I had the opportunity to join a small work team and go to south Texas and spend a week helping rebuild a home that had been badly damaged by the flood waters from Hurricane Harvey last August.
Harvey was a monster of a storm that dumped over 40 inches of rain in the Houston-metro area over a four-day period. Some parts received even greater amounts totaling up to 50+ inches. The wide-spread damage to homes and businesses due to the flooding was catastrophic.
When my former college roommate told me about the opportunity to go, I felt this was an opportunity that I should take and get out of the normal routine that is so focused on myself, job and immediate family. While there is always some reluctance about such things, which is normal, I am glad I pushed myself to do it. By doing so the blessings come not only to those who are being served but also to those serving.
We stayed at a small local rural church in Wild Peach, TX, Grace Baptist Church, which only has about 30 members, comprising about 14 or 15 households. Half of them had to evacuate their homes during the flood and took refuge in the church, which some how, managed to escape the nearby flood waters and also never lost power during the storm. Clearly, God had put a hand of protection around them during desperate times.
They had 4 homes, where the damage was so bad they needed outside help to rebuild. That included the senior pastor, Mark Brumbelow and his wife Cherry. The project we were assigned to was the home of another church family, Jim and Sable Hail (lower left) in the photo (click photo for larger image).
The Hail’s home, which sat near the San Bernard River, but up a steep hill of about 35 to 40 feet, was submerged under more than 4 feet of water. As you can image, the damage was extensive. To make matters worse, only a few months after the storm, Jim Hail suffered a heart attack, which made it impossible for him to even think about working on his home.
Other teams had previously taken care of tearing out the damaged walls, floors, furniture and cabinets. These were followed by efforts put in new dry wall and flooring earlier this year. The team I was with, was working on many of the finishing tasks, including installing new cabnets (pictured above), painting, cleaning, etc.
By the end of the week, the home was almost ready to move back into. The only things that remained were installing kitchen counter-tops and appliances and a few punch list items to make it sparkle (click on images below for larger version).
I am grateful for the opportunity to have met Pastor Mark and Cherry as well as many of the other members of their church. I am also very grateful for the opportunity to volunteer in this way and see how God can use any of us to meet the needs of those that are suffering.
To hear more about the story of Grace Baptist Church and the work they are doing, watch this short video clip and be inspired by the way God has used them, despite their size and despite their set backs.