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I’m a bit concerned that a spirit of apathy has spread throughout our nation in regards to Houston and all things IKE. Ike was not a major category 4 or 5 storm…I’m wondering if that has caused people to not take a hard look and see how devastated the city/region is in?

Chandler sent me this info via Donald Miller’s blog. Ecclesia is a local church in Houston. Below is a letter from their pastor:

My Brothers and Sisters,

I am not sure how clearly the national media is telling the story of the devastation in Houston and Galveston, but I can tell you that the rare combination of a massive storm that filled the Gulf of Mexico and the fact that it struck Houston and Galveston ( a combined population of close to 5 million people) has created a disaster of immense proportions. The majority of the city is still without power and clean water and almost everyone has some kind of damage to their residence or business. Houston, which became known as a city of generosity and hospitality after Katrina, is now experiencing what it is like to be on the other end of that kind of generosity.

Ecclesia is thrilled to be able to represent the broader church as a source for light and love to so many hurting in the devastation of this storm. We will continue to need teams skilled in debris removal, demolition, and construction for much of the coming year. If you are willing to send a team, we will work to provide lodging and logistical support for your teams. We are longing to have brothers and sisters that will demonstrate the love of the Liberating King as they help families in a time of dire need. In addition to those that will come and labor alongside of us, there are some immediate financial needs that would help us to serve the region and share the hope of the gospel. There are three areas of immediate needs:

1)Relief Support – any donations to relief support will go to purchase chainsaws, tools, food, van rentals, water, generators, temporary employment for relief coordinators, and necessary items to support relief teams. We are estimating the immediate need for relief support to be more than 25,000 dollars. If you are able to purchase any of these items in your area and have them delivered to Houston, this would be preferred over local purchasing. However both can be accommodated.

2)Financial Relief – for those suffering financially because of loss of property and income, we would like to offer a short term assistance package. For countless families and individuals struggling to make it financially before the storm (hourly wage employees, immigrants, and single mothers), the last week has often been devastating. We hope that the federal government will improve in their response time, but the church is able and willing to fill this gap. If you would like to give specifically to this package we will distribute the following on your behalf. In the case of single mothers we intend to double the assistance.
$150 Mortgage/Rental Assistance
$100 Grocery Card
$50 Gas Card
$20 Basic Toiletries
Gospel of John (VOX)
We will attempt to continue or begin a long-term relationship with all assisted families and will offer this assistance to as many as possible.

3) Taft Street Coffee as a House of Hospitality – You may know that Taft Street Coffee (the coffee shop owned and run by Ecclesia) is rated each year as one of the top 3 coffee shops in the entire city. This morning we had our power restored and would like to re-open the shop as a site for those still without power. We estimate that over the next three weeks many would benefit from a centrally located house of hospitality that offers air conditioning, a free lunch, coffee drinks, Wi-Fi, phone service, children’s play space, and spiritual support. If you would like to sponsor the food and operational costs to run Taft Street Coffee as a gift to the community, we estimate that cost to be $850 per day.

If you have any questions you can contact me (Chris@ecclesiahouston.org / cell 713 539-9201) or our Mission Pastor John Starr (john@ecclesiahouston.org / cell 832 630-4267). I am grateful for the love and support of the entire church to my beloved City.

In Service to The Liberating King and His Kingdom,

Chris Seay
Pastor – Ecclesia Houston
2115 Taft
Houston, Tx 77006

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5 Comments

  1. Chris,

    I have been taking shifts this week answering the phones here in the Capitol from distressed people in Southeast Texas. The need is very great and the available assistance is not nearly large enough.

    Cash is needed. Many people who were living from check to check have been unable to work and therefore do not have money to buy food, gasoline or anything else.

    Keith

  2. I totally agree this is such a huge scale but what I think people don’t realize is how big this really was, it isn’t just Texas although here is the worst. What I haven’t heard talked about here is that a lot of Midwest places (Ohio, Indiana and PA) were devastated as well. My parents live in Ohio in a relatively suburban area. They still have no power, water, sewer and aren’t expected to until at least the 28th. They have driven almost 85 miles to get gas regularly to the nearest town that has working pumps. A tree is in my grandma’s house, my aunt and uncle lost a roof. They too have no ice, food is runing low and the biggest problem is all their utility crews are here trying to restore things! So there is no one there to fix their uilities. Normally the local churches there would be headed hear to help with repairs or bring supplies but they are staying to help the local folks there. Look up the Xenia torndao of 78 (leveled my parents town) the officials are saying this damage is just as bad but spreads an area from Cincinatti to Columbus! I think the scope of this is what can make people seem so apathetic its just a situation where on a national level things are spread more thin.

  3. Danielle,

    I know. I have friends who have no power in Ohio Amazing. Not sure if we have “disaster” fatigue in America right now or not.

  4. Keith,
    Do you know any specific family?

  5. no, not really. I did two hour shifts every day last week and talked to 15 to 20 people every time. There are a lot of desperate folks down there.

    My job was to listen and direct them to agencies that would be able to help them. Hopefully, they got some help. By the end of the week the calls were slowing down. I hope this means that the immediate emergency was passing for most of the folks.


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