We’re back! Our first OneLife mission trip this past week was really good. In the last post, we mentioned some of the details about the beginning of the trip. In this post, we wanted to share some pictures from the trip. After we picked up the trailer, money, water bottles, pick up truck, and donated supplies in Adam Brown’s hometown of St. Clair MO, we set out on the highway late Sunday afternoon towards Houston. As we traveled, we began purchasing dehumidifiers, shopvacs, fans, air movers, extension cords and other clean-up supplies at several Lowe’s and Walmart’s we passed along the way.
Once we arrived, we had 3 full days to work and we ended up working primarily in 3 different homes. The first day we spent in the house of a single mom with 6 children. Her house had flooded about 8 inches which meant everything had to be cut or torn out about a foot above that mark. Sure enough, as we tore out cabinets and dry wall, the studs and insulation were soaked. She was a wonderful lady and we were glad to do what we could there, as well as give her one of the dehumidifiers we purchased. We gave out a few more dehumidifiers, as well as box fans, in this same neighborhood.
The next day we worked in another home that had been flooded into the second floor. The first floor was completely gutted so we worked on the second floor to tear out bathroom cabinets, floors, and drywall all around. Mold was already growing on the drywall here which is why it is so important to get it cleared out as quickly as possible. These homeowners were actually out of town when the flood came. They happened to return that evening just as we were about to leave. The lady gave me (Tiffany) a tight hug and we embraced a long while as she, in tears, thanked us for coming.
We were able to buy a lot more dehumidifiers, fans, and supplies than we could’ve imagined thanks to everyone’s generosity in giving! On top of what we had already passed out, Adam was able to take 15 dehumidifiers, 24 fans, 20 extension cords, and cleaning supplies to Ecclesia Houston, a local church near downtown Houston. They distributed them over the next few days to people in need in the downtown area. He also went to the city of Beaumont TX, a place that still had no running water at that time, and delivered the 7,000 bottles of water we collected and bought, as well as 4 shopvacs, extension cords, paper towels, cleaning materials, mops, and bleach.
Our last day was spent helping a man closer to downtown Houston. He owns a small flooring business, but was overwhelmed by the amount of work of getting his property back to normal. Before we left at the end of the day, we prayed for him. He started crying and said “I see the heart of God in you. And that gives me hope.” He was so thankful to have help that day. Here’s a picture of the team of people who worked in his house.
On our way back to Nashville, we had long discussions about what it means to serve and participate in the ministry of reconciliation. Those we had the opportunity to serve were genuinely thankful and were so glad to know they were not alone in facing the challenges of recovering from this flood.
We would love to make more trips to Houston to participate in the relief and recovery efforts taking place there. Thank you to Adam for initiating and planning the trip. Thank you to Adam’s parents for letting us use their pick up truck, The Ridge church that took up offerings and let us use their trailer, and the Freedom Fellowship Church for being incredible hosts. A BIG “Thank You” to everyone who donated money, time, and encouraging words to make this trip possible. We were amazed by your compassion and generosity!
~ Tim and Tiffany