Residents along the Texas coastline and into Louisiana are marking the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Harvey.
The Category 4 storm made landfall in Rockport, TX on Friday, August 25, 2017. After whipping through that area with destructive winds, Harvey circled around back into the Gulf of Mexico and then dumped some 60 inches of rain on the Houston area before eventually flooding Beaumont and parts of Louisiana.
Churches and organizations affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention played a huge role in helping hurricane victims. "At one point, we were working at 17 different locations," says Scottie Stice, director of Southern Baptists of Texas Convention Disaster Relief.
Damage from Harvey was estimated to exceed $125 billion. Now – a year later – Stice shares the extent and the enthusiasm of the opportunity for ministry in an area of devastation.
"... The potential is just unbelievable," he shares. "To think that if it's your family that's going through a storm, and here comes Southern Baptists – either from a church down the street or from out of state or from another part of the state of Texas – and they come and help you at no charge. They pray with you, they share hope with you, and they seek to minister right where you're at. What a ministry!"
According to numbers from the Southern Baptist Convention, volunteers from 30 state conventions across the country logged more than a half-million hours of volunteer service – which is valued at more than $12 million.
Editor's note: Image above shows an area in Texas flooded by Hurricane Harvey in August 2017.