With flood waters receding, I wanted to see firsthand the situation in Houston and the Gulf Coast. I was accompanied by Pastor Matthew Paul Schroeder (Trinity, Fort Worth) and Intern Don Strickland (New Hope, Keller). Bishop Mike Rinehart was kind enough to meet us and take us to several churches including Hosanna, Houston, Christ the King, Rice Village and Salem, Houston. We saw varying levels of flooding and damage and pictures of some churches and areas unable to begin muck out work yet. The situation changed neighborhood by neighborhood.
Salem, served by former NTNL pastor Marvin Havard, had up to three feet of water in the education complex. We were able to spend a few hours helping remove wet carpet and other trash. Then we toured the neighborhood a bit and downtown Houston before heading home.
The people of Houston need our help. If you wish to assist individuals we recommend Lutheran Disaster Response. If you would like to help congregations rebuild you can make a gift to the Gulf Coast Synod disaster fund. Additionally you can support the Southwestern Texas Synod congregations that suffered the direct hit from Hurricane Harvey by giving to LDR or also to the Synod disaster fund.
The Gulf Coast Synod will be organizing work days to assist their congregations. Please contact them for information and continue to pray for the congregations, pastors, and Bishop Rinehart and Bishop Tiemann. #NTNL #GulfCoast #SWTexas #InMissionTogether