Harvey was an unprecedented disaster in many ways—certainly in the magnitude and numbers of people in our parish who were severely affected. It was most heartening to see how our parishioners (and other churches) rose up to help in the face of utter loss and devastation.
Unfortunately, for many of our brothers and sisters, it’s not over yet. Many are still in flux, awaiting aid or insurance decisions, waiting for permits and bids on repairs, arranging interim housing, and the like.
Many have homes that will not be habitable for a long time to come (if ever). Many lost most of their possessions—clothing, furniture, cars, household goods, valued sentimental items, important documents—and more. They’re still in the arduous (and painful) process of having to document their losses. And for many, wondering how they’ll afford the cash outlay required.
So now we need some angels… people willing to bring “HOPE” to families in need. Through this network we will form teams of parishioners wanting to help those affected by Harvey. We want to connect them with parishioners affected by the flooding seeking assistance in different areas. Our Team Coordinators will take care of the matching of parishioners. All you have to do is let us know what you’d be willing to help with!
For more information about the HOPE Network, please contact the Social Service Ministries office at 281.497.4434 or email us.
Some Examples of How Our Network Volunteers Help:
In the midst of His greatest trial, Jesus prayed fervently. And Jesus did not just focus inward, but by His words and His prayers (John 13-17) showed that He wanted love and joy and peace and patience and all the fruit of God’s Spirit for His followers. Through your prayers, you can be an instrument of God in bringing that joy and peace to our fellow parishioners.
Ask them out to dinner…or lunch…or a coffee date. Something normal and sociable. Listen to their story if they seem to want to tell it. Not everyone does— some just want a normal non-Harvey conversation for a change. You’ll have to take your cues from them about what they need in that regard. But they ALL want a supportive community that understands it’s not over for them and appreciates the gravity of their situation. And the hassles. So if nothing else, check in from time to time by phone or email and let them know you’re still caring and praying for them. Or give them a hug and just say “I know you’re still ‘in it.’”
Slip them a store gift card to help replace lost clothing or household items. Or a grocery card everyone can use that and save money to use on replacing other items. Send them out to dinner with a restaurant gift card (include babysitting if needed). You can do this anonymously if you like—or even deliver cards to Social Services to distribute.
We have parishioners who are displaced out of town, but have to return to tend to things. Email and offer overnight stays at your place. You’ll save them a hotel bill!
Shelter for Pets:
Some folks are in temporary housing that doesn’t allow pets. Can you shelter one for someone?
Lend or Donate Items:
It doesn’t have to be new! Contact Social Services to find out what people need. You may have something they can use that you’re willing to lend or donate.
Be patient and forgiving of irritability. Remember: they’ve been through huge losses and trauma. It’s normal to get a bit cranky at times.
Finally, be encouraging. Remind them that without Good Friday there would be no Easter. And remind them that they are not alone in this. Scripture tells us that “we, though many, are one body in Christ and individually parts of one another” (Romans 12:5). We are here to walk with them through this journey.
A Prayer for Hope
Heavenly father, I am your humble servant,
I come before you today in need of hope.
I need hope for a calm and joyful future.
I need hope for love and kindness.
I pray for peace and safety.
Some say that the sky is at its
darkest just before the light.
I pray that this is true, for today seems stormy and dim.
I need your light, Lord, in every way.
I pray to be filled with your light.
Help me to walk in your light, and live
my life in faith and service.
In your name I pray,