JOIN A RESPONSE TEAM
Trips are planned for Oct. 6, Oct. 11, Nov. 3 and Nov. 8
Dear Friends in Christ,
When one part of the body is struggling, we all hurt. It is time to come alongside all of our brothers and sisters in Houston following the devastation of Hurricane Harvey. With that, come lots and lots of opportunities to be Jesus’ hands and feet and heart in a place that has seen so much destruction and damage.
St. Johns’ has been in touch with a growing coalition of congregations, focused in Texas, and especially in the Houston area. We are working as partners with Concordia Lutheran Church in San Antonio, which is becoming a staging place for the recovery and restoration parts of this work, which will, no doubt, take months and years into the future.
I participated in a conference call early yesterday about recovery work. I hope to have a better idea in the next few days as to exactly what is needed and the opportunities for you to serve and put your hands to work with our dear friends.
We, as a congregation, are committed to giving the dollars needed directly to the people who need it. The Texas District of the LCMS provides the best investment of our dollars in the recovery work in the Houston area. Their people are on the ground, already in contact with the entities in the Houston area and are setting up in churches in their community.
To Contribute DIRECTLY to the disaster relief in Texas, use this LINK:
GIVE to Disaster Relief
If you prefer it, a link has been added to St. John’s Online Giving – Choose “Hurricane Harvey Relief” from the drop-down menu. Special Envelopes will be available in all worship services as well.
As many of you know, Pastor Chris and Jeanette Singer’s home was flooded and they were evacuated on Sunday. One of their sons was able to go back to their home yesterday and it appears that much of their belongings are lost and the effect of the water on the home will not be determined until the water begins to recede. Until we know the extent of the damage, we will hold any personal offerings for them to restore their home. We will proceed with assistance as we are invited by Pastor Chris and his family. We are, however, committed to coming alongside all relief efforts, both financially and with teams of missionaries that we will organize in the days ahead.
We continue to have our “feelers” out and continue to gather information. We have been advised that, until the rain has stopped and the water recedes, we should not send any people into the storm-damaged areas. It would be more difficult for those on the ground, since they must feed and house the workers while trying to assist those who are evacuated. We will go when we are invited and they are ready for us. The Texans have this under control.
I am working with other large groups in Orange County, such as Lutheran High, Crean Lutheran High, Concordia University, to create partnerships that will provide for maximum impact for our District and workers. I am asking you to pray that we can work together as a community of faith among the Orange County community and organizations.
From assisting in prior disasters, we have learned that one of the first needs in a disaster is fuel. The funds generously given last weekend are being sent to Fuel Relief Fund, managed from here by Fred Whitaker.
Fred reported this to me on Tuesday morning:
“Yesterday, Fuel Relief Fund was able to start giving away free fuel in the areas that were hardest hit by the eye of Hurricane Harvey. Our team of dedicated volunteers stationed the fuel truck in a large parking lot centrally located for the citizens of Rockport, Lamar, Fulton and, Arkansas Pass. In these towns there is immense devastation and most people have either lost their homes or they are no longer inhabitable.
There is absolutely no access to any fuel. In one day the Fuel Relief Fund team was able to give away more than 2000 gallons of fuel and 500 gallons of diesel. They gave about 10 gallons to each vehicle in the long line of cars. This fuel allowed people to escape from the area and find shelter in safer places. Additionally, the team filled around 250 containers with between 1 to 5 gallons of fuel to power generators. There is no electricity at all in the area, so this free fuel enabled people to run their generators for lights and power.
With your donations Fuel Relief Fund can continue their work. We thank all of you for your support. One day has already helped so many in need. I'm told by Joseph Lee - our volunteer leader on the ground - as soon as the roads are passable in the Houston area, they will get up to Trinity. Just wish we could be there sooner.”
Fuel Relief Fund
Thank you for your concern, your messages, your love and your desire to help God’s people who are suffering and struggling in Houston.
Together in Christ,
Pastor Tim Klinkenberg