Water started to come inside on all sides of the house. The babies were getting scared –Dora Luzreyes
The Luzreyes family was one of many who were forced to evacuate from Hurricane Harvey. In late August, the Category 4 storm moved through Houston, TX and dumped more than 50 inches of rain in four days. There was nowhere for the abundance of water to go but up.
This family of eight fled in the midst of the storm when the water quickly reached waist level in their home. They had to swim with small children and pets through four feet of water to find higher ground. A complete stranger took them in until the storm stopped.
“We came back home and saw everything destroyed,” cries Luzreyes. “It was a mess. Our refrigerator had been floating. All of the cars were flooded. We lost everything.”
Hundreds of families lost appliances, furniture, toys, cars, clothes, Bibles, and family mementos in a matter of hours. Everything wet had to be placed in piles on the curb. The vast needs are what drove Disaster Relief volunteers from 13 SBC of Virginia churches to make the long trip.
“This flood has impacted everybody. The waters were no respecter of person,” says Joe Veres. He serves as the ministry pastor at Forest Baptist Church in Forest. This was his first trip to volunteer with Disaster Relief teams. His duty was to remove wet drywall and flooring.
“We’ve been in an expensive house here doing the work,” says Veres, “and we’ve been in some really small houses that were already in bad condition with termites. Everyone needs help.”
“It’s hard work,” shares Ernie Rogers. He led a group of volunteers from Thomas Road Baptist Church in Lynchburg. His mission was to prepare meals before sunrise.
“Getting up early, sleeping in the gym with 100 of your favorite friends—it’s tough,” Ernie says. “But it’s so rewarding. At the end, you go home whipped, but after about a day, you’re all excited about what you did to represent your church, the SBC of Virginia, and the Lord Jesus Christ.”
During the first three weeks in Houston, volunteers worked on nearly 30 different homes, provided several thousand warm meals, distributed gift cards, and shared the love and hope of Jesus Christ. The SBC of Virginia established a partnership with one of the campuses of Second Baptist Church of Houston to establish the needs and best response. It’s a partnership that helped families like the Luzreyes family start again.
“Thank you so much,” says Luzreyes. “I’m just so grateful. It’s like angels around us that God sent to help us. For me, it means a lot. And I’m just so thankful to God for all of this.”
SBCV Disaster Relief teams have also responded this year to Florida after Hurricane Irma and Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria. Continue to pray for those affected by other hurricanes this season.
To learn more about Disaster Relief and how to get involved, please click below: