Ministry leaders in Houston, Tex., are asking for your prayers amid the flooding from Tropical Storm Harvey.
Andy Sytsma, lead pastor at New Life Church just north of Houston, reports that at least nine families in his congregation have been displaced, most of whom have found family members with dry homes in which they can stay awhile.
Sytsma, a local mission leader for Resonate Global Mission, added that one of New Life’s church planters, Pablo Gaggero, was displaced from his home along with his family due to flooding and is staying in a shelter.
"Ask God to keep moving Harvey along. Pray that reservoirs will hold. Pray for families displaced. Pray that we may trust God and be Jesus to people. Pray that our witness as Christians may be broad and effective."
Gaggero, also a local mission leader for Resonate, works with Latino leaders and churches in Houston and the surrounding region. He plans to use his current residence, which has sustained some flood damage, for a church plant site in the future.
Sytsma also asks us to pray for members of Peace Community CRC in Bear Creek, as several members there have also had to evacuate their homes.
One area of Houston that has remained “relatively dry,” according to church planter John Eigege, is Houston’s third ward, located in southeast Houston and home to Square Inch Houston, a church that Eigege leads.
“One of the fortunate things about living in a neighborhood surrounded by highways . . . is that the water recedes pretty quickly,” said John.
“In all of this,” Eigege adds, “I am so encouraged by the efforts made by Houstonians to look out for each other. Many people have personally volunteered with their boats to search out and rescue strangers.”
Sytsma echoes Eigege’s pride in the community’s ability to rally around one another, which he says has been especially encouraging in a nation that often feels divided by recent political events.
“We’ve been turned away [from helping to offer support] at shelters because they have too many volunteers,” added Sytsma. “It’s just amazing to see how people have come together to support one another—no matter the color of your skin or if you’re left or right.”
If you wish to contribute to relief efforts, give through Resonate’s sister agency World Renew: www.worldrenew.net/hurricaneharvey. Funds directed toward World Renew’s relief efforts will go toward general community needs as well as specific CRC-related ministries like the partners of Resonate that Sytsma mentions.
Christian Reformed Churches and Ministries in the Houston Area
Casa de Oracion
Mision de Fe
New Life Church
Peace Community Church
Square Inch Houston