Sunday, September 14, 2008

Ike Day 2

We got to see some first hand views today of the areas south of Houma and along the I-45 corridor southeast of Houston today.

In TX, we toured the towns of Dickinson, Friendswood, Seabrook, and LeMarque. The entire region was still without power. We saw some areas that looked like there was not even a storm, and others where buildings had exploded and trees were thrown across homes and yards. We also saw areas where the storm surge crested into neighborhoods and boats landed in the middle of streets. We saw one gas station open the entire day selling gas for $4.56 a gallon.

It was obvious that Ike was devastating and that needs would be extensive. Our immediate needs are:
1. For prayer for the hurting people we have met, and tens of thousands others.
2. For funds for supplies needed for the immediate response.
3. For funds to help the EFCA churches and families homes impacted or destroyed by the storm.
Click here to make a secure online donation

4. For volunteers to come and serve. Email hurricanerelief@efca.org

We visited with Pastor Bob early in the morning, the Pastor of Trinity Church in Friendswood, TX. The church building suffered a lot of wind damage, with the doors being blown open and rain blowing in to the sanctuary. The office and sunday school building suffered extensive roof damage and rain water was pouring in as rains fell this morning. We were able to set up generators to start the drying process.

A remnant of the congregation began to filter in around 11am for service. People clung to each other in extended hugs, small groups of the body formed to hear each persons story of Ike survival and the aftermath. Tears were shed. Prayers of thanksgiving and hope were lifted up. For worship, candle light was used to read sheet music.

After service and sharing, Pastor Bob gave Kevin and I the floor to discuss the response to the storm. We talked about the emotional aftermath and the mission field that follows in the wake of crisis. Then the Body went into action. People who had damage to their homes and property were able to identify their needs. Ted brought a dinner he had cooked for all to share. Others headed into the kitchen and made PB&J's. People signed up to go out and serve with us on Monday. More helped us set up generators and others made plans to meet after church to place tarps on a member's roof.

We then connected with church members and toured neighborhoods with hundreds of trees down. We were able to refuel the generator for an elderly lady caring for her shut in mother. They are living in their home that had a foot of water in it. We cut open two driveways with trees blocking them.

We also were able to check on Faith Bible Church in LeMarque. We found the church in good condition, but the sunday school building in need of a new roof from shingle damage.

I also was able to have phone conversations with Pastor Garrett of Gulfbay Church in Baytown, TX and Pastor Clay, of Galveston Bible Church. Pastor Garrett told of many areas in Baytown that were flooded and recounted stories of desperate people's actions. We are bringing in two trailers with fuel and needed food supplies for people that have not been able to get basic supplies. Pastor Garrett will be distributing these supplies to many in his congregation and their neighbors in need.

Pastor Clay confirmed what we feared, that the Galveston Bible Church and essentially all of the homes of the members were flooded and many were also damaged by wind. One family's home was destroyed by fire.


In Houma, our team found neighborhoods in the bayou area south of Houma under several feet of water. Some areas where our team was working this past week were still not accessible. We worked today on identifying local church partners to help in the follow-up of ministry contacts and arranging for the logistics for housing teams to help with the clean-up.
More:

Debris and boats piled up in Galveston Parking lot.


Power Outage map of Greater Houston area. Mostly from downed power lines from trees and high winds.

2 comments:

TSN Ministries said...

Mark, John, and others,

Thanks for your committment and drive to bless those in need. We pledge to help however and wherever we can when we arrive in December.

Until then know that ALL of you and your families are in our prayers. Please pray for the support for our trip so we may fully serve you guys when we come.

God remains faithful.

Jerry and Tamara
Bowie, MD

Jack said...

Will Galveston Bible Church need to be re-built?