Harvey Recovery: News and Notes
Harvey Recovery: News and Notes

We’re getting numerous updates about churches impacted by Hurricane Harvey and its soaking rains that flooded Greater Houston and much of the Gulf Coast area at the end of August, and we’re receiving news from churches and ministries that have launched efforts to help people and churches in those areas.

Send updates to CS@christianstandardmedia.com. (We will also try to share a few photos of recovery efforts; please send the images as attachments, and provide captions, one image per e-mail.)

Here are some of the reports we’re receiving, along with some ways to help (we’re placing the newest items at the top):

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(Sept. 1)

Thousands of churches and millions of Christians across the country are responding to the needs in and around Houston and along Harvey’s path. Here are just a few examples:

Northeast Christian Church, 9900 Brownsboro Road, Louisville, KY, will be collecting diapers and toiletries for hurricane relief this weekend and into next week, according to Facebook. Financial donations may be made here.

Crossroads Christian Church, Joliet, IL, will be collecting cleaning supplies at services this weekend to send to the affected area. These are needed immediately, lead pastor Matt Summers said via Facebook, “to battle the black mold that is already rapidly growing in homes and will destroy the homes if not mitigated as soon as possible.” The church is also trying to determine who might be able and willing to go and help with cleanup efforts.

• Johnna Hale with Fern Creek (KY) Christian Church, sent out an appeal via Facebook for help loading 500 blankets onto the trailers of a man who is arranging to take supplies to Louisiana and Texas today. The help arrived . . . and 1,000 blankets were loaded and sent.

Mission Journeys/Teen Mission, Lexington, KY, is collecting supplies to send to Texas. Items should be dropped off by Sept. 12 at the gymnasium at Gardenside Christian Church, 940 Holly Springs Drive, Lexington, KY 40504. Mission Journeys is also collecting financial donations and making arrangements for disaster relief teams. More information here.

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(Sept. 1)

Bay Area Christian Church, Webster, TX (just southeast of Houston), suffered some flood damage. The good news: a request for help was broadcast and 33 people showed up at the church to help with cleanup. The church is also coordinating help for people in the congregation via Facebook.

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(Sept. 1)

Tim Liston, senior pastor with New Hope Church, a multisite megachurch with campuses south of Houston, posted a note about his church’s recovery plans.

Liston said power is coming back on at the various campuses, services are tentatively planned for this Sunday, and donations are being received from across the country.

He said workers and volunteers will be “mucking out” homes for the foreseeable future. “Our own hometown will be our Micro Mission for the foreseeable future. We’ll do this now, next week, the week after, the week after, the week after, as long as we need to do it. That’s what we do. We are the Church!”

He also wrote, “Teams of people from around the nation are coming to help in our relief effort. We’re setting up our Friendswood Campus to house up to 50 of these team members at a time.”

Liston also provided a link for church members to report if they need help because of home flooding.

(Read our Aug. 30 story about New Hope Church: “Houston-area Churches Coping with Harvey Flooding.”)

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(Sept. 1)

International Disaster Emergency Service (IDES) is working to assist churches and people in the storm region. The Indiana-based Christian church/church of Christ organization has been helping in situations like this since the early 1970s.

IDES has been contacting Christian churches in the Houston area, said executive director Rick Jett. IDES has received confirmations from Cy-Fair Christian Church (Houston) and Current—A Christian Church (Katy, TX) that they are willing to partner in relief efforts. Disaster coordinator Kit Gentis will be traveling to Texas early next week.

Once the flood waters recede, volunteer teams will begin removing damaged drywall and insulation to dry out the homes and begin the rebuilding process. Storage buildings sent there will provide safe, dry locations for people’s belongings while their homes are being repaired.

IDES will also continue to send supplies, resources, funding and expertise to this, and other church partners in the affected area.

Disaster clean-up kits and care kits have already been shipped to the area.

In addition, a donor has offered to match up to $50,000 in Hurricane Harvey contributions. Contributions of any size qualify for this matching gift opportunity. Give to IDES Hurricane Harvey relief fund by clicking here  and choosing the designation “Hurricane”, or by writing “Hurricane” on the memo line of your check and mailing it to IDES, P.O. Box 379, Noblesville, IN 46061-0379

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(Sept. 1)

Garry Jones of Pineville, LA,, whose Operation Feed My Sheep helped many in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina (2005), is hoping to restart that group to help those suffering the destruction of Harvey. His plan is to help coordinate work teams from churches and help reconstruct damaged homes. Contact him at garry.j0416@gmail.com.

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(Aug. 31)

Cypress Crossings Christian Church, Cypress, TX, posted these newsworthy items on Facebook.

