‘Service Can Be A True Connection To God’

Harvey group picture

The 'Dream Team,' 12 members from five churches, pose with the home owner they helped.

NTC churches still are aiding recovery efforts nearly two years after Hurricane Harvey impacted the Texas Gulf Coast

On the evening of August 25 and into the morning of August 26, 2017, Hurricane Harvey skipped across the Central Texas coast. The Category 4 hurricane first hit San Jose Island, then Rockport just north of Corpus Christi. The storm continued up toward Houston and onto Louisiana, when it finally dissipated on September 2.

Due to high winds, rain and storm surge, millions of dollars of destruction occurred, leaving many residents in the hurricane’s path with extensive damage to homes. Now two years later, many residents of the Texas coastal regions within the Rio Texas Conference of the UMC are still in need of recovery efforts.

The North Texas Conference storm recovery initiative began in 2018 with a goal of sending 300 mission teams to the Rio Grande Conference by 2020. Last month, May 23-27, Rev. Janet Cavalier led a North Texas Conference mission trip to Victoria, Texas.

The mission team, dubbed the “Dream Team,” included 12 members from five churches with even one team member driving down from Las Vegas to participate. Members of First UMC McKinney included Rev. Cavalier, Sam Peacock, Jim Stephenson, Susan Sorley and Rob Richards, who served as mission team cook  a much needed role to feed hungry workers!

“This was a great experience for me, and I couldn’t have made my first mission trip with any people more compassionate and caring than them. My heart has truly been touched!” said Kandyce, a “Dream Team” member.

Before and After renovations

The team refurbished a residence home with construction and painting needed for the exterior of the home. Windows were trimmed, and many exposed plumbing problems were fixed. A new window-unit air conditioner also was installed.

At another home, windows that had been blown out by Harvey two years ago and a door were replaced.

The next mission trip to the area through the North Texas Conference is scheduled for October 10-14 with Rev. Clay Womack from First UMC Rockwall as trip leader. Registration for the trip is open.

“Service can be a true connection to God and it was so evident seeing the connection of the UMC within this trip,” Rev. Cavalier said.

She then shared these lyrics, “We will work with each other, we will work side by side. We will work with each other; we will work side by side. And they'll know we are Christians by our love, by our love.”  

This story was written by Liz Applegate, director of communications at  First UMC McKinney.

Published: Wednesday, June 26, 2019