Below is a message from the Evangelical Free Church of America, our denomination, regarding how we can help with recovery efforts over the long term.
While rain from Hurricane Harvey continues to fall, the full extent of the storm's impact on families and communities of local EFCA churches across Houston is still unknown.
Initial assessments show almost every EFCA church in the Houston region (15 total) has families flooded out of homes, and extensive damage in the communities they serve.
Getting into Houston is currently impossible, with many roads closed and flood waters rising, but EFCA ReachGlobal Crisis Response has staff starting clean-up efforts in the Corpus Christi area alongside Bayshore Bible Church (EFCA). In addition, they are coordinating response efforts with EFCA Texas-Oklahoma District Superintendent Bob Rowley.
As we receive information about the impact of Hurricane Harvey, may we come together and show Christ's love in a time of crisis.
Based on Crisis Response's experience with such a major event, ministry outreach opportunities for churches in the Houston area will last for years. We are asking individuals and EFCA churches from across the country to consider coming alongside churches in the affected region and the district for the long term.
Crisis Response is dedicated to meeting the relational, emotional, intellectual, spiritual and physical needs of those impacted by Hurricane Harvey. Through partnerships and relationships, the EFCA can provide a tangible expression of the gospel to those in need.
Given the extent of the damage in Houston, and the surrounding area, our goal is to raise $1 million for initial response efforts. While we are currently engaged in the early recovery stage of the response, our relationships with partners and experience with similar events like Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Sandy, have led us to emphasize long-term gospel outreach and sustainable recovery. This will lead to disciplemaking relationships and community transformation.
More information will be available in the coming days. For updates on our response to Hurricane Harvey, to give online and to volunteer, visit efca.org/hurricaneharvey.
With the long journey of recovery ahead, pray with us for wise decision-making, compassionate care, and physical protection for those in the storm’s path. The complete impact of Hurricane Harvey is not yet known, but we do know that God is in control. May the Lord Jesus be glorified in the midst of this disaster.