Doing God’s work helping hurricane victims in Texas

Submitted Photo Volunteers from Calvary Chapel Minot and Living Word Lutheran Church traveled to Texas over Thanksgiving week to serve food to hurricane victims and to serve up a Thanksgiving dinner at a church there.

A group of volunteers from Calvary Chapel Minot and Living Word Lutheran Church traveled to Aransas Pass, Texas last month to help victims of the recent hurricanes there.

“We made food and took it out locally and shared the Gospel,” said Pastor Bill Smith of the Calvary Chapel in Minot.

They also served 150 people at a Thanksgiving dinner served at a local church.

The group of 17 volunteers included teens and adults. They were hosted by Calvary Chapel Coastlands in Corpus Christi, Texas, and Calvary Chapel Crosswinds in Ingleside, Texas.

Minot residents well remember the devastation following the Souris River flood in 2011 and the army of volunteers from North Dakota and elsewhere who arrived to help people clean flooded homes and begin to rebuild their lives.

Hurricane victims are also rebuilding after the hurricane earlier this fall, but Smith said it will be another kind of challenge for them.

“It is a different destruction than what happened in Minot six years ago,” he said.

Minot flood victims often could not return to their homes for some time because of high water and had the task of cleaning ad disinfecting water-damaged homes and property. Hurricane victims were able to return to their homes relatively quickly, but they found complete devastation. Homes will have to be torn down and rebuilt from the ground up in many cases. Smith said a large number of people in the area did not have insurance, which has increased the difficulties they encounter.

(Some) are living out of their cars,” he said.

Smith said the volunteers from Minot wanted to bring hope to the hurricane-infected community and the love of God.

People in crisis need that human contact, someone to give them a hug and listen to their stories and share community in the middle of a crisis.

“This is really God’s work in Texas,” said Smith. “We’re just the donkey he rides in on.”

The volunteers also benefited from the experience. Smith said he noticed a big change in some of the eight teenagers who went on the trip.

Volunteers from Minot may receive training so they can work with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Red Cross to help in disaster-stricken areas, said Smith.

Rev. Jeff Hoverson from Living Word Lutheran also went on the trip.