By Ray Gano
Well it is has been a week now since Hurricane Harvey devastated Houston and the surrounding areas.
Believe it or not, there are still people awaiting rescue in parts near Port Arthur and the area around the border of Texas and Louisiana.
Many think that the hurricane was the worst, and as hard as that sounds, that was just a drop in the bucket.
Over 200,000 homes have been affected by the flood waters, 50,000 totally destroyed.
People are walking around today with literally the clothes on their backs because that is all they were able to get escaping the rapidly rising water that Harvey dumped on us.
Praise the Lord for the brave men, “the common joe” with bass boats who came from all over Texas and the nation to help with rescue efforts. If it wasn’t for them, I believe thousands of people would have perished.
Tracye and I were eating Chinese food the other day and one of these brave souls was sitting across from us talking to his friend, showing pictures and talking about going back out again.
I bought them their lunch and as we walked out I thanked him for being out there and saving so many. “Your lunch is on me… keep doing what you are doing, you’re making a difference.”
He smiled and thanked me, he offered his hand and I shook it, my face showing him that I was honored. I then patted him on the shoulder as I walked out and Tracye gave me kudos and a kiss for doing the right thing.
Some people were separated from spouses and children for days because they had to get into different boats and ended up at different shelters. No homes to go back to. No jobs to go back to because businesses flood just like homes do. No cars to drive because cars flood, too. No clothes, no food, and often, no money to rebuild and replace everything they owned.
Please, before reading any further take 2 minutes to watch this video. It will give you a small glimpse and an idea of the loss that has taken place here.
PLEASE WATCH NOW – https://youtu.be/N8lytwcJ-PQ
We are now sitting a week later and residents have to choose whether to scramble to clean out their own flood ravaged house before it molds and mildews or helping a friend or loved one who desperately needs you.
Then there are people like me and Tracey who are feeling torn between helping your family, your best friend, your church, and other relief ministries. It becomes a case of “Analysis Paralysis” and you just don’t know what to do.
We are starting to dry out here in the Greater Houston area. The roads are opening up, people are able to get around, that is if they still have a car… and can find gas.
But the worse is now starting to come to light.
Now that the adrenaline and “go – go – go” attitude is starting to subside, the shock of it all is now setting in.
The shock and realization that one does not have a home anymore.
One does not have a car anymore… no clothes, no food… no job… no money.
Everything you own is on your back or being carried in a Hefty garbage bag. Some folks were lucky to grab the family bible or family pictures on the wall as they were escaping the flood waters. That will bless them more down the road than they realize.
Here is a question for you… Can you imagine losing all your family pictures?
Sure it may not mean anything to you now, but when you lose the proof of your own life and history and you wake to that realization; it is like someone punches you in the gut and you suddenly gasp for air.
Now, imagine that feeling happening over and over and over again.
You are walking through your ravished home, that antique rug your grandmother gave you before she died…gone.
All those little mementos that traveled with you throughout your life… gone.
You books, your furniture, your bed, your clothes… gone.
The shock of the realization of loss is so great that you retch and almost throw up right then and there.
Then you break down and cry… again.
In fact, you’ve cried so much that tears don’t well up anymore.
I paint this picture because this is what 90% of Houston is waking up to this day.
Those of us whose homes and businesses God spared are doing what we can to help friends, loved ones, and strangers, but we are spread dreadfully thin.
We have a saying down here “Texas Strong!” We have proven that immensely and we have shown our nation how Texas pulls together to help our fellow Texan in need.
But as the waters recede, and people survey the real damage that has been left in the wake, we are overwhelmed at the situation facing us and we realize one thing…
We need your help.
We need Christians reaching out to Christians.
We need the churches to stand up and say “We are there for you.”
How Can YOU Help?
I have partnered up with Pass The Salt ministries and we are putting boots on the ground. We have several other ministries that are joining up and all of us together are working to make a difference here in the Greater Houston area.
Ask yourself, can you spare a few vacation days and come down and help?
Can your church rally a team together and help clean up the damage?
Maybe you can’t come down, can you make a donation or can your church pull together a “love offering?
IF you can help in anyway, please go to http://coachdavelive.com
None of us are taking a salary like the Red Cross CEO or Salvation Army CEO. We are not paying office staff or even have an office for that matter.
All money is going to relief efforts here in the Greater Houston area and helping boots on the ground get the job done.
My part in all this is helping coordinate teams, finding churches that will house our teams and then helping areas that are needing help.
NOW… what you do not want to do is a bunch of you jump in cars and head on down here thinking you’re God’s gift to Texas.
You need a place to stay… most of the hotels are booked with families living in them.
You will need food … many grocery stores are still closed along with restaurants. Food supply chain is still fragile and resupply is slow, but picking up.
You will need a means to get around and well… gas is starting to come up short.
Friends, this is not a clean-up that will be done in a few days. We are looking at months upon months of clean-up work, repairs and rebuilding.
In other words, the damage is not going to go away any time soon.
So the best way you can help is to join us and join our ORGANIZED effort. Don’t be all hodge-podge thinking that you’re a knight on a white horse God is sending down personally.
You’re not, in fact if you do show up being the lone ranger, you will be just getting in the way of a lot of good people who are organized, know what is going on, and know where the help is needed the most at this moment.
We are hurting down here and hurting badly.
We are “Texas Strong” and Texas proud, but we know when we need help and we are man enough to ask our brothers and sisters in the Lord “friends, can you help us please?”
Thanks for reading this plea for help.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me. If I don’t know the answer, I am sure I can find someone who does.
Please keep Texas in your prayers. We have a lot to overcome, but what a testimony we will have when all is said and done.
Ask yourself, wouldn’t you want to be part of that testimony and legacy knowing that you did your part to keep “Texas Strong?”
Besides, you may not have not been born here, but there is a little bit of Texas in all of us.
Contact me – firstname.lastname@example.org
OR go to – http://coachdavelive.com sign up and come on down here and give us a hand.
God bless you and God bless Texas.
Ray & Tracye Gano
Prophezine – raygano.com