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Houston, We Have Not Forgotten

Posted by Kendra Duty on

Tragedy strikes, then life goes on. You know the feeling -- especially when that tragedy has happened to you. So this is how Houston must feel right now. The news outlets, the media, and many Americans have moved on, but as those who felt it hit very close to home, we at New Life cannot. In College Station, we are still hearing stories of loss, stories of unity amongst Houston churches, and considering how we can help those who are suffering just an hour's drive away. 

Through the Acts 29 Network, we have partnered with other member churches to send disaster relief teams on the weekend. Many of these churches have endured a great loss and do not have many resources. We have sent several teams to help and more are forthcoming. One of the team members, Claire Hall, recounts her experience with the relief efforts:

"It was a deep honor to be able to drive down to Houston as a part of the team to rebuild after Hurricane Harvey. It's hard to put into words how incredibly grieving it was to see so much devastation...the news & the media has moved on, but the effects of Harvey are still very real to the thousands of people who have lost cars, homes, and possessions. There is so very much help that is needed."

"The most grievous part of Harvey's aftermath, though, is not the voluminous physical rebuilding of the city that is needed; it's the loss of immaterial things that we should mourn, too. Because of Harvey, people have lost places that shaped them, places where they created memories. They have lost reminders of their stories, places where they have lived out their lives. During my time in Houston, I was challenged to not look upon the city as a project. The deep pain that many people feel over losing material and immaterial things is a kind of hurt that can only be healed by the Lord. While there is much physical labor to do, it is also a time to mourn with people, to walk patiently alongside the grieving, and to pray for God to bind up the brokenhearted."

While Claire and the team barely scratched the surface of all that needs to be done, the Lord used them as seeds of hope and joy in one woman's life. Through the sacrifice of their time and hard work, they are showing the people of Houston that they love God and they want to show that love to others, especially those who are hurting and in need. Claire was able to see how God used their team as she reflects, 

"The loss and pain that is mourned, though, is not the final word. During the trip to Houston, I saw God use the pain as a means to bring hope and healing to Houston. Our New Life team got to play a tiny part in that healing process as we put up new insulation and sheetrock in the home of a sweet lady who was in her 90s. She had lived in her home for over 50 years, and now that home is without floors or finished walls. I don't think I'll forget the grateful smile that was on her face as she saw our team working together to rebuild her home. She was so touched that she even began to cry when our team prayed for her at the end of the day."

"The harvest is ripe in Houston, and the destruction of Harvey has opened many doors into people's lives. I was an eyewitness to the truth that, like it says in Genesis, what the enemy meant for evil, God means for good. I pray that New Life can continue to mourn alongside Houston and be longsuffering friends as we seek to share the compassion that Jesus has shown to us."

Please consider coming with us on a relief trip this weekend and seeing how God would use your sacrifice to impact others. Find out more here