You made it through the long days and nights without power. You kept your family safe and warm, thanks to God and the kindness of local churches and ministry centers who offered warming centers and overnight shelter.
But now, you've encountered new problems: mud, mayhem and more.
Your city's water system isn't back in operation yet, so you have no easy access to clean drinking water. And now that temperatures have warmed, you face a long cleanup from the damage caused by burst pipes.
Texans and some Oklahomans in this overwhelming situation are receiving help—so far, 63 tractor-trailer loads of it—from faith-based humanitarian organization Convoy of Hope, which has partnered with local churches and some municipalities to meet needs in affected areas.
"To this point, we've allocated 63 tractor-trailer loads to hard-hit spots of Texas," says Ethan Forhetz, vice president of public engagement for Convoy of Hope. "Those trucks are full of bottled water, mostly."
To put that number into perspective, Forhetz says, "That adds up to about 94,500 cases of water when you break it down, or more than 2.2. million bottles."
"I cannot tell you how much Wolfe City appreciates Convoy of Hope," reads a recent text the nonprofit received. "This weather event was definitely something for the history books. We can tell our grandkids that we experienced this one, not just read about it in a book. When I saw on the Dallas news station that your organization had delivered water to a nearby community, I immediately contacted our mayor, and she was in touch with you. Such a blessing—the work that Convoy of Hope does. We appreciate you more than you will ever know. Our citizens are glad to be drinking fresh water now, because of you. God bless everybody at Convoy of Hope."
Convoy of Hope trucks departed the organization's World Distribution Center in Springfield, Missouri, last Thursday, Feb. 18, and have loads scheduled for Texas "into next week," Forhetz says. "Now that the situation is abating a little bit and the temperatures are warmer, we're not sending blankets or groceries anymore. We are sending some more cleaning supplies than we had sent initially, because so many people had their pipes burst. ... The new crisis is you have to clean up your home, which is a mess."
Convoy of Hope couldn't carry out this massive effort without the help of its partner churches, Forhetz adds. The organization worked directly with the cities of Anna and Wolfe, Texas, but in many other areas, Convoy of Hope depended on its relationships with churches and their volunteers. The following Texas churches have stepped up to help in the effort, Forhetz says: The Austin Stone Church, Austin; Bethel Temple, Cleburne; Calvary Church of Fort Worth, Fort Worth; Casa de Gloria, Garland; Community Bible Church, San Antonio; Conroe First Assembly of God, Conroe; Cornerstone Church; Conroe; Dayspring Assemblies of God Church, Santa Fe; Elevate People Church, Houston; Evangel Temple, Wichita Falls; Faith Church, Houston; Grace Christian Center, Killeen; Hi-Way Tabernacle, Cleveland; Local Church, Tomball; Hope City Church, Houston; Hope Church, Murchison; Lakewood Church, Houston; Mexia First Assembly of God, Mexia; Milestone Church, McKinney; Mundo Pentecostal Church, Pasadena; Pine Bluff First Assembly of God, Pine Bluff; Pleasant Hill Children's Home, Oakwood; Quana First Assembly of God, Quana; San Angelo First Assembly of God, San Angelo; Twin Oaks Church, Bridgeport; and Westover Hills, San Antonio.
"Over the years, we've formed great relationships with churches all across the country for times like this when there's a disaster," Forhetz says. "We have volunteers we can call on at any time to come help out with the distributions and parking, traffic control—all that sort of thing—so we can quickly get the supply out to the people who need it."
Now as in every other disaster situation, Convoy of Hope remains grateful for its donors, who sacrifice so the nonprofit can continue meeting needs in the name of Christ. "We have loyal supporters who know the mission of Convoy of Hope," Forhetz says. "And we're just so grateful for how they support us, so that we are then able to help people during these times of crisis and give them hope whenever things are bleak."
Charisma News asks for continued prayer for the disaster victims and the volunteers and encourages those who feel led to support this vital ministry to visit Convoy of Hope's crisis relief page here.
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