Saturday, October 11, 2008

Ike Day 28 - Galveston Welcomes Katie

*Street down from the church...you can see debris piled along the side of the road which is common on all roads of Galveston right now

Hi everyone!

For some of you who don't know, my name is Katie Hooks and I'm the volunteer coordinator for EFCA Crisis Response ministry for both New Orleans and Galveston...so if you email hurricanerelief@efca.org or katrinarelief@efca.org I'm the happy receiver of those emails! I grew up in NC and after graduating from college the Lord opened the doors for me to come serve in New Orleans! I'm grateful to be a part of this ministry and see God working in the lives of not only those directly affected by natural disasters but in the lives of those who come to help!

I arrived yesterday and was literally thrown into the mix of helping out in anyway I can. I guess I was expecting Galveston to be some ritzy vacation spot but boy was I wrong. Galveston is not just a vacation spot but a home to many people who are barely getting by. Yesterday, I was able to walk around the church and see how the operation is set up and work with Mark Lewis who was working on where to put the 60+ volunteers on the island and the 40+ volunteers on the mainland for Saturday. I don't know how Mark does it but I'm so very blessed to work for a boss who loves the Lord and truly wants to reach out and help not only the physical needs but spiritual needs as well of God's children.

Today was just awesome! I get to meet a lady named Wanda Hayes (pictured below). Mark and I were in the office when the team leader of that jobsite called to ask a question and Mark decided to go over. Well he was already taking Emily his daughter so I asked to come too and he said sure! When we got there, we discovered she had had 3.5 feet of water and since you can only tear out either 4 feet or 8 feet of drywall, we had to tear from floor to ceiling to make sure to get rid of the mold. As Mark moves on to the next room, she looks at me and says "I love hugs!" and gives me the biggest, most meaningful hug in my life. As we're hugging, I can hear her begin to cry...I can't even begin to comprehend what she is going through right now.




Come to find out later, she is a single mom of 5 who works as a nurse's assistant at the hospital on the island. She doesn't know if she'll get her job back, she's only been in her house for 5 years but to her it was home! It was a place to raise her children away from the dangerous neighborhood she'd been in before. I was able to meet her son Jamal (aka Linky) and GG (her adopted daughter) (also pictured) and like her mom, they were throwing hammers, pulling drywall, and rolling out the wheelbarrow with the rest of the team! She said she'd had people come in before to help but really feels like she can trust us and that Jesus brought us to her! Please be in prayer for this family...Wanda was able to stop by the church later (which made me really happy) and brought her sister Sheila who needs work done on her house too! God is awesome yall! He is providing not just the workers, but the opportunities to really show the love of Jesus to the people of Galveston! Praise Him!

The Lord is definitely moving and working here in Galveston! I hope everyone no matter where they are can find the Wandas of their neighborhoods and truly love them and help them like Jesus would!



"And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast."
1 Peter 5:10

1 comment:

Jon and Mandy Prince said...

Katie,
We're so thankful that you're a part of the Crisis Response team. Your smile and energy bring a beautiful spirit to ministry. May God bless your time in Texas and Louisiana! We love you and are praying for you, the team and your ministry.

In Him,
The Prince Family