MERCYworldwide ON THE GROUND IN HOUSTON
Jay Hernandez, Director MERCY Houston
Jay Hernandez, Director MERCY Houston
A man with leprosy came to him and begged him on his knees, “If you are willing , you can make me clean.” Filled with compassion, Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” Immediately the leprosy left him and he was cured. Mark 1:40-42
Very early in his ministry Jesus demonstrated what his ministry was going to be about: compassion and a willingness to touch people’s lives.
On Friday night August 25th Hurricane Harvey slammed into the coast of Texas. For the next three days the city of Houston and the surrounding areas were devastated by unprecedented rainfall. It is estimated that nearly 52 inches of rain (4 feet 4 inches) fell in just three days (in some areas it was measured at 67 inches – 5 feet 7 inches). To give you perspective, the annual expected rainfall in Houston is 70 inches (5 feet 10 inches).
The devastation is far spread. Houston City officials estimate that over 500,000 cars were flooded during the rains, and that 70% of the homes in south Houston were damaged by the flood waters. Can you imagine 70% of the homes in the city where you live damaged by flood waters?
Currently close to 50,000 people are living in shelters and probably double that number moved in with friends or family or into hotels. Entire neighborhoods are destroyed and while the rain has stopped for the moment all that water has still yet to recede in some areas.
FEMA has estimated the cleanup and restoration of the Houston area will run in the $190 Billion range.
MERCY Ambassadors are on the ground here in Houston. We have been pouring ourselves out daily, by providing relief and care to families and individuals who are trying to rebuild their homes and restore their lives. Truly, the work that is being done demonstrates Compassion in Action!
Here are a few examples of MERCY’s direct impact:
The first is the Flores family. Flooding reached five feet of water in their home. This family has three kids – two high schoolers and one younger child. The MERCY Ambassadors spent close to six hours between Friday and Saturday tearing out walls and cabinets and removing waterlogged debris. While going through the damaged items, a MERCY Ambassador found the family’s old photo albums. “It is so sad to see all of their memories completely destroyed”, said Melanie. “My heart really goes out to my friends.”
Larry Knepp, the dad, shared that during the height of the storm they needed to be rescued by boat from their house. Larry said that, “He (the rescuer) backed his boat right up to our front door and the dogs, kids and my wife and I climbed in and left everything behind.” The Knepp family was then transported several miles away to dry ground, where they were reunited with their oldest son.
In addition, MERCY Ambassadors have joined in with the many groups and individuals who are helping in various shelters and donation centers around the city, sorting clothes, putting together donation bags for the homeless and those who have lost everything. There has been a great outpouring of love and support from every part of the country. The clean-up will take a very long time and the rebuilding of lives will takes years.
MERCYworldwide is committed to rebuilding peoples’ lives impacted by Hurricane Harvey one family at a time. In conjunction with the Houston and Dallas International Christians Churches, up to 75 MERCY Ambassadors, full of compassion for those who have been affected by this great tragedy, will gather to help those in need. We are in the process of “championing” specific families like the Flores and Knepp families to help rebuild lives.
We are so grateful for the prayers of many from around the world and the financial support.
Right now we are assessing the specific needs to determine how we can best serve for the greatest impact. Your partnership in this endeavor is greatly appreciated.
Please join in and help us help the people of Houston rebuild their lives. Together, we can maximize efforts to provide relief and care to the people of Houston.
If you would like to donate to MERCY’s Hurricane Relief Plan, please click the button below
MERCY – Maximizing Efforts for Relief, Care and Youth
Compassion in ACTION
MERCYWORLDWIDE is approved by the Internal Revenue Service as a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization, and all donations are tax deductible to the extent provided by law. MERCYWORLDWIDE’s Federal Identification Number (EIN) is 264740569