A few days after the waters receded, a police car, lights flashing, parked at the entrance to one devastated neighborhood. To guard against looting? Certainly every house stood unguarded, doors and windows wide open to dry out the inside. But in an ironic twist, every house was also totally empty. Literally everything that had once been in each house—furniture, clothing, appliances, bedding—was in a huge pile by the curb, saturated, waiting to be hauled away. Even cars and trucks that had been flooded were now useless.
There was nothing left to loot.
That’s the insidious nature of flood. Wind damages some things. Water destroys everything.
The stories of human loss here are overwhelming. One man was still mourning his wife’s death when the rising waters destroyed everything that remained of her life—even photographs. He was left with nothing. No trace. As if she had never existed.
Hurricane Harvey brought devastation to south Texas in a scale that has never been seen before, a scale that is impossible to describe. While some places on relatively higher ground emerged with only minor damage, others just a few feet lower in elevation were swamped. Entire neighborhoods were flooded, many up to the rooftops.
When you actually see it, the mind reels. Block after block, mile after mile, community after community, the scene is the same. In front of thousands upon thousands of homes, huge piles of garbage that were once the bits and pieces of peoples’ lives. Beside the piles, thousands of human beings, no place to go, hollow-eyed.
At first, I thought they were in shock. But then I realized they were grieving—grieving the loss of their past, everything they had ever known. Left with nothing on which to build a future.
Group Mission Trips will be leading teams to Houston for two weekends in November 2017. These disaster recovery trips are totally different—the situation, and the needs, literally change every day. All we can tell you at this point is that help is desperately needed. Typically, once an affected house is emptied, it has to be gutted down to the studs. Drywall, insulation, carpeting—literally everything touched by water must be removed. It’s a dirty job, but it’s the only way. Then, everything that’s left must be treated to remove mildew before drywall is rehung, finished, and painted. We will do our best to inform you what you might expect—but the best advice is to expect the unexpected. Click here to learn more about these trips. If you’re not able to serve, why not help support those who can. Learn how to offer financial support here.
When you serve, you’ll find the people you help are truly grateful. You’ll meet people you’ll never forget – people whose lives will be forever changed because of the love and hope you bring.
At Group Mission Trips, our passion is creating service experiences to help people grow in their relationships with Jesus and each other. It’s more than a moment, it’s a mindset. We are continually humbled by God’s transforming work through this organization, especially now as 2017 marks the 40th birthday of our beginnings. After forty years, one constant remains true; we strongly believe in providing opportunities for teenagers to grow closer to Jesus through serving others, either in their own backyard or halfway across the globe. Group Mission Trip’s legacy of lasting impact continues.
After 40 years, Group Mission Trips has had more than 450,000 participants who have logged in more than 13 million volunteer hours. Learn more how you can volunteer or help support Group Mission Trips global ministry here.
On MissionFinder, we have over 1,000 ministries offering opportunities like this to serve at home and around the world. Does your church or organization need help organizing mission trips? Check out our partner site, MissionMinder.com. Their easy to use software will help you manage all the details for your short-term mission trips and team members online. Unlimited Trips. Unlimited team members. Easy online fundraising for your team members. Try it free for 30 days. Learn more here.