Most philanthropic giving today centers on response and relief. As we have seen time and again, donations typically occur in the days immediately after a disaster strikes. Within three months, donations typically stop or have slowed to a trickle. But the work is far from done.
It has been a year since Hurricane Harvey hit our area. We have a 5-year recovery plan, but we know that like Katrina recovery, it may take more than a decade for full recovery. We are grateful for every prayer, volunteer and donation we receive.
- Housing – There is significant need for repair, rebuild, and more affordable housing (particularly for renters and low-income families).
- Economic/Community Development – Those communities (outside Houston and Harris County, especially) that were most affected have seen a dramatic decrease in businesses, jobs, and population (likely the result of lost employment and limited housing).
- Health/Behavioral Health – There are signs with children in the schools of PTSD and with additional domestic issues with families. Additionally, many of those living at or below poverty levels have put off addressing chronic health issues because of financial strains.
- Legal Assistance – Those who need help navigating the complicated assistance process and/or those with fragile document status need significant legal resources to support their recovery.
- Environmental Impact – Many of these communities are hubs for the petrochemical industry. The impact of the storm on this industry and the environment surrounding them is just now surfacing. A “second-storm” of air pollution has recently been reported by the state.
Can you help us help those in those? If you would like to contribute to the ongoing hurricane recovery efforts, click the DONATE button and then select "Harvey Jasper Newton Counties Recovery" .
The Church being The Church
By Connie Hughes, Jasper-Newton LTRG Executive Board member
After two long years of rescue and recovery behind us, rebuilding efforts have been slow to develop in the deep East Texas counties of Newton and Jasper. Complicated by being one of the poorest areas of Texas, funding and governmental help dried up. Volunteer groups disappeared after the initial event and families either trudged along working as they could or simply continued to live in their devastation.
And then arrived the TEAM Rochester group from Minnesota who took up the challenge of restoring homes and hope in the lives of the forgotten of Newton and Jasper Counties. Joy was once again evident on the faces of the 16 families who saw a light at the end of their tunnel for the first time in a very long time. The work, prayers and human touch these teams provided were indescribable. Our gratitude for the hours of strenuous labor and teams enduring minimal sleeping accommodations and meals gotten on the run and later than usual and the many other complications associated with mission work will forever be inadequate to express. It was such an example of The Church being The Church in action.
CONTACT US TO BRING YOUR TEAM:
By Lynn Larsen, Volunteer
Mildred and David. Mary and her mother. Josh. Butch and Shannon. Amber and Chad. And many, many others. And a literal ‘host’ of others including those folks at First Baptist Church of Deweyville like Pastor Charles, Denise, Brad, Keith, Anita and James, Arlon and Sondra, and the area Fire Department. Cassy. And still other volunteers in the Bon Wier area and those like Connie overseeing, supporting, and running for needed supplies, as well as encouraging us as we pressed on: These are our Family, our brothers- and sisters-in-Christ for whom we obeyed the Call to minister, embrace, share burdens as they rebuild their homes and lives, and bolster their faith. By God’s hand our Team was formed, and we became the Body—just as Pastor Larry described—with Christ as our Head, directing the way in which He would have us go and using gifts of the Spirit to become the hands and feet of Jesus that our extended Family might be uplifted. And with open and silent prayer our work efforts—often with unforeseen and disheartening setbacks—became blessings as we undeterredly gave our best, setting our eyes on things above and becoming strengthened ‘as working for the Lord’, building not only physical shelters but cherished relationships.
There was once a full immersion by the Great Flood of Noah’s day. Today we who have been immersed in the waters of Baptism into the Body of Christ cannot help but heed the Call and embed ourselves in the mindset of Christ to uplift our siblings out of the mire. Most importantly, we must preach and live the Gospel, ministering to others ‘so that none should be lost’. This is our Kingdom ‘Call’: To immerse ourselves among the world and direct all to Him—and as Oswald Chambers says, to “Remember Whose we are and Whom we serve”.
If you would like to bring a volunteer team, contact us today at (409) 423-2739!