Hurricane Harvey Recovery Work Report
It has been a month since Hurricane Harvey came roaring in and camped on the Texas coast. The damage is so extensive that only just with in the last week can visible progress in the recovery work be seen. Bryan Haun and I on our way to Tivoli last Monday saw a massive mountain of sawdust and semi-trucks loaded with debris lined up to dump their loads at a massive grinder. But I am getting ahead of the story. The beginning of the rescue work began with LCMC and NALC churches coming together and establishing distribution centers. Our Saviors Lutheran in Victoria is serving as the central Texas distribution and the NALC church in Rosenberg for the Houston area. For us at Immanuel it was decided that Relief Donations could be distributed through our Focus Giving Mission helping directly those we are working with in the Tivoli-Austwell-Seadrift area.
The relief work began with rescue aid. Cindy and I were the first responders, with food, water, and gas and oil for chain saws at Our Saviors in Victoria. With the supplies you donated and purchases from Sam’s Club our Immanuel team has taken items each week. Other supplies began arriving within a week after the storm with such an outpouring of grace that has transformed this recovery into a love feast of neighbor helping neighbors. Aid from all over the country arrives almost daily now. Just today I saw Our Saviors Victoria loading relief supplies for the Baptist Church in Rockport for distribution there.
The first week-end after the hurricane Tyler Talley, Bryan and Rhonda Haun, Cindy and I volunteered in Austwell. Cindy had picked up a couple cases of Thorndale’s meat market sausage and with flower tortillas and the help of a Bar B Q trailer team and others who brought side dishes everyone ate, the volunteer workers, everyone in town, even the delivery drivers bringing shared supplies. Our team was on the timber removal and we did our due diligence until the heat of the day overcame us.
On that first week the town of Tivoli was still mostly flooded. It is right by the Guadalupe River. So it was the second week before we could visit with the folks at First Lutheran. The Sanctuary was in shambles as the winds blew open the front doors and saturated everything. They are hoping to save the altar fixtures and the pews but everything else is ruined, even the 90 year old piano. What a shame. Through the church we are identifying what families are in the most need. Our first priority while waiting for insurance inspections and evaluations was to get the church electrical service back in order. This had been torn from the building by winds. Bryan and I accomplished the first phase of this task this last week. There is more electrical work to do, but the building is meter ready. We are hoping that they will be ready to resume worshiping in their social hall by October 1st. As the Lord provides.
Thank you for all your prayers and donations to the Hurricane Relief. We will continue to help working together as teams, with donations, and prayers until the work is done – come and see Christ in action. Praise be to God!