Monday, November 18, 2013

"D" Disaster Relief

This blog will deviate from writing and crafts, however many of the stories that I heard and my experiences should be recorded. I deployed with Texas Baptist Men, Disaster Relief to Manchaca, Texas, south of Austin, to assist in clean up and recovery after flash flooding destroyed or damaged over 2,000 homes.
I served as part of the feeding team. I've never experienced disaster relief cooking in a commercial style church kitchen. What a pleasure to be inside and not under a tent from 4:30 .A.M. until 7:30 P.M with short breaks. During the three weeks that TBM were deployed we served 1,740 meals to the volunteers who cleaned homes.

This is one of the many homes where the family took refuge in the attic and had to be cut out. Water flowed over the window sills. Many family left the area and had not yet returned to clear damaged furniture from their homes. Our clean out crews cut out sheet rock, pulled insulation, removed furnishings and sprayed for mold. One hundred twelve projects were completed.
Another Baptist group at a different location completed 37 clean up jobs and served 39,000 meals to the volunteers and to the public.
We work together for the Lord.

Miles of roadsides were piled with evidence of flash flooding. Onion Creek had risen 41 feet in a matter of hours. I talked to a homeless man who lived with his wife and son in a tent that was washed away. They survived by tying themselves 30 feet up in a tree. Another told of cars being washed down the street in rising water and when they banked against a home the cars were swept over the roof.  Many homes have been condemned for demolition.

We were blessed by this sign and by the gratitude and thanks given by home owners. Each family was given a Bible and were included in prayer for recovery.

I returned home on Saturday. Yesterday I learned of the tornadoes that devastated the Midwest. I'm preparing for another call out to do what ever I can to help others.

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