they were not accustomed to. Still, they encouraged each other and it brought down a piece of heaven to earth.
Some old SBC members who moved to different states got vacation time and flew in to help. Many sisters cooked and delivered food. If group chat showed a need of hands, many replied promptly and showed up. Because of this help, people who suffered the flood could smile. Without the recovery team, some said that they would have felt totally lost and wept endlessly. Some said they probably would have sold their house and have gone back to Korea. ‘What are you going to do now you lost everything?’ Some answered, ‘Now, I will store it in heaven.’ All these are thanks to your selfless labor and effort.
All the encouragement from outside was a great help also. Many churches prayed for us, some sent monetary gift promptly. More than anything, the New Song church of Dallas sent many recovery teams. Team 1 and team 2 came. Then, on Saturday, they sent a more than 20-member recovery team. As the raising fund for flood victims was mentioned, one deacon contributed a large sum stating the bayou in front of his business was about to spill over but it did not. All these people became an encouragement from God and that made us smile.
We have one more thing to do. From now on, we will collect various items for those who suffered flooding. This will be worked out in two steps. Later, once the home is fixed or its time to move into an apartment, bulky items are needed such as dining room tables, couchs, beds, washers, refrigerators, ovens etc. We will collect those sometime later. For anybody who considered remodeling or updating those items, it would be great if you can make a donation.
Compared to that, there are many things which are urgently needed. For those people who could not take anything because of flash flooding, or due to the extended period of flood water and severe decomposition, we need clothes, shoes, bowls, spoons, pots and other household essentials. Any items good enough for use or kept as an extra, please bring them to share. The sooner the better. Therefore, please do not wait until Sunday but bring them any time during the week, then it will be greatly useful for those in need.
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