2018 Hurricane season
With the handprints of Hurricane Harvey still lingering on our city, we are uniquely positioned to understand what many of our neighbors to the east are facing in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence and Hurricane Michael. As opportunities to volunteer or share resources become available, we will be sure to share them here. In the meantime, if you would like to donate to organizations poised to support those ravaged by these storms, we encourage you to do so via Samaritan’s Purse or the Salvation Army.
Let us not forget how we were each impacted just a year ago or miss this opportunity to be a missionary through our contributions.
FPC Remembers Hurricane Harvey. Click the image above to view video.
August 2017, Hurricane Harvey made landfall on the Gulf Coast and then crawled its way slowly toward Houston, dumping over 52 inches of rain in some areas. The flooding that ensued was some of the worst in Houston’s history, submerging entire communities and destroying thousands of homes. Many displaced by the flooding would not be able to return to their homes for months and others, on the brink of poverty before the storm, were made especially vulnerable.
In the midst of tragedy and loss, the Church in Houston had a unique opportunity and still does to minister to our city. To that end, FPC has been partnering with other local churches, ministries, and relief organizations to help communities through the clean-out, relocation, rebuilding, and recovery process. As a church family, we have been acting to tangibly communicate Christ’s love through service that cultivates meaningful relationships and supports long-term recovery.
Harvey Response Fund
Thank you to everyone who has so generously contributed to FPC's Harvey Response Fund. To date, over $349.000 has been received. Working with Missions and our Ministry Investment Team, the Harvey Response Benevelonce Team (HRBT) has been established to review and release Hurricane Harvey relief contributions. We have been in communication with FPC ministry partners and organizations who are effectively and compassionately responding to the great need following Hurricane Harvey and related flooding. Session endorsed the procedures, and the HRBT approved allocations of funding to ministry partners and responded to requests. HRBT's strategy is to respond to FPC ministry partners responding to Harvey, other ministries and organizations connected to FPC who are effectively responding and providing specific services essential to recovery, and to individual needs of FPC Covenant Partners (members) and extended FPC family and staff. An FPC Hurricane Harvey Report is available at the "Report" link.
A Year Later, Need Still Exists:
FPC has helped to connect our Covenant Partners and other individuals and teams from across the United States to find places to serve those impacted by Hurricane Harvey.
Ways to Be Involved:
FPC is working with the following mission and community partners to invest in local communities affected by Harvey.
- Attack Poverty (Friends of Northside Houston) – Attack Poverty is building its ministry to families in the Near Northside through meeting tangible needs in the wake of the hurricane. Click here to see an update on their work thus far. Volunteers and teams are partnering with Attack Poverty by repairing homes, praying with homeowners, and assessing the needs of the neighborhood. Attack Poverty's long-term goals are to partner with local schools to provide after-school programming and to have a community center that serves the neighborhood. FPC hopes to help Attack Poverty (their neighborhood-specific name is "Friends of Northside") to build relationships and tangibly respond to the needs of the Northside community. Friends of Northside is entering into a new program year and will be launching additional programs and opportunities for churches, community members and other volunteers to engage.
- You Can Academy is a weekly after-school program that provides assistance with homework, technology, reading, and enriched spiritual activities to the academically at-risk kids in our community.
- ESL class will be offered to adults seeking to learn English as a second language.
- Community Listening is an opportunity to go door-to-door surveying residents their thoughts and hopes for their community.
- Healing Prayer is designed to bring healing and wholeness to Northside community members.
- Harvey Home Repair program works in association with families directly impacted by the storm.
For more information, contact Ashley Cadis at Ashley@attackpoverty.org or 972-322-7252.
- Agape Property Repair Team - Agape Development's Agape Property Repair Team has been working intensely to respond to the great need for home restoration. APRT has a proposed strategy for the coming year: The Agape Property Repair Team (APRT) is expanding from our current crew of four to two crews in order to have one crew that can dedicate their time to helping those in need with Harvey rebuild. This expansion is the maximum we feel we can do at the moment and still assure the quality and training control necessary to ensure we are delivering quality work. We are doing this so that we can allocate significant work to the Harvey need while still keeping our current customer pipeline of work happy for our business moving forward. As is outlined in detail below, we would like to dedicate 8,000 labor hours to Harvey rebuild work in the coming year. We believe that 8,000 hours can complete the rebuild work in at least 18 homes. FPC is referring skilled teams to come alongside APRT.
- SHERPA (Denver McCollister's Harvey Response effort) - FPC collaborates with Denver McCollister and his Harvey recovery response outreach, SHERPA - “coming alongside to help carry the load”. SHERPA stands for “Serving Houston (by) Engaging in the community, Rebuilding after Harvey, Partnering w local ministries, All in the name of Jesus. FPC has connected individuals and mission teams with Denver.
- Harvey Hospitality Team - FPC welcomes Harvey recovery mission teams from around the nation who are serving with Attack Poverty, Agape Development, Sherpa, Denver McCollister’s outreach and other partners. Teams are hosted in FPC's Oakdale apartment, and a Harvey Hospitality Team provides some meals and welcome snacks for the teams. It’s a wonderful way to express our appreciation for their service. To be part of the Harvey Hospitality Team, contact Erin Varnell at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pray – Pray for those individuals and families who are still dealing with post-Harvey issues. The physical need is still great as well as the emotional healing. Pray for the amazing ministries and organizations who are tirelessly serving and helping restore lives and property. Pray for wisdom, creativity, and opportunities to serve our city with the love of Christ. We need the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
Gather Your Friends – Small Groups, Sunday School classes, or any group you are involved in can participate with our ministry partners as they do Harvey response work as well as their other ministry efforts. If you have a group of any size interested in helping, email Mary-Floye Federer email@example.com.
Do You Need Help Recovering From Harvey?
We know that the recover from Hurricane Harvey will take a long time for many people.
If you are still facing challenges and need assistance, please fill out this form which will be sent to Mary-Floye Federer (firstname.lastname@example.org) sharing your situation and need.