We have made it back from Houston helping with the relief effort there. As with most things in life, it is difficult to describe what we saw. You have to see it for yourself to grasp it all. On Sunday, we drove a semi around the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex to different churches picking up supplies that they had donated. Then, we drove to Houston and arrived around 3 in the morning. A church in Houston was gracious enough to allow us to sleep in their gym on air mattresses and cook us breakfast and dinner.
We got up early on Monday and took the semi to a relief distribution point. From there we unloaded the supplies, and helped load it into vehicles and trailers that were brought from other points in Houston to retrieve supplies. We then took loads of supplies to churches and a local middle school for distribution. While we helped with one delivery a man asked us if we would go with him to visit his daughter’s grave. He had not been to the cemetery since the flood and he wanted to check on it, but he needed someone to go with him for emotional support. You never know when the Lord will give you the opportunity to minister to someone. It was very emotional as we prayed with him and visited his daughter’s grave.
The remainder of the trip was spent helping people clean out their homes. We found a neighborhood where the homeowners were just able to get back into their homes that morning for the first time. Many of them were overwhelmed, as would I be. We helped them remove their belongings, then removed the bottom 4 foot of sheetrock, insulation, and flooring from the homes. One of the homes we worked in still had some standing water in the house. Most of the people in the neighborhood did not have flood insurance. As some of you know, I lost my sense of smell several years ago after a strange infection in the Philippines. So, while everyone else was gagging over the smell of the raw sewage we were working in, it didn’t bother me at all. It is times like this that we are reminded to praise the Lord even in the trials because you never know when your disability will become and added ability.
One homeowner we helped was Vietnamese and we developed an instant bond when I said hello to him in Vietnamese and we talked about our trips to Vietnam as a family. Again, you never know when the Lord will use your experiences for His glory and to open doors. This man was worn out and distraught over his loss, but we were able to encourage him in the Lord and pray with him. It is so hard to see so many people hurting. As we left Houston, we are aware of Irma heading toward Florida and many of my friends there will be affected. Please continue to pray for those on the Gulf Coast to recover and for safety for our friends and fellow citizens in Florida and the East Coast.
Thank you to all who have donated towards the recovery effort! Your donations are a great blessing and encouragement to many. Here are some pictures from my trip. You may notice a letter C sprayed on houses. They put that on the homes during the evacuation to know which homes had been cleared.