The sound of rain hitting the roof was incredibly soothing to me. A storm would transport me into a wondrous, exciting place! That is until this time last year when Hurricane Harvey struck.
I have never experienced anything like Harvey. It broke all U.S records in terms of total rainfall. So much rain fell that the earth’s crust beneath Houston sank 2 centimeters. At its peak, one-third of Houston was underwater.
This saw 39,000 people forced out of their homes and resulted in 204,000 homes being damaged. So many people we knew were badly affected, traumatized by an extraordinary natural disaster.
We came within a few hours of flooding, but sustained significant damage to our roof as
well as experiencing a dramatic explosion as our electrical box blew up.
Once the scale of the disaster became apparent, I knew that West Houston Assistance Ministries (of which I am CEO) had to become a full-time disaster relief agency to respond to the massive need.
Over the coming months we distributed food, clothing, baby supplies, water, funds to buy building supplies, money to replace lost white goods, repaired cars and even donated several vehicles. We helped tens of thousands of people.
What struck me the most was the level of support from local churches and the community. We had vast numbers of volunteers come to help our disaster relief effort. Folks from all over America delivered much needed supplies. (See the video below for an example).
People we incredibly generous, living out the biblical mandate to care for those in times of trouble. It was a reminder of what we as a community are capable of.
As we remember Harvey, it is vitally important to be aware there are still many who are far from fully recovered. They are not back in their home, their finances are a mess, they are struggling with trauma and other mental health issues.
It is also important to remember that aside from natural disasters there are nearly 700,000 people classified as living below the Federally defined poverty level in just the County I work within.
Truthfully our work as a community isn’t complete. Every day, come rain or shine, there are significant numbers of people who are struggling to obtain food, pay the bills, meet medical costs and maintain a stable life. The effects of their personal ‘storm’ are long term with nowhere near the media exposure or public outpouring that came with Harvey.
So I invite you to help me, help the poor. If you can help, click here: HELP.