An Unprecedented Disaster

01 Sep

image of man carrying mother and baby, flood victims of hurricane harvey
Flood victims, like this mother and her baby, were evacuated by the thousands (ABC News photo)

An Unprecedented Disaster

Heaven’s Family steps up to help victims of Hurricane Harvey

In the wake of Hurricane Harvey’s destructive crawl through Texas, you may have wondered if Heaven’s Family will be taking part in the relief efforts. The answer is yes, as you’ll read below in this special report from Jeff Trotter, the director of our Disaster Relief Ministry. I hope you will join with us to help extend the mercy of Christ, and His gospel, to suffering hurricane victims. — David Servant

Dear Friends,

We’ve all watched the suffering of thousands as Hurricane Harvey mercilessly pounded Houston, Texas, and the surrounding areas, feeling painfully helpless to do anything about it. This was an unprecedented disaster in many ways. Here are just a few:

1.) Rainfall totals broke all records for the continental US—one weather station measured 51 inches of rain! My mind just cannot fathom that much rain falling within just a few days. Millions of homes were flooded.

2.) Hurricane Harvey backed up and stalled (which is why the rainfall totals were so high), something hurricanes rarely do.

3.) This is the first domestic disaster Heaven’s Family’s Disaster Relief Ministry has ever responded to. Let me explain why.

As you may have heard me say in the past, Heaven’s Family has always sought to help those disaster victims who are very poor and have no known/significant help from other organizations, including large NGOs, insurance companies and multiple government agencies. Thankfully, victims of natural disasters in the US and other Western nations, in most cases, receive help from many sources, enabling Heaven’s Family to focus on victims around the world who receive no food, water, shelter or medical care; nor does anyone help them rebuild.

We’ve also been careful to avoid sending our “bucket” of help into an “ocean” of aid where we cannot see a measurable outcome that we can report to those who give. That’s part of our accountability pledge to you our donors. You want to make sure your hard-earned contributions really make a difference, not pay large salaries that some major aid organizations pay their CEOs.

But, as I’ve said, Hurricane Harvey is a game-changer. Not only have we helplessly watched the many nameless victims paraded across our TV screens, but we’ve also anxiously prayed for some of our own staff living in Houston and other parts of Texas. And, unlike previous major US disasters, we’ve got friends located in ground zero who can help us find a niche where we can help. One of them is Pastor John who lives in Hitchcock, a coastal community that also suffered Harvey’s Category 4 winds, which completely destroyed the homes of many of the poorest victims when the storm first made landfall. Several days from now I plan to send another update providing more details as our response takes shape.

During this whole process we’ll be keeping our focus on, (1) fulfilling our mandate to help the “least of these,” and (2) choosing responses that enable us to track the difference we’re making. So, while we’re praying for the Lord’s direction and strategizing our response, we want to let you know there’s a “Heaven’s Family” response to Hurricane Harvey that you might want to get involved with.

Please pray that our response would truly impact the lives of those who need it most, and that the transforming message of the gospel of Jesus Christ would be made powerfully known to them! If you’d like to join us financially in this effort, please click here. Thank you so much.

Because of Him,

Jeff Trotter
Director, Disaster Relief Ministry

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