Houston Hurricane Response Ministry: Our Love in Action
Fred de Ru (Grace OPC, Wasilla, AK) stopped in Houston in December 2017 to volunteer for hurricane response for a week or so while in the midst of a cross-country trip with his wife, Brenda. Fred and Brenda ended up postponing their travels and staying on in Houston through May 2018 to continue their service with the hurricane response ministry, during which time Fred also filled in as Site Coordinator when Site Coordinator Jeff Davis was on hiatus.
"Fred is a many-talented man with a conviction to serve and has had a very timely and critical impact, for which we are grateful." Steve Larson, OPC Regional Disaster Response Coordinator, Houston, TX
In Fred's report to the local OPC hurricane response leadership on his last week of work in Houston, he also reflected on the work in general:
A volunteer team of seven men from Calvary OPC (Glenside, PA) arrived on Monday, May 14th, and we worked at four different homes. At one home, we put up drywall and taped and mudded the joints through two coats. We installed a second, more powerful bathroom vent to correct humidity issues. We prepared the walls in the kitchen for new cabinets, so the homeowner could go ahead and purchase cabinets and have them professionally installed. Work completed at three other homes included installing new doors and door casings throughout the home, replacing landscaping timbers that were rotted and displaced by Hurricane Harvey, and installing a washing machine.
We had a couple of opportunities to interact with the homeowners on a spiritual level. With one, we discussed the importance of church attendance for Christians, and encouraged her to visit the nearest OPC church. Another insisted that I lead them in prayer when I stopped by to pick up our tools. And another spoke of how his perspective was significantly improved when he saw the Christian response to the hurricane. In addition, one homeowner had a party that week to celebrate all the work that has been done on her home by OPC volunteers over the last several months, and invited all of us to attend, saying, "That has been the main reason for me to be a Christian in the near future. Love you all!"
Thank you for the opportunity to serve as the Site Coordinator for the last several weeks and as a volunteer before that. I enjoyed the work very much. The work here is unquestionably important and an incredible opportunity for us to reach people spiritually. I am confident that our love in action has touched many, many people and has borne witness to Christ's love. I am so blessed to have been able to see God's divine intervention in these people's lives and in the work itself. Please continue this good work
And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9 (ESV)