What the hurricane and floods reminded our family…

Over the past month, I wrote about family – a lot.

There was that post about savoring the summer on how we made the most of those final days of summer {family dinners, zoo trip with Grandson, and the gals trip to Pawhuska, OK}.

Recent posts also included lessons from the ballpark where I recount not one, but two major moments of fear at, yes, the local ballpark. And what are you taking for granted this summer? – a post on my need for a/c and those who don’t have it.

See, awhile back, I surveyed readers and asked what they’d like to see me write about. Several requested more family and personal topics.

And while this blog’s mission – encouraging others to build up their faith through stories of life, faith, and family – remains unchanged, those three categories were somewhat off-balance.

I needed more *family* posts.

Then, Hurricane Harvey happened.

A month ago, I started this post. Many of my people were dealing with the approaching flood waters as I tried to write.

Our initial concern was for a nephew and his wife who live in Corpus Christi. They evacuated and returned home days later, the damage being much less than they had feared.

As news of the devastation and flooding in Houston played out on the television, I wondered if the media was exaggerating things. Then, I began to receive pictures like this from my parents and brother, who live next door to each other in a rural community near Houston.

Can anything good come from a hurricane or flood? Read what our family learned when the storm came. God is bigger than the storm and flood.
Looking off my parents’ front porch as the flooding began. And, no, there is not usually a pond in their front yard.

We had already begun to mobilize relief efforts through our Christian nonprofit. Our directors allocated an initial $10,000 to assist families affected by the storm. In three days, $10,000 became over $100,000 as people from California to Carolina gave to the cause.

While my brother, his wife, and our parents watched in dismay as the flood waters rose, their sons and grandsons were hauling water, ice, generators, and food to communities ravaged by Hurricane Harvey.

The flooding intensified – and I could not have gotten to my parents if I’d tried…roads were impassable…airports shut down…cell service unsure.

Days later, the water line inside my brother’s house was upwards of four feet.

My parents had close to a foot of water inside. My brother and his wife lost nearly everything, including vehicles. My parents lost some furniture, and they must replace flooring and sheet-rock submersed in water for days.

My brother and sister-in-law’s house, as flood waters continued to rise.

They were evacuated from their property in a small boat, in the pouring rain. For my poor Mom, who never learned to swim, this may have been the most traumatic part of the ordeal.

Thousands of families around them are attempting to put their lives back together. It’s a recovery of epic proportions.

What the hurricane and floods reminded our *family*.

As I write this family post, I feel I can speak for all of us in saying this is some of what we were reminded of over the past few weeks.

#1 – We are stronger together!

Etched in my memory are the images of the initial cleanup and coping. Children and grandchildren showed up. They moved furniture, tore down sheet-rock, hauled off debris, and packed up what was salvageable.

Can anything good come from a hurricane or flood? Read what our family learned when the storm came. God is bigger than the storm and flood.And on a Sunday morning, in the middle of the mess {and our own sweat and stench} multiple generations took time to hand out relief supplies to neighbors and families trying to cope themselves. Why? Because we have a legacy of helping others; of sharing God’s love and lending a hand.

This reminded us, as *family*, we are stronger together.

#2 – Most people are good and generous!

As the initial recovery began, we were busy organizing and distributing water, ice, and food to gulf coast communities affected by the storm. In the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, our organization joined forces with churches and local authorities to provide relief to victims in and around Cleveland, Texas.

To date, we have received equal to seven 18-wheeler truckloads of water pallets, generators, food non-perishables, baby supplies, clothes and shoes, blankets, and more.

This reminded us most people are good and generous in time of great need.

#3 – God is bigger than the storm!

These were the words my brother sent to ministry partners. “God is bigger than the storm!” When he shared it in an e-newsletter to the mailing list of our Christian nonprofit, he had no idea his own house would be taken out by the flood waters.

Since that day, God has shown Himself faithful. He not only supplied the resources for us to help hundreds of people living near our family, but thousands more scattered across south Texas.

Certainly, this is a challenging time for our *family* affected by the storm. 

They are currently displaced from their houses, but are fortunate to be at home with other family who live nearby. And family and friends are reaching out to provide assistance to them, personally.

Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it. {Song of Solomon 8.7a AMPC}

In all of this…

*We’ve seen people lay aside indifference and weep with neighbors.

*We’ve watched as politics, race, and economic status gave way to care and concern for those in need.

*We’ve witnessed hearts breaking for those across the street, in Florida, in the Caribbean islands, and, now, across the border in Mexico.

And we see that in *this* God truly is bigger than the storm!”

Our *family* on the day we served others who lost so much in the “storm of the century” in south Texas.
God is bigger than the storm! #family #whileiponder Click To Tweet

images mine -or- visionariesint.org

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