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Update: Rebuilding our City

 | by Dr. Paul Osteen

Friday, September 8, 2017
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It is hard to believe it has only been 11 days since we began our relief and recovery efforts after Hurricane Harvey.  I thought it would be great to take a moment and be grateful and reflect on all that God has allowed us to accomplish as a church over the last few days. 

  • Hundreds of evacuees were sheltered and cared for at Lakewood for almost a week after the flood. 
  • Huge quantities of clothes, water, hygiene supplies, baby needs, non-perishable food items, etc. have been donated and distributed to thousands of those in need.
  • We continue to provide care bags of goods to people in need.  We are now taking these bags into the devastated neighborhoods where we are helping and serving. 
  • Through our partnership with Samaritan's Purse, almost 2000 Lakewood volunteers have gone out to help remove sheetrock, carpet, flooring, furniture and debris from 65 homes.  We are currently expanding our reach into areas of our city that have not been helped or served.  We will continue the 'gutting' phase of recovery but soon transition into the 'rebuilding' phase of our effort. This Saturday we have added 10 more locations for people to volunteer to help rebuild homes in those areas. If you'd like to volunteer sign up at LakewoodChurch.com/Relief
  • We have shared donated goods with many other churches, ministries and shelters in need.  They in turn have been able to get these supplies into the hands of more people in need.  We have been very intentional about reaching out to areas that were affected after Harvey—namely those east of Houston. 
  • We have assembled a team of staff and volunteers who will be dedicated to this effort for the next year.  We have revised job descriptions for many key ministry leaders and their primary focus will now be on our recovery efforts to help our city. 
  • We have arranged for dorm-style accommodations and assigned a key volunteer couple to allow visiting teams from churches around the country who want to come and help and serve in our hurricane relief efforts.
  • We have leased a warehouse so that we are able to continue to receive and distribute donated items.  We are actively pursing a 'gift registry' where people can select items that we designate as items we need (for example sheetrock, plywood, etc.…), pay for them online and allow them to be shipped to us from a local vendor.  We see this as an exciting and efficient way to help with our recovery efforts.

We are so grateful for so many organizations that have come alongside us in these efforts.  I could list dozens and dozens of organization that have been incredibly generous with their donations.  Thanks to each and every one of you.

As I have said many times, there is no better time to be light and salt and the hands and feet of Jesus to our city than right now.  We are poised and positioned to continue our efforts for the months to come.  

Thanks for your overwhelming support and generosity.  Thanks for being a part of the Lakewood family.  Together we are better. Our best days are still ahead.

Paul

 

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