Monday, December 15, 2008

Houston Hurricane Update

“In September, Hurricane Ike ravaged the Upper Texas Coast, causing horrible devastation and loss of life in Galveston and neighboring coastal communities. The impact for families and individuals who lost loved ones, homes, and significant property is immeasurable. CSM Houston, too, was not spared Ike’s wrath. Our housing site, Servants of Christ United Methodist Parish, was hit hard. The roof of the “Activity Center” (a.k.a., gym) which holds our staff housing, showers, and our food, was peeled back like a sardine can. Our three staff housing rooms on
the second floor were exposed to the full-force of the hurricane. Ceiling tiles and insulation rained down upon everything—along with 4 to 6 inches of water. It was amazing to survey the scene, a few days later, standing in broad daylight. I’ve never seen anything like it. We mustered some faithful friends and volunteers, and with help from SOC’s youth group, mucked out the rooms, saving what we could—hard wood furniture like bed frames and dressers.

At this point, the building has a new roof, but the church is still awaiting the insurance settlement before interior renovations can begin. There was also some roof and ceiling damage in the Children’s building, where our groups stay. We lost several of the mattresses in two of those rooms. We have not yet begun to replace the 14 mattresses and multiple couches and other pieces that we lost. The power is on in select portions of the Activity Center, so our groups are able to use the showers once again. We have been able to host all but one of our Fall groups onsite at SOC. We are grateful that Ike did not arrive mid-summer, which would have been much more devastating for our ministry. We should have time to get the staff housing back in order before the summer.

Overall, SOC’s four campuses sustained $1.5-2 million in damages. Their combined out of pocket expenses and deductibles are about $250K. Thankfully, volunteer hours count at $15/hr towards this deductible. Several of our CSM teams have helped to clean up and clear away debris in their various buildings. These efforts provide dual value for SOC. Another of our CSM teams helped to clean out a home in Nassau Bay which held over 3 ft. of water at the height of the storm surge. It is an amazing experience to scoop out all the material contents of a family’s home and dump it on the curb. We ripped out everything down to the studs.”

-Paul Randall, CSM Houston City Director

Thank you for your prayers and financial support! Our Houston site has been truly blessed to see God’s hand in orchestrating the post-hurricane clean up.

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