We are now entering our third week of continuous volunteer efforts in the affected flood areas.
We are VERY thankful for the people stepping in to help. Laborers are needed as clearing out flood debris takes a LOT of work!
Even at this late stage there are STILL homes needing basic debris clearing and gutting! Some homes sat for weeks untouched by any work crews, but with mold actively growing.
We are finding many people could not clear their own homes as they had no one to help them.
Some are handicapped. Some are just alone in life and have no greater community to help them.
Multiple people have said FEMA is not on the ground helping in their areas (at least from what they can see) and the only people helping are other Christian groups.
This is actually corroborated by a recent Daily Caller article stating that roughly 80% of the relief aid and home assistance on the ground for Hurricane Harvey is from Christian groups.
Other news outlets like USA Today and Washington Post also picked up on this phenomenon.
Thirsty Ground International is just part of that broader trend of Christian groups serving their neighbors in this disaster, and we are thankful for those helping to support that to make it happen!
As the work goes on this week we are reminded why we do this for the Lord.
Our goal is not to “beat” the Red Cross or FEMA in disaster response (Red Cross has about $200+ million in Harvery donations to use to rebuild anyway!) but to reach people with the Gospel by showing Christ’s love via this service to them.
What can compel dozens of people to take time off of work, or even unpaid leave, to travel from their family to a disaster area and help total strangers for free?
There’s no paycheck involved for our volunteers, but that isn’t what motivates them.
It is situations like the handicapped man whose house flooded to the roof and sat rotting away for weeks because nobody cared for him in this world.
Our team could show him there is One who does indeed care!
It is situations like the atheist family that warned the team on arrival at their home that “we don’t want to hear anything about your God while you are here!”
At the end of the day the family was in tears after the team leader prayed for them in Christ’s name.
It is these opportunities to serve strangers who are in need and reach them with a tangible display of God’s love that motivates the team to go day in and day out.
Please continue to pray for the labors this coming week as we aim to finish clearing debris and set the next team up for a clear path to selectively helping some of the neediest families rebuild. If you want to find out more about the ongoing operations and how you can help, you can find out here: Hurricane Harvey Relief Portal