Update: Rebuilding Effort
| by Paul Osteen, M.D.
Monday, November 20, 2017
Dear Lakewood Family,
I wanted to bring you up to date on our rebuilding efforts after Hurricane Harvey. As you know, as a church we provided shelter for hundreds of our displaced friends and neighbors after the flood. We distributed countless supplies to people in need in the areas in and around Houston. Working in partnership with Samaritan's Purse, we "mucked out" almost 600 homes. And now we are starting the rebuilding phase of our efforts.
Various friends and ministry partners around the nation and world have been very generous by donating funds and materials to help in this effort. Just last week, our friends at Convoy of Hope donated tens of thousands of dollars-worth of sheetrock and insulation.
We have been very intentional about identifying those whose homes have been flooded and are 'most vulnerable' in our congregation. In selecting those 'most vulnerable', we used the criteria of: income, elderly, widow/widower, single parents, those with family members with special needs or disabilities and those who have served in our armed forces. We have identified 286 families/homes that need help rebuilding.
First, we are coming alongside these families pastorally, offering counseling, care and prayer. Secondly, we are helping homeowners navigate the resources potentially available to them—such as helping with the FEMA application process, identifying what potential low interest loans might be available and, for those who will require a total rebuild, we are directing them toward applying for a Habitat for Humanity home. And thirdly we are helping with the rebuilding efforts by repairing homes. We have 16 homes that are presently in the sheetrock phase of rebuilding.
The Lakewood family has provided an army of volunteers to help in this effort. Our "Saturday Serve" workdays have been so effective and will continue for the indefinite future. In addition, so many church and ministry teams are volunteering to come and help us in the effort. These teams are providing critical manpower to allow us to continue the rebuilding effort during the week. We are so grateful to Adventures in Missions, the Gulf Coast Dream Center and MCA Church in Anchorage, Alaska, to mention only a few.
We are really in need of those in our congregations who have special skills such as trim and cabinet carpenters, sheetrock installers, electricians and plumbers. If you have these skills and are willing to help—whether it is a day you can volunteer or if you would like to be a part of a team that works for an entire week—please contact us at [email protected].
We are fully aware that these efforts may take a long time—perhaps several years. But we are committed to doing everything we can to help our people and our city recover. We believe that our best days as a city are still ahead. And we believe our most effective and fruitful days as a church are still ahead as well. We believe that a harvest will follow Harvey.
Thanks for your incredible generosity and support.