Wind damage comes to mind when one thinks of hurricanes, but it’s rain that actually set Harvey apart from past storms. The downpour has been torrential and unceasing, dropping over 9 trillion gallons of water on the Houston area in a 48-hour period. Because the storm essentially stalled when it made landfall, the roads in Houston and elsewhere were turned into raging rivers. Forecasters have predicted that some areas might receive over 50 inches of rain by the time the storm finally ends. Our country has never seen flooding like this in recorded memory and it is happening in our fourth most populated city.
Sunday morning the National Weather Service tweeted, “This event is unprecedented & all impacts are unknown & beyond anything experienced.”
Since the rain is still falling, they have not had a chance to really begin assessing the damage, but there can be no doubt it is catastrophic. As a coastal community, we know the anguish and destruction a major storm can bring, with consequences that last long after the winds die and the floodwaters recede.
The damage and suffering are overwhelming, but luckily there are things that we can do to help. The Bible is very clear on our obligation to assist those in need:
Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act. – Proverbs 3:27
Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. – Romans 12:13
Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.
— Hebrews 13:16
Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed. – Proverbs 19:17
You may say, “Oh well, I prayed for them, so I’ve done my part.” The Bible says otherwise:
What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. — James 2:14-17
You can visit the website for the United Methodist Rio Texas Conference which has updates on Harvey and instructions for how to assist victims of Hurricane Harvey.
Here at SGIUMC, we will be taking up a special offering for the victims of Hurricane Harvey this Sunday, September 3 during the service. Individuals can also give online or mail checks to: