July Hurricane Relief Update
| by Lakewood Church
Tuesday, July 31, 2018
On August 28th, when Mr. Carter received a knock at the door from the Sheriff's department urging an immediate evacuation, he knew the flood waters of Hurricane Harvey were growing serious.
Growing up in Chicago, he had experienced only one natural disaster from a massive blizzard that shut down the entire city for a week. He knew the protocol of staying put, but nothing could have prepared him for the long and devastating aftermath of recovery.
"When I tried to return home after a week, basically it was like a lake at my house," he recalls. With the watermark over a foot in his home, everything in Mr. Carter's first floor was destroyed, including his master bedroom. Because of the mold damage, living on the second story of his home wasn't an option. So he had to move into a hotel where he stayed for an entire six months.
He was able to move back into the second floor of his home in March after he received help with a FEMA contractor's assistance program where he was provided the bare necessities of a hot plate, a small mini refrigerator and a temporary sink.
Mr. Carter is a faithful member of Lakewood and has devoted his time to serve and encourage others for nearly a decade in our Stephen's ministry. When we discovered his situation, we rushed alongside him to help even more.
"When my Lakewood family came to help me, I was expecting just the basics because that is what FEMA provided. But Lakewood went above and beyond in my repairs. My home looks better than I ever could imagine. I am absolutely blown away by their response."
Like our other home repairs, we re-did his sheetrock and covered the walls with fresh paint. We kept his colors the same as they were before.
After so much change and time away from home, it is a comforting sight for him. We installed new doors, flooring all throughout the first floor, porcelain tile in the bathroom, new cabinets in the kitchen, granite countertops and a nice backsplash. We provided all new appliances such as a refrigerator, stove, microwave, dishwasher and a dryer.
His master bedroom received a makeover, as well. We tastefully styled it suiting his personal style with a new night stand, dresser, chest, love seat and a box spring mattress.
"After sleeping in a hotel for six months, now I really sleep amazing in my new bed!" He told our team in great enjoyment that we are so happy to provide. In June, the house was finished and now Mr. Carter is living in a brand new home.
"When Lakewood reached out to me, I just thought I was receiving help with just the floors and walls, but Lakewood gave me a double portion of blessing. I've been under the teaching of Pastor Joel for over a decade and you hear time and time again how God wants to give you double for your trouble. I'm not usually a guy that is moved to tears but I couldn't keep myself from crying when everything came together. It touched me so deeply. I had never experienced this type of generosity before. It's my first time being in a disaster of this magnitude. A lot of times, churches say they'll pray for you during times of adversity, but Lakewood took action and I will be forever grateful."
We are not just restoring homes; this endeavor is changing lives. We have now completed twenty-seven homes and are currently involved in fifteen rebuilds. We are committed to helping as many people as possible as we spread hope after the storm.