Our area had 84 inches of rain last year, destroying and closing roads, limiting access to certain areas, keeping us indoors much more than usual. We were deluged.
But by the end of this week some Texas coastal areas could reach 50 inches of rain, which is the average rainfall for an entire year, according to a Reuters article (https://www.yahoo.com/news/houston-devastated-flooding-harvey-residents-gird-days-rain-005542738–finance.html). More than 30,000 people are expected to need temporary housing. Many have lost homes, household goods, clothing, food–everything material–following Hurricane/Tropical Storm Harvey. At least two people have already died.
My sister-in-law, on the outskirts of Houston, writes, “Hi. So far we are fine. Left my garbage can out to measure water and it just keeps overflowing. IT JUST KEEPS RAINING……..Am praying that there are no high winds because I have big trees front and back. The bayou is a raging river.” Her daughter is scheduled for critical medical procedures Thursday and Friday, but the hospital is closed!
Many of us have family in or near Houston, some of whom have been evacuated to other areas. Our hearts are heavy with concern. Emergency services are overloaded.
But we also hear stories of the community pulling together, like the man who took his pickup and invited families to attach their boats to his truck, then pulled out five or six boats (and people) at once.
I’ve been through tough times – loss, death threats, fear, illness – but I have a hard time imagining what it would be like to lose my home, car, everything that’s involved in daily living, and have to start totally from scratch. Yet that is what many will have to do.
Jesus said it is by our love for each other that the world will know we are His disciples. We have another opportunity to express and live that love with this crisis. Two ways we can help:
… for those in need, for those reaching out, for emergency responders, police, firepersons, pastors, mayors, Governor Gregg Abbott, President Trump.
“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” James 5:16.
James 2:15-17 speaks to me: “Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.”
Here are two of many reputable organizations that are working to provide help to Texas.
World Vision is stepping in to help. Check their information and donation site at https://www.worldvision.org/disaster-response-news-stories/hurricane-harvey
The Billy Graham organization is sending crisis-trained chaplains into areas affected by Harvey to provide emotional and spiritual support. See https://lp.billygraham.org/rrt-hurricane/?utm_source=hurricane+harvey+alert+email+all+08.28.17&utm_medium=bgemail&utm_campaign=bg
I pray that in the current crisis the watching world will see the love of Christ through us, His hands and feet in the world.