The Harvey relief effort is going strong. We are committed to helping as many people as possible. Our teams have completed twenty homes, and we currently have sixteen in progress. Five of those should be completed by the end of May. Thanks to the generous support of our donors, our teams are currently assessing twelve more homes for entry into our rebuild program.
Each home rebuilt is a life restored. This month, our teams helped the Buckingham family get back into their home. They've been living in a hotel since Harvey flooded their home last August.
The Buckingham's have been married for twenty-five years, and have volunteered their time at Lakewood as prayer partners for the past fifteen years. In those years, they have never faced an emotional, spiritual and financial storm like Harvey. When floodwaters surged into their neighborhood, they watched their home of eighteen years be overtaken by floodwaters from the back of a rescue boat. It was a harrowing sight they'll never forget.
For the next two weeks, they were unable to reach their street, and a hotel became their new home. When their Lakewood ministry leader discovered their situation, our teams moved quickly to assess the damage. They went right to work gutting and removing the mold and damaged items. Lakewood also contributed to their immediate financial needs.
In the months that followed, our teams put up new sheetrock and paint. We installed all new downstairs and kitchen flooring and replaced all the doors. Lakewood teams dressed their windows with new blinds for privacy and provided a new washer and dryer.
In April, a team helped with landscape maintenance and planted a beautiful tree that is visible from their kitchen window. The Buckingham's call it their hope tree. It represents God's hope and provision available through the storm. The family will be able to witness it for the rest of their lives.
Recalling the aid of their church family, Mrs. Buckingham said, "God dried our tears and bottled them up. One of the most significant things for me as a mother and a parent is the legacy that will be left for our children (ages 19 and 24). Our church family was there for us in our time of need when we really needed someone there to help us.
It will be something that they will take with them for the remainder of their lives. Many times, people don't see that type of support from their church family."
"Though we lost some very valuable things we cannot regain, I'm so thankful that our children are able to return to their home and the neighborhood where they grew up."
In a very dark time, God allowed Lakewood to be a beacon of light to the Buckingham family. "This has impacted our lives more than anyone will ever know. People say a lot of things, but one thing with Lakewood, if they say it, they're going to do it. And that we know for sure. We experienced it firsthand. There is no way we would have been anywhere near where we are in the rebuilding stage of our home had it not been for Lakewood. We will forever be grateful. I tell everyone!"
The Buckingham's are a remarkable family. As they move back into their home, the family will live on the second floor until new furniture is received.
If you would like to help complete their restoration process, please reach out to [email protected]. They are in need of furniture for the first floor, new fencing, and an outside paint job. Also, we have many upcoming Saturday service opportunities where you can help homeowners like the Buckingham's beautify their homes with landscaping and more tree planting. E-mail us for more information about how you can get involved.