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Hurricane Harvey Impact

Adventist Members Rally Together to Rebuild

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Alvarado » Hurricane Harvey will forever be recorded as a major hurricane. For many residents in Houston and the surrounding areas, it will take years to recover. The Rockport area took the initial hit at peak intensity, but the Houston area received the most rainfall, resulting in reports of 51 inches and catastrophic flooding. Residents had to be rescued by boat because the waters came too quickly for them to drive out. Experienced boaters Josh Jetter and Rob Parrish, North Dallas Adventist Academy athletic director and chaplain, respectively, joined the rescue efforts starting with an assisted living center that had to be evacuated. Dayner Acosta, pastor of the Houston Spanish North Seventh-day Adventist Church and Kingwood Spanish Company, waited on the top floor of his building praying for someone to rescue his family. 

There are countless stories, miracles really, of people helping people. Multiple Seventh-day Adventist churches opened their doors to give residents a warm place to rest, drink fresh water, eat some food, get dry clothing; anything members and volunteers could offer to make life a little easier for those affected by this disaster.

Hundreds of volunteers have assisted the Adventist Community Services Depot in Keene to assemble personal, clothing and cleaning kits. Thousands of people have donated to purchase much-needed supplies. All these efforts show the true caring heart of people all over the world.

Disaster causes destruction, but it does not have to destroy one’s spirit. The Oaks Adventist Christian School in Cypress was hit the hardest of all the Texas Conference schools. “We had just finished recovery efforts from the “Tax Day Flood” less than two years ago,” shares Brenda Elms, elementary school principal.

Saddened, but not discouraged, the staff was busy getting ready to open school in makeshift classrooms in the gymnasium. It had minimal flooding compared to the school. Samuel Vega, associate pastor of the Houston Spanish Spring Branch Seventh-day Adventist Church, posted a Facebook request for 10 volunteers to help remove the damaged areas from The Oaks. More than 200 showed up, including a group from Southwestern Adventist University in Keene. With so much help, volunteers were able to remove damaged walls from churches in the area.

Once the waters receded, prayer services were scheduled for Houston and the surrounding areas on September 5 and 6. “Our goal in going to the Houston area was to see the damage to some of our churches and schools, pray with our Houston area pastors and then have two prayer services in Spanish and English to encourage those going through these challenges,” Carlos Craig, Texas Conference President, said. “It was an incredible time together and we felt encouraged by their stories and resilience.”

It will be a long road ahead and continued support is necessary. If you or your church or school is interested in adopting a church or school affected by Hurricane Harvey, please email
communication@txsda.org. More incredible stories can be found on the Texas Conference Facebook page. Thank you for your continued support and prayers.

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