Aug. 31—“Presently individuals who need items may come and get them. We will be here today. Tomorrow [Friday] we will be taking most of it to Cypress Assistance Ministries. However, there will still be some things here for people who stop by. We would like to begin working on Phase 2 of our relief efforts. The most pressing need is always cash. Please consider giving in this way. The link is https://app.easytithe.com/g3/. All monies collected online will go directly to the Flood Victims. Please email Chris Jackson at info@cypresscrossingscc.com and let him know your name, gift amount, and that it was specifically for Harvey Hurricane Relief. If you prefer not to donate this way, these victims will also be in need of Lowes, Home Depot, Walmart, Target, and Fast Food Gift Cards.

You can send them to: Cypress Crossings Christian Church, 15751 Cypress Rosehill Road, Cypress, TX 77429.

We are also forming Re-Build Teams for Phase 3. If you are interested in this and have skills in this area, please let Doug Donnell know at info@cypresscrossingscc.com

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(Aug. 30)

“Houston-area Churches Coping with Harvey Flooding”— this article is primarily about New Hope Church, a multisite with four locations south of Houston (some of the briefs at the bottom of that article are repeated here.)

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(Aug. 30)

“Creekside Fellowship Helping Shelter Storm Victims”—an interview with pastor Greg Garcia of Creekside Christian Fellowship of Needville, Texas.

The church was has been sheltering victims and helping collect relief supplies since early on.

Go to the church website for information about its relief efforts, along with how to volunteer and how to donate.

Donations to help with Creekside’s hurricane relief efforts can be made to Creekside Christian Fellowship, P.O. Box 1129, Needville, TX 77461.

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(Aug. 30)

The SolomonFoundation is accepting donations to help a few local churches in our movement rebuild their facilities, and help the devastated families affected in their congregations. All of the proceeds will go to Hurricane Harvey relief, and TSF will pay all associated fees.

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(Aug. 30)

Cy-Fair Christian Church, Houston, Texas, is helping collect funds for disaster relief at www.cfccnet.org/disasterrelief.

On Monday, Cy-Fair tweeted, “Our hearts are absolutely breaking for our community,” and on Tuesday the church tweeted, “CFCCers, we’re praying that the flood waters recede today. As they do, our church wants to be in a ready-position.”

Late Wednesday morning, interim lead pastor Dale Smith said he and the elders had contacted every member of the congregation (which averages 300 t0 350 on Sundays) to see how they are doing. Via these phone calls and other online efforts, people were asked if they have a need and/or are they willing to meet a need.

Smith said of the 16 families he contacted, 25 percent of them are housing evacuation victims. A young couple with a 1-year-old had taken in a friend of a friend who is in her 35th week of pregnancy. “You could just hear the excitement in their voice about helping someone,” he said.

Cy-Fair had several teams of five or six workers serving yesterday, going to homes, ripping out carpet and sheetrock, and using squeegees to remove water from houses. There are are five teams out working today. Fifty people have volunteered to serve in this way.

“It’s going to be a long, long recovery,” he said, “but you love seeing the church out in the community being the hands and feet of Jesus.”

Smith said Cy-Fair has arranged to partner with IDES (International Disaster Emergency Service—see above) to house worker teams and serve as a staging area in the months ahead. He said Cy-Fair, which he classifies as an urban church (though it is just outside Houston’s city limits), will be able to house supplies and lodge these teams because it has a gym, showers, and a commercial-grade kitchen facility. “This effort will be going on for a year or more.”

The church has been receiving calls from churches in Mississippi, Ohio, Indiana, and elsewhere, all offering to help.

And as for Cy-Fair’s building, it survived the flood with only very minor water issues.

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(Aug. 30)

Lifeline Christian Mission, Westerville, OH, will be working with churches and organizations to distribute shelf-stable rice and bean meals to the area impacted by rains and flooding associated with Hurricane Harvey. Donations enable volunteers to pack these meals. For example, a $10 donation provides for 50 meals, and a $100 donation provides for 500 meals. Or a church or community group could host a meal-pack event. Learn more at www.lifeline.org.

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(Aug. 29)

“Church Riding Out Storm in Katy, Texas”—an interview with Nathan Rymer, executive pastor of Current—A Christian Church in Katy, Texas (published Aug. 28 and updated the next day)

The church has set up a relief page on its website where people can make financial donations for relief efforts. Of the money collected, 100 percent will go to relief efforts.

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(Aug. 29)

Northside Christian Church in Spring, Texas (north of Houston), has a page on its website entitled “Ways to Help.” In addition to a volunteer signup system, there is a list of Houston area shelters and telephone numbers to call for assistance.

Northside has been listing items that are needed via Facebook, and also arranging for volunteers to help at the church and among its neighbors. A post Tuesday afternoon said, “Despite the continued rain you guys have showed up in a major way! Thank you so much to all our volunteers and for the lines of people that are coming and donating to families. We are accepting donations until 5 today and then 9-5 pm through Friday.” Earlier in the day, the site indicated there were enough volunteers through today, but more were needed for Thursday and Friday.

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Photo: Members of the Texas National Guard’s 36th Combat Aviation Brigade, Texas Task Force 1, rescue a civilian in the Houston area while responding in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. (Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/The Texas National Guard)

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