Help – Houston Has Flooded!
ON AUGUST 25, 2017 a Category 4 hurricane slammed into the coastline of Texas. Rain continued to fall over Houston for 5 more days. 27 trillion gallons of water fell, with 50+ inches in many areas. After the storm left, there were over 250,000 houses damaged and over 15,000 destroyed beyond repair. Total damage from the storm is estimated at $125 billion.
ReachGlobal Crisis Response, a part of the EFCA, was on the scene on September 1, 2017, just days after the storm had hit. They immediately put out a call to EFree churches to send volunteer teams to assist homeowners who needed help. As a result, Brad Vanderburgh, Rick DeMaio, Eric DeMaio, Tara Leonetti, Lynne Gough, and Dave Gough volunteered to go from WEFC.
They arrived in Houston on Sunday, July 15, 2018, about one year after the storm hit. Rick and Eric were assigned to a house that had very poor plumbing and they worked all week to replace old worn out pipes from the street and in the crawl space of the home. For the first time in a long time, the house had good clean water and good water pressure. Liz, the homeowner was ecstatic, because she has a hair salon in her home. We are so grateful we were given the opportunity to change her life for the better.
The other four of us were at Tom and Tammy’s house. It had flooded and demolition was already completed before we arrived. So, we painted and did other cosmetics inside the home. The owners were thrilled with the work and were sad to see us go, saying “It has been like having family here!”
We went on prayer walks wherever we worked, and engaged people several times and prayed for them. Other times we merely prayed over houses that were obviously vacant and in need of restoration.
All in all, the team came together and became an instrument of God’s love to Houston. We are grateful for the opportunity given to us by God and the church to be a part of the answer to the call, “Help – Houston has flooded!”
See below to watch a (3.53 minute) video of the trip, created by team member, Eric DeMaio: