As the Texas coast continues the rebuilding process nearly three months after enduring one of its worst natural disasters, a Houston area church reflects on its ministry opportunity following Hurricane Harvey.
The nation's fourth largest city was under water following Harvey, but Calvary Church in the Houston suburb of Friendswood only suffered minimal damage.
"The Lord just protected us from that so we could be kind of a lighthouse to the community," Associate Pastor Frank Possert tells OneNewsNow.
The church immediately became a shelter, as evacuees, supplies, and food were sent there by boat.
"The Lord prepared us like right then," says Possert. "He just provided everything, and we just began to use it."
Church member Amy Cartwright helped Calvary open up its food pantry for the next week and a half, serving more than 1,000 families. She reports they also prayed with flood victims.
"I don't think there was hardly a dry eye … having somebody who's coming alongside of them every day and sharing the burden with them and listening to them and hearing what they're going through," she shares.
Calvary also partnered with Mercy Chefs to provide two hot meals each day for the people in the community. Church member Jamie Westheimer gives an example of why those meals were so important, describing one home that had four feet of water:
"The shelves were gone, the counters were gone, [and] cabinets were gone. They had a sink on a sawhorse – that was their kitchen. Yeah, you can grill, but you get awfully tired of hot dogs after a while, and you've got so much to do you don't want to stop [to make a meal]."
More than 100,000 meals were prepared. Calvary also helped clean out nearly 250 damaged homes.