Houston Flood Recovery
A Note from Pastor Oren
Dear FBC Family,
In the wake of the terrible disaster that has come to South Texas due to Hurricane Harvey, I want to communicate to you some ways we as a church family can respond. I know many of you have posted on social media ways to respond now, and it is necessary that we do so. The best approach is for us to unite together in the same ways. The FBC staff has been in communication with a number of different organizations and ministries so we can put our resources to the best use for the greatest good.
As of now, the primary objective in South Texas is search and rescue. From Corpus Christi to Houston and in many other areas, there is still uncontrolled flooding, and many rivers and streams have not even reached their peak crest, which means more flooding in the days to come. Even today, the torrential rain continues to fall in the Houston area and the rescue efforts will be of utmost importance until the water recedes. Unless you have a boat and are trained in search and rescue operations, there isn’t much you can do “on the ground”. It is a helpless feeling, but not one which we have to live with. As we saw in our own city last year, the damage from flooding will be widespread and the need will be substantial for years to come. I want to give you 4 primary ways that we can contribute to the recovery in Houston over 3 different time frames: immediately, short term over the coming weeks, and long term in the months ahead.
The Southern Baptist Disaster Relief (SBCDR) teams are organized and operated by the North American Mission Board. They already have teams on site and are continuing to mobilize massive groups of volunteers to make their way into Houston once it is safe. You can help with this effort by simply giving funds to support the immediate recovery effort through SBC Disaster Relief. Unlike some other organizations that have to pay their workers and coordinators, the SBCDR operates with volunteers and the paid staff is not funded by any donations. So 100% of what is given will go directly to the recovery effort. From your phone you can text SEND RELIEF to 41444 and make an immediate contribution. You can also visit www.namb.net/donations to make an online donation to Send Relief (click on the Send Relief link and enter amount you want to give).
There will be 2 short-term projects that we will be participating in over the next 2-3 weeks to help with recovery effort.
Water collection is going to be a major need in South Texas over the next several weeks. By simply picking up a case of bottled water and dropping it off at the church, we can collect several dozen cases of water to donate where it is needed.
We will also begin collecting supplies to put into Recovery Buckets. These 5-gallon buckets will be filled with necessary supplies for the clean-up effort that will begin as soon as floodwaters recede. Each bucket will cost approximately $65 to prepare, and our hope is that every home in FBC BR will provide 1 bucket for a home in Houston/South Texas. Click Here for the document that details what will go into each Recovery Bucket. You can participate in this ministry in 3 ways:
- You can collect the bucket (with lid) and all of the items and bring it to the church for collection and distribution.
- You can donate individual items for additional buckets to be put together by our church family
- You can donate funds to help purchase needed items
We will be taking these recovery buckets to Texas as soon as we can get our 1st team organized and ready to roll. This will begin the long-term phase of our efforts
As we have seen on the many new reports and articles, the long term effects of this storm in South Texas are almost too big to conceive. It will cost billions upon billions of dollars to help people in that area get back to some kind of normalcy. But money will not be the ultimate need; it will be willing people who volunteer their time and energy to show up and meet the needs of the millions affected. So our plan is to partner with SBC Disaster Relief and send volunteers from our church family to Houston as often as possible to give assistance where it is needed.
We will also be coordinating with University Baptist Church Houston as a partner to help with recovery. This is where Jason Haynes grew up attending church and they have first-hand knowledge of what is needed and how we can meet that need. So keep your eyes and ears open in the coming days for information on when we plan to go and what we plan to do.
Join us on Wednesday evening for prayer meeting and Bible study, where we will share further information about disaster relief efforts for anyone interested. See the following links for more ways to help.
Text “FLOOD” to 97000 to receive updates on your phone on how you can help our continued efforts in the upcoming weeks and months.
Click the article below to read how you can become a SBC Disaster Relief Volunteer
Other opportunities to get involved:
Food banks will be on the front line of providing relief to people who've lost access to nutritious food, and the Houston Food Bank will be providing immediate food distribution to the families most in need. According to the Houston Food Bank, every one dollar you give can provide a full day of meals to a family in need in southeast Texas.
While food banks will provide food, the Texas Diaper Bank will be stepping up in to provide diapers, since they're not provided by relief agencies. The bank gives seniors, babies and the disabled over 1.1 million diapers per year, and they also made this adorable video featuring extremely Texas babies in cowboy hats and cowboy boots.