Hurricane Harvey Relief
On August 25, 2017 Hurricane Harvey hit Houston, Texas and the surrounding areas causing an estimated 180 Billion dollars in damage. Outside of Hurricane Katrina, Harvey was the largest national disaster ever to take place in the United States. The crazy thing about the storm is it was not a one time event. Harvey actually made landfall on three separate occasions over a six day period. At its peak, 1/3 of Houston was under water.
As it usually is the case with me, the images and video footage coming across the screen gripped my heart. As I was driving down the street, I felt as if the Lord was telling me to "GO". Since I am always willing to go and serve, I sometimes make the mistake of convincing myself that God was sending me, when in fact it was just me wanting to go. There is a distinct difference. So I did what I always do in these cases, I immediately pulled over and called my wife. Victoria has a unique gift of knowing when it is the Lord sending me on a mission or if it is just me. Her response was "I think you should go".
This sense of being called to "GO" was not only confirmed by Victoria, but when I called a few of my go to guys in these cases, each one said they had the same thought and they had felt an urge to call me about it. To go even further I sent a text message to Pastor Randy Landis from Life Church in Allentown and informed him that I was considering putting together a team to go. I asked if he could pray for wisdom and timing of when I should go. His response was, we (Life Church) are also putting together a team, would you like to work together. Not only did this provide even further confirmation of the call to go, but it really brought me contentment. It brought contentment, because one of the things that bring me a great deal of joy and I believe it brings the Lord a lot of joy, is seeing the Body of Christ, working in unity. During this effort to bring hope and healing to the people of Houston, Pastor Randy as well as other church leaders have truly displayed the spirit of unity and collaboration and I commend them for it. Just think of the global impact the Church of Jesus Christ could have if we became known for being great partners rather than insisting on our own movements and branding!
As a result, I ended up in Houston for what would be 14 days on the ground plus 4 days of travel (two days each way). The things that took place, the move of God, the unity of the Body of Christ was something special to be a part of. At times it was a bit overwhelming, both physically and emotionally.
Here is the part that I want you to understand. As a co-leader of this team with my good brother Pastor Ramon Morales, we had to insure, that we did not let the platform take the place of the mission. What do I mean by that? Well the platform was for us to help people rebuild their homes. But the mission... to lead them to Jesus. So what we did while we were there, was perform complete demolition on the homes affected by the flooding. So in essence, when we walked in the home, we would put everything the homeowner possessed including the drywall and insulation, and put it on the curbside for garbage. It was a sad thing to move a persons entire life of collectibles to the curb, one wheelbarrow at a time. When we exited the homes, for most the only thing remaining in tact was a shell. However, as we labored we paused as the spirit led us, and we had a time of fellowship, and we prayed, and we shared, and we instilled in the homeowners hope. Not hope in us, not hope in FEMA, not hope in anyone else, but hope in Jesus Christ. The fruits of our labor did not return void as the movement of the spirit was evident in the lives of those we crossed paths with.
I will use this space below to try and share with you some of the footage I took. However, I do so with full knowledge an understanding that sometimes the lens of the camera is not able to capture that which only the heart can see...