By Carl Stagner
Church of God, it’s time. It’s time to be the hands and feet of Jesus to our brothers and sisters in Texas. It’s time to be hope to the people who have lost loved ones, homes, businesses, and churches. It’s time to make a difference. Whether God is leading you to give generously, donate supplies, or assemble work teams for upcoming opportunities to rebuild homes, now is the time to act. While this nightmare is far from over for tens of thousands of people, the outpouring of support for the Lone Star State is proving that they are not alone. The latest updates to the Church of God Ministries Disaster Relief Team are both sobering and encouraging.
With 130 mile-per-hour sustained winds, Hurricane Harvey struck the Texas coast near Rockport on Friday, August 25, leaving behind a vast swath of destruction to homes and business. For millions of residents to the north, it wouldn’t be winds, but rain, that did the most damage. More than fifty inches of rain fell around the Houston metro area, shattering records and flirting with the all-time national record for rainfall from one storm—a record set in 1950 by Hawaii’s Hurricane Hiki. Jim Feirtag, pastor of Parkgate Community Church in Pasadena, Texas, reported that their local weather station measured fifty-five inches of rain. “Just so you know,” Jim explains, “our local meteorologist said that is the equivalent of 275 feet of snow. Something like nine trillion gallons of water have fallen in the greater Houston area. It’s mind-blowing!”
The devastation is also mind-blowing. Damage left in the wake of Hurricane Harvey is nothing short of catastrophic. Forty-two Church of God congregations have been affected by Harvey’s wrath to one degree or another. Eleven congregations have reported damage of varying severity. While damage to church structures has been minimal, damage to homes of our pastors and brothers and sisters who worship in our congregations is widespread. Initial damage estimates among our congregations suggest up to a half a million dollars of repairs and rebuilding efforts will be needed. A disaster recovery plan is being implemented and more information will continue to be disseminated.
Help is needed today.
You can give to Church of God Disaster Relief at http://give.jesusisthesubject.org/disasterrelief, or send a check to Church of God Ministries, PO Box 2420, Anderson IN 46018-2420 and write “Harvey Disaster Relief” on the memo line.
You can collect and send supplies. Pastor Tim Gould of Houston First Church created an Amazon Wish List as a guide (https://www.amazon.com/registry/wishlist/2V3HZQB8Z3OYS/) and more items are listed at http://www.texaschurchofgod.com/resources/hurricane-harvey.html.
There are two primary collection locations:
Dr. Jim Feirtag
Parkgate Communtiy Church
3715 Preston Rd
Pasadena TX 77505
Rev. Saundra McNeese
401 S Dowling Ave
Hallettsville TX 77964
You can volunteer your labor or a work team. Simply fill out this online form to indicate abilities, availability, and estimated numbers: http://www.texaschurchofgod.com/_forms/view/34942.
Most importantly, please keep praying. Reports of damage to homes and churches of our Church of God family continue to come in. Cleanup and rebuilding homes—and lives—could take months. Thank you.
Please continue to also pray and support Disaster Relief in light of the increasingly dangerous and deadly flooding conditions in India, Nepal, and Bangladesh.
About Church of God Disaster Relief—In crises where an immediate response is critical for relief, Church of God Ministries advances funds in anticipation of a gracious outpouring of donations from churches and individuals. Such advances are made from a limited Disaster Relief Fund maintained by Church of God Ministries for emergency response to disaster. Disaster Relief contributions are utilized to bring relief to those affected by disasters worldwide. Give now at http://give.jesusisthesubject.org/disasterrelief.