It has officially been a month since Harvey dumped 27 trillion gallons of water on Texas and Louisiana, forever changing our community and the people who live here.
While so much progress has been made and a new normal emerges everyday, we are still a long way from full recovery.
Daily Life in the Community.
* Piles and piles of debris still line the streets. While SO much has been cleared, SO much has not. It is not a quick or easy process. Some areas have contracted out garbage removal, some areas are requiring home owners to do it themselves.
Imagine the heartache of discarding EVERYTHING in your home, then figuring out a way to get it to the street (hundreds of trips with a wheelbarrow, or for some fortunate who have tractors push it) and then 30 days later it is still there.
* Hotels have become home. FEMA has given many families hotel vouchers, which thankfully were just extended two more weeks. Imagine the logistics of living in a hotel for 6 weeks, with no where to cook or do laundry, amazingly we have seen many people in the community bring hot meals to hotels.
When the vouchers run out, families will have a decision to make. If they can afford it, they may continue their stay until the home is ready. If they cannot afford it, they may stay with friends or family. They may try to rent a place, but right now rental property is impossible to find.
Or, like the majority of the people we are working with, they will move back into their home. Look at the pictures. How can you possibly live there, but what other option do they have.
*Local businesses that flooded are working to rebuild as well, but have left many people without a job in the process. Hundreds of stores were affected. In the midst of losing a home with everything in it and finding a new place to stay during rebuild, can you imagine losing your job too.
* Hours upon hours are spent on the phone navigating the complex FEMA and insurance process, canceling or suspending mail, internet, cable tv service.
*Facebook has become an ongoing outlet for people to post needs, information, and offer goods and services. My feed is full of posts for free furniture, hot food services, fundraisers, and questions regarding everything *above.
Daily Life for NBRI Staff.
Honestly, every day looks different for us. Some days are spent rewiring an entire home for electricity, pulling out the old post and reinstalling a new post so that the electric company can turn power on.
Some days are spent loading and unloading trailers with flooring, insulation, and plastic lining.
Some days are spent making food and organizing lodging for upcoming teams headed our way.
Some days are spent solving plumbing issues, cutting steel to fit pipe higher so that it will run the correct way to the septic system.
Some days are spent assembling large tents for women who are living in their front yard.
Some days are spent digging trenches.
Some days are spent bleaching items and looking through donations for sheets, towels and other household goods that are needed.
Everyday is spent visiting with people. Sometimes it is just to offer a listening ear, often it is to clarify the next steps in rebuilding, and usually it is running through the latest updates and needs of the family.
God remains the constant.
It is hard to believe it has been 30 days. It has been a long 30 days. However, in the midst of the unknown, the constant change, and the overwhelming work left, one thing has remained constant and that is our ever dependent need of God.
The reason we work is because of our love for Him, His people, and those who do not yet know Him. The reason we are able to work, to give supplies, to rebuild is because of His provision of energy, strength and endurance. Our need for Him remains constant, and our desire to make Him known remains forefront.
Please continue to pray with us. Pray for wisdom and intentional use of time and resources. Pray we would never miss an opportunity to share the gospel and pray for hearts to be open to hear and accept the truth of Jesus.
Thank you for your generous donations. Please continue to share -