We are in Aransas Pass, TX helping folks affected by Hurricane Harvey.  This is where the eye came through.  There's a lot of damage still and many needs.  We'll be helping with some rebuilds.  We need YOU!   Click here to learn about joining us in the field.  If you can help with our expenses, click "Donate Now" at the top of the page.  Please keep us and those affected in your prayers that all would be drawn to Jesus.
Click on the picture to view a few photos from our response, to view more click here.  To view YouTube Videos click here
Once again, Saul and Brian joined us, along with Rice.  We spent three weeks in Tennessee, and stayed at
the Apison United Methodist Church. Pastor Todd opened his church (and laundry room!) to us and made us
feel so welcome and comfortable. One night, we had dinner with Pastor Todd and his wife, Liz, and he was
able to give us some details about the storms that we were not aware of. Curt had been frustrated because
he was in the middle of another commitment when the tornadoes struck and was unable to get to Apison
right away. But it turned out that there had been so many gawkers and looters in the area right after the
storm that the police locked down the town. Residents were issued cards that allowed them access to
certain areas. No other people-not even relief workers-were permitted. It was two weeks before anyone
could get in, and that was just the time that Curt was available.

The main coordinator of the relief efforts is our friend Jo-Jo.  He had been planning an extended trip to
Alaska for some time, and was actually on the way when the tornadoes struck his community.  He
immediately turned around (he had gotten as far as Chicago) and has been working non-stop (literally) ever
since. He joined us for Bible study a few times (and for ice cream a few more!).  We genuinely enjoyed his
company.  He is interested in getting a truck and trailer and responding to other relief efforts.  We hope to
team up with him in the future!

The majority of the work we did centered on rebuilding the home of Arthur Bates. Arthur had been home
on the night of the tornadoes. He had just butchered a cow and was debating about going out to deliver
some of the cuts as promised. He finally decided that since he had given his word, he should go out even
though the weather was bad.  He returned to discover that the 104-year-old house his grandfather had
built had been completely destroyed. The house did not have insurance because of its age.  Pastor Todd and
others have worked diligently to get grants and other help, so there is money for supplies, and volunteers
for labor.

It was very pleasant to work with Arthur-he has been following the Lord for thirty years and always had a
story, whether it was about his time in the Navy, or churning butter as a boy and putting it in the mailbox
for the mailman, or some other tale.  Sometimes his eyes would tear up in the middle of a story. Most of all,
he was excited about knowing and sharing Jesus. His new house is ready to be painted on the inside, and is
almost finished on the outside.  We have a theory that he actually does not want the house to be finished
because he is enjoying the company so much. Jo-Jo is hoping it will be finished by Thanksgiving, although we
were the last team signed up to work.

We were able to fellowship at several different churches while away.  We attended Pastor Todd's church
(AUMC), CCCleveleand, and CCChattanooga.  One weekend, we traveled to Calvary Chapel Rivergate, a
fellowship in Goodlettsville, Tennessee (near Nashville) for their “Outreach Sunday.”  Many ministries within
the church and the city were invited to have a table. I thought it was a little strange that we were invited to
this event that seemed to be focused on community outreach since we are not from the area, but when I
heard the whole story, it was clearly