Houston, still hurting after Hurricane Harvey, gets help from LP County church members

Information from LaPorte UMC Pastor Bob Vale; photos provided

Members of LaPorte First United Methodist Church and Door Village United Methodist Church traveled to Houston, Texas, in late February 2018 to help rebuild the homes of those affected by the hurricane Harvey flooding that occurred last fall. More than 100,000 homes were flooded after the area received more than 50 inches of rain within a couple of days. Homes all over the city were underwater, ruining lifelong possessions and walls of the homes.

The Houston Chapelwood United Methodist Church hosted LaPorte County’s 18-member team for a week. Members stayed at a local church for housing and food. Each morning they visited two different homes to help rebuild. The work was hard and the hours were long, but volunteers were so glad to help these families in desperate need of getting back into their homes.

Directly after the historic flood, homeowners had to carry out all their ruined furniture from the first floor, then slowly and painstakingly get all the mud and muck out of their homes. The next step was to tear out all the water-soaked walls, leaving only the wooden studs to dry out. Then the family needed to air out their homes for weeks and wait for the government to inspect the houses and get the needed “Mold Inspection Permit” to proceed to get a construction team to repair the damages. Many families tried to live on their second floors, if they had one, while others lived in alternate housing in the city.  

The LaPorte County Methodist mission teams provided free labor and grants from the church to offer $8,500 per home to put new sheetrock on the walls. Both the LaPorte and Door Village churches took up collections to help purchase materials for the week. Each day they got up early to eat breakfast at the church and then leave to work on the homes and meet the homeowners.

In the end, the local volunteers were able to put up brand-new sheetrock in two homes and be rewarded with the priceless smiles on the faces of the homeowners. In the end, it was the team of volunteers who felt blessed to be able to help hurting families in Jesus’ name.

The irony in the mission trip was that while the volunteers traveled 1,100 miles to Houston and minister to those there, many homes in LaPorte County and the Michiana area were being flooded by heavy rains as well. Many members of the mission trip received calls from family members telling them their home basements were underwater and the rain was still coming. The mission team made a prayerful decision to cut one day off the trip and get back home to care their own flooded basements.

Perhaps their next mission experience will be a local effort to help people in the LaPorte County community recover from the flooding.

One Response to “Houston, still hurting after Hurricane Harvey, gets help from LP County church members”

  1. bob

    Mar 10. 2018

    each and every one of you deserve a blessing

    Reply to this comment

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