Presbyterian Disaster Assistance Prepares National Response Team in Texas





Presbyterian Disaster Assistance prepares to send national response team to Texas

Hurricane Harvey may have been downgraded, but the torrential rains are still pounding parts of Texas. Historic flooding has forced rivers and streams from their banks, submerged homes, churches, businesses and roads, stranding thousands of people.

Presbyterian Disaster Assistance is maintaining constant contact with Mission Presbytery and the Presbytery of the New Covenant.

“We know that in Mission Presbytery, the major impact of the storm has taken place,” said Jim Kirk, PDA’s associate for national disaster response. “Presbytery leaders are doing an assessment and addressing immediate response needs. But the latest forecast calls for torrential rains to continue for the next 48 hours so it’s still an ongoing, dynamic event.”

Texas National Guard soldiers assist residents affected by flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey in Houston Aug. 27, 2017. National Guard photo by Lt. Zachary West

floodrescue-500x375Mission Presbytery includes the cities of Austin, San Antonio, Corpus Christi, Rockport and more. Harvey’s landfall was near Rockport and authorities say wind damage was devastating.

“Just like with Hurricanes Katrina, Sandy and Matthew, we are relying on the generosity of Presbyterians to provide financial and hands-on support to help the whole church stand with these communities and the Presbyterian families,” said the Rev. Dr. Laurie Kraus, PDA director. “This is a catastrophic event of wind and water, the likes of which Texas has not seen. In the Song of Solomon, Scripture says ‘Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it,’ and we will be there with them. Our love and partnership will be with the people of Texas for the long run.”

Kraus estimates PDA will be making a three-to-five-year commitment to help communities recover from the disaster.

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God our Shelter, be a strong presence in the lives of neighbors who, having survived the winds and rains of Harvey, now face grief, uncertainty and weary days. May our generosity in prayer and in tangible signs of support overflow more than floodwaters, to sustain your work of healing and rebuilding and bring comfort and strength to those who suffer. AMEN.