Hurricane Harvey Relief: God Continues to Open Doors

by Steve Larson, Regional Disaster Response Coordinator, Houston, TX (November 10, 2017)

He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? Micah 6:8 (ESV) 

God has been generous in his providence to provide just enough volunteers to keep work moving forward in four or five different work sites over the last three weeks. The contributions of these volunteers has been focused on:

  • exterior grading and installation of new drainage pipe to help prevent future flooding
  • interior painting together with the prep work
  • installing insulation
  • hanging, taping, floating, and texturing drywall
  • hanging new doors

Recently we’ve enjoyed getting to know work teams and volunteers from:

  • Iowa
  • Massachusetts
  • Washington
  • Texas

Some of these folks decided to come on short notice, and the Lord blessed their efforts greatly.

Volunteers Still Needed:

While opportunities for assisting more families continue to surface, our ability to respond depends not only on funding but on available hands willing and able to carry out the work. One of our biggest needs now is for people who have the skills to do:

  • taping and floating drywall
  • finish carpentry
  • electrical work

Without the right skills to match the job, we must resort to outside contracting and this uses up our available hurricane relief funds at a faster rate.

Many Opportunities to Minister:

In addition to helping families in our churches recover from Hurricane Harvey flooding, we have been introduced to several families that God has providentially brought to our attention in different ways. Some are relatives, friends, acquaintances, or work colleagues of members of our two OP churches in Houston and the Good Shepherd Bible Study church plant in SW Houston.  Some are neighbors of those families that we’ve been helping.

We have had an opportunity to minister through our relief efforts to an entire street in Houston that experienced serious flooding in every single house. The initial family we helped in the neighborhood, a Christian family whom we already had a relationship with through the Good Shepherd Bible Study, have introduced us to many of their neighbors. One Saturday this family hosted a “reunion lunch,” to which they invited their neighbors, most of whom are still displaced from their homes, to come back to the neighborhood to “reunite” and share a meal together.  It was very encouraging and uplifting for all and the neighbors each shared their “flood evacuation story.” The conversation became an occasion for our Christian friends to testify how God has been helping them through their flood recovery. As a result we were able to enter the home of one neighbor to help with drying out her home, which allowed us to pray with her and share our burden for her and the neighborhood. She appears to be an unbeliever who is becoming more open to Christians and our way of thinking and acting.

These kinds of conversations happen regularly and God continues to open doors for ministry and outreach through our hurricane recovery and relief efforts. It becomes more obvious as time goes on why God chose Houston as a place for Hurricane Harvey to make a second landfall.

Other Reports from Houston:

Click here for other reports from Houston!

 

 

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