Friday, September 8, 2017

The "Hurricane Harvey" Stories

As we've determined to help those affected by hurricane Harvey, we've met so many different types of people.  I've personally walked/driven up and down the streets of my neighborhood connecting with people, listening to their stories. I met a lady yesterday whose house served as a senior care facility for 8 senior citizens.  I met a Filipino family who were actually in the Philippines when Harvey hit and couldn't get back for several days to survey the damage to their home.  I met a military vet who had just moved his family in a month ago.  I met a couple who were renters and had just moved in the week prior to Harvey hitting.  I met a lady who is on the donor list for a liver transplant.  I met a family who had no friends or family in the area to help them start to begin the process of rebuilding.  I met a couple who had been through this process three times and were exhausted and just wanted to walk away.  I met a lady in her driveway with tears flowing down her cheeks overwhelmed by it all.  I met an elderly couple who when I offered them gift cards rejected them asking me to give them to someone else who needed them more.  I met a man whose house was up for sale and had a buyer but is now left with a house that took in nearly 10 feet of water.  I met a young man who had nearly 40 friends and family show up on day one to help him clean out his house so he sent some of those volunteers to his neighbors to help. I met a man who smiled and laughed the entire time I talked to him who was just happy his family was ok.  I met a single elderly man who was considering whether or not he was going to mess with rebuilding or just walk away.

There is so much "work" to be done here.  So much tearing out and rebuilding to be done.  It's not a quick fix.  This is going to take a long time.  I assume that some of these homes will not be rebuilt and some of these people will relocate permanently. While I can lift a hammer and carry out debris in a wheelbarrow, my demo skills and construction skills are limited.  I will definitely continue to do what I can do to help my neighbors rebuild their homes.  But in all my doing, I want to make sure that I take the time to pause for a moment to listen.  To listen to their story.  To take some time out to speak a word of hope and encouragement.  To slow down and pray with them, cry with them, and hug them.  I long to find out what they really need and do what I can to meet those needs.

I've heard several estimates as to how many homes have been damaged here in my neighborhood alone.  Anywhere from 350 to 450.  I'm not certain as to how many homes have been damaged but I can say for certain that hundreds of people have been affected.  Men, women, children, young and old have been affected by this. And each one has a story.  Our mission is not simply about rebuilding structures for our neighbors to live in.  Its much more personal than that.  It's about helping them pick up the pieces and begin again.  It's about meeting their overwhelming tragedy with an overwhelming love.  It's about helping them rebuild their lives!

Tim is the lead pastor at Westlake Fellowship in Montgomery, Texas. If you live in the area, join us Sunday mornings at 10:30 am at 19786 Hwy 105 Suite 120 in Montgomery (beside Magnolia Diner).

If you would like to donate to help us in our efforts to minister to those affected by hurricane Harvey, you can donate here:

No comments:

Post a Comment