(Published by the EPConnection.) As of September 5, more than $66,000 has been donated to the EPC’s Hurricane Harvey emergency relief fund as the denomination’s churches in southeast Texas continue to minister during the cleanup effort. In many cases, the relief and recovery extends to their own members and families.
Christ Evangelical Presbyterian Church (CEPC) in Houston is serving Samaritan’s Purse as the volunteer housing center for central Houston. Richard Harris, pastor of CEPC, said local volunteers can show up to the church at either 7:30 a.m. or 12:30 p.m. (for those who can only work half a day) for orientation with Samaritan’s Purse and to go out with their teams to clean out houses. The local Samaritan’s Purse cell number is 713-851-5493, and the church address is 8300 Katy Freeway. Volunteers coming from out of town who can arrange their own accommodations can come to CEPC at either 7:30 a.m. or 12:30 p.m., while volunteers who need a place to stay must arrange lodging through Samaritan’s Purse at www.spvolunteernetwork.org.
For more information on CEPC’s efforts, see www.cepc.org/discover/flood-relief/
Alan Trafford, pastor of Covenant Evangelical Presbyterian Church in Lake Jackson, Texas, said the members of the congregation “are in the thick of it” by feeding refugees, filling sandbags, and distributing supplies.
“We are hopeful that the church itself won’t flood,” he said, “but about a dozen families have already had water in their homes.”
Trafford requested prayer for Brazoria County, south of Houston. The Brazos river crested over the Labor Day weekend and is 11 miles wide in the northern part of the county.
“Northern parts of Lake Jackson are under mandatory evacuation orders,” he said, “and most of the surrounding cities are expected to be under water. Thousands of people have been displaced. The level of devastation in Southeast Texas is simply unprecedented.”
Daniel Situka, EPC chaplain in the Houston area, reported that he has not been able to assess his home yet.
“It seems like we lost our cars, but don’t know about the house because we are not allowed to go back,” he said. “We slept in a shelter one night but have now moved to a motel for seven days. We hope we will be approved for FEMA for temporary residence till our home is fixed.”
Evangelist Daniel Nguyen from the Bellaire Vietnamese Fellowship in Houston reported that his home was safe and none of the church members’ homes were flooded, though one family’s rental residence had a roof leak that causing rain to drip through the ceiling.
He added that while some of their people lost income due to not working during the hurricane, “we now trust in Jesus even more and humbly stand firm on His promise ‘for God shall supply all our need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.’”
“Please keep praying for the Vietnamese EPC mission group as we earnestly reach out to the Vietnamese people with the gospel of Christ Jesus,” Nguyen added.
The EPC’s Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund will remain open for people to assist with recovery efforts in southeast Texas. In collaboration with the Presbytery of the Gulf South, donations to the fund will be sent to EPC churches in the greater Houston area affected by the storm. Click here to donate online (Choose “Emergency Relief” from the first pulldown menu and “Hurricane Harvey Relief (506)” from the second pulldown menu,) or make check payable to Evangelical Presbyterian Church and designated “Hurricane Harvey Relief,” and send to:
Evangelical Presbyterian Church
5850 T.G. Lee Blvd., Suite 510
Orlando, FL 32822
Photograph above is by a deacon from Cornerstone Presbyterian Church in Katy, Texas. He reported that flood waters in the Canyon Gate neighborhood in Katy, Texas, rose an additional four feet after this photo was taken from his living room.