Last Sunday we commissioned a volunteer team to Texas to work on rehabilitation efforts. Here’s what one of the team members, Bill Stuart, shared about his experience:
Our first project for today was working at Miss Naomi’s house. She and her husband (since passed) have lived in their house for 40 years. I asked Miss Naomi if she was willing to talk with me about the flood and how it affected her. She said yes. She told me that the water level in the house was over 6 ft high. She lost everything. All of her possessions, family pictures, which she was really bothered about, and her 7 1/2 ft. white Kawai grand piano. She loved playing the piano. She can’t stay in the house any longer, FEMA is buying it. She will be moving into a smaller place. She was also told that she could not rebuild. She will miss her yard because she loves to garden. The flood waters killed all her favorite plants. Both of her children live on the East Coast but have been out to help her. In spite of everything, Miss Naomi says that God will take care of her and that her faith and trust in God are just as strong as ever. Before we left, the team gathered around her to pray for her. It was wonderful.
Our second project for today took us to Miss Marleny’s home. There she lives with her husband Freddie and son Raymond. Miss Marleny is from Venezuela. Her family has lived in this home for 26 years. The water level reached 9 ft. and filled the entire first floor. They lost everything on the first floor. She said that once they were able to get bank into the house she was surprised by all of the damage and mold in the vents and light fixtures in the ceiling. I asked to take their picture, so she called over her husband and son. I explained that I was gathering this information so that it could be shared with our church family back home. When I was done, Marleny turned to her husband and repeated everything I said in Spanish. I knew I should have paid more attention in Spanish class. Marleny told me that she is a strong believer in Jesus and that she has given everything over to Him. She said that she may have lost things, but they can be replaced. Her family cannot. She praises God because her family was safe.
Even though this has been the first day, I can say that it has been a blessing to me. I have seen God working through a group of men, of which I am a stranger, doing marvelous things for others in need. My prayer about this trip was that this group of men could be the Hands of God for those here in Humble, TX that needed them. I believe that we were His hands today. I believe that we will be His hands all week. Thank you for letting me be a small part of this mission trip. It has already had a big impact on my life.