IDES' staff members recently returned from the Houston, TX area, but the hard work of recovery continues.
Thanks to the hundreds of volunteers from local churches in the area, 30 storage sheds were built for families whose homes were damaged by flooding. The sheds can be used for safely storing belongings while one's home is being repaired. This gift allows a recipient to save hundreds of dollars per month on storage solutions and to put that money towards their recovery.
We were blessed to sit down with Dottie and Woody who received a shed, as well as Deborah (a.k.a. "Nanna") who received a shed, as they shared their stories with us which you can view below.
Following disasters like Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, it is only natural to start asking the question of God, "Why did this happen?"
Entire communities have been devastated beyond recognition. Families have lost their homes and livelihoods. Recovery will be long and difficult. Why did this happen?
As we continue our response to Hurricane Harvey in Texas, we have already made contact last week with local churches throughout Florida prior to Hurricane Irma’s landfall. The storm has begun to dissipate, and we praise God for that. As the waters recede and the churches we contacted are able to return to their communities, damage assessments will soon be underway.
IDES is prepared to respond to the needs of the affected communities in the name of Jesus. Please pray for both the families who are recovering in Texas, and for the families in Florida who are now in need. Stay tuned here on our profile, or on our website for the most up-to-date information on our response efforts.
You can make hope possible. If you would like to donate to assist hurricane victims in Florida or Texas, please click the button below and choose "Hurricane" as your designation at the bottom of the form. Or, you can send a check to IDES, PO Box 379, Noblesville, IN 46061.
As of this morning, IDES' first two loads of storage sheds have safely made it to Katy, TX. For the next several days, volunteers from the local churches in the area will be building these sheds for families whose homes were affected by the flooding. These families will then be able to use the sheds to store their belongings as their homes are repaired. IDES' US Disaster Response Coordinator is on the ground and leading the shed-building process with the local churches.
Volunteers from several of the churches have already been furiously working to help families tear out soggy dry-wall and sort through their belongings. This road will be a long one, but we are happy to report that "recovery" has officially begun. Your generosity is making hope possible in Jesus' name for these families.
One of our supporters, Kathy, graciously offered to share a story with us from a lady named Renee who is receiving one of IDES' sheds that you provided.
After a massive disaster like Hurricane Harvey, there are thousands of people in need of physical help and spiritual hope. Some are grieving the loss of loved ones, some are desperate after losing their homes. All of them are hurting deeply. Some may already know Jesus, but many do not.
Times such as these present a unique opportunity for the Church as the whole world watches. There are two basic responses that Jesus-followers may choose:
1) Turn in, or 2) Reach out.
Hunger, cholera, hopelessness -- these are just a few of the life-threatening problems that IDES' partners in Les Cayes, Haiti were facing during the days and weeks following Hurricane Matthew last year. Les Cayes was one of the worst-hit areas of the storm, sustaining unbelievable damage and flooding. The desperate needs were clearly greater than the available resources.
"After the Hurricane we were very discouraged and didn’t know where to start," our partner said. "We can now turn the page slowly and look forward."
This turning of the page and forward-looking is thanks to your love and generosity.
Nearly 500 people have been killed as bodies continue to be recovered from the mud, with nearly 600 people reported missing (Al Jazeera News). CNN estimates that over 20,000 people are now displaced from their homes.
With very little warning, families felt the ground and floor begin to crumble beneath them as entire shanty-villages were engulfed by the rush of mud, water, and debris.
This tragedy is still unfolding as you read, with mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, and siblings still finding out which family members have been lost in the disaster. You can make hope possible for families affected by donating at the following link: Make Hope Possible. Please be sure to select "Disaster Response" as your designation at the bottom of the form.
Around 2:15pm EST, I will be taking a work-break to watch the total solar eclipse, and I am excited.
I feel like a school boy, giddy to see a science project explode in chemistry class, or something. I have never witnessed a magnificent astronomical event before, and this may be the only time I ever do! I even made my own cereal-box pin-hole projector (mostly because all of the local stores ran out of the solar-safe glasses).
As I was reflecting and daydreaming about how beautiful this event will be, I was struck by how metaphorical a solar eclipse is.
The scent of fresh summer rain has not graced the villages in the elevated, rocky area of India for several months, since the last monsoon season.
It has been oppressively hot and devastatingly dry. Not only have the cattle been thirsty, but even more so the families living in these villages. When it is not monsoon season, these families must walk for hours to the lower-lying areas where some limited surface water has gathered. This is just to find enough water necessary to survive, carrying it back up the foothills to their villages.