On Sunday August 27th, 72-year old Judy Lavigne swung her legs out of bed and her bare feet plunged into flood waters in her bedroom.
She took her dog Patches to her neighbor's home for refuge. Widowed since 1992, she'd lived in the home for 47 years. Now living alone, she couldn't bear to lose the paid-for home she once shared with her family. Overwhelmed and facing the situation all by herself, she prayed for a miracle. God stepped in and reminded her of her Lakewood family. Judy is a faithful prayer partner, and has attended Lakewood for over 25 years.
As soon as we discovered her situation, we rushed to her side and began the rebuild process. We also provided support, encouragement and prayer.
Lakewood teams provided a new roof and installed new hardwood floors throughout her entire home. We completely reconstructed her foundation in order to save her home. All new plumbing and a walk-in shower were installed, and the outside of her wooden framed home received a coat of fresh white paint. She had always wanted a red door because of a story the late John Osteen told the congregation decades ago. Today, she has that red door!
In March, Judy was part of a special ribbon-cutting ceremony for homes we've rebuilt. Recently, on one of our Saturday service days, Lakewood teams provided landscaping for her property. They laid down new mulch, planted new grass and a special tangerine tree in her backyard.
"As workers worked on my home, we had praise and worship music playing. You can just feel the presence of God in my home. Unless you've been through it yourself, you just don't know the relief you feel when you're helped when you're in desperate need. My Lakewood family was there for me, and I'm just so grateful. Without the members from Lakewood church, I would be out of my home. I know God put "helping others rebuild their homes" on Pastor Joel's heart, and I can't thank him enough for what Lakewood has done for me." Judy recalled emotionally.
In 2002, after an inspiring Lakewood service, members were encouraged to write down their vision and dream for their future like Habakkuk 2 teaches us. Judy wrote down to have a brand-new home. With the full renovations, Judy is now living in a brand-new home and is witnessing a personal dream come true.
The footprint of Harvey still lingers in our community, but God's touch of hope prevails. Because of generous financial donations, we are able to continue our relief efforts. As of today, we have completed 24 homes from start to finish, just like Judy's. There are currently 11 homes in the rebuild process and we look forward to sharing more stories of restoration. If you would like to contribute to our relief efforts, e-mail us at [email protected].
There are also other ways to serve and get involved with your gifts to make a difference. One of our members who is an interior decorator reached out to us with a desire to provide new furniture and design for those in need. We paired her up with a few homes, including Judy's. Judy's home is now fit for a showroom, with a brand-new living room and bedroom set!
We also have Saturday service days where we spend time landscaping and beautifying Harvey relief yards. If you'd like to be involved in our next service day, reach out to [email protected] and we can get you connected.
There is nothing like the blanket of love and comfort felt from a support system when you're hurting and in need. As a ministry, we are committed to uplifting the broken and restoring lives and homes. The Lord promises us in Psalm 34:18 that He is close to the broken-hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. We continually pray this over those who have been affected from the storm.