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.
Widowed since 1992 and living alone, she took her dog Patches to her neighbor's home for refuge. She couldn't bear to lose her paid-for home she once shared with her family. She had lived in it for over 47 years. Overwhelmed and facing the situation all by herself, she prayed for a miracle. God stepped in and reminded her of her Lakewood family. For over 25 years, Judy has attended Lakewood and served in various ministry avenues. Today, she is a faithful prayer partner.
As soon as we discovered her situation, we rushed to her side and began the rebuild process. We also provided support, encouragement and prayer.
We've provided a new roof and installed new hardwood floors throughout her entire home. We completely reconstructed her foundation in order to safely save her home. We've installed all new plumbing and a walk-in shower. We dressed the outside of her wooden framed home with fresh, white paint. She has always wanted a red door after being inspired by a story she heard the late John Osteen tell the congregation decades ago. So, per her request, she now has her very own red door!
In March, Judy was part of a special, ribbon-cutting ceremony where Lakewood leadership held a special celebration commencing the finished homes we've rebuilt. Very recently on a Saturday service day, we had a team provide landscaping for her property. They provided 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 recalls in great emotion.
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; her home now is a brand-new home.
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.
If you would like to contribute to this endeavor, e-mail us @[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 beautifully 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, we can give you more information when you e-mail us. Whatever you have in your heart, you can 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.
As of today, we have completed 24 homes from start to finish just like Judy's. To read about others' stories, simply scroll back to visit past blogs. We are currently in the rebuild process of 11 homes and look forward to sharing more stories of restoration after the storm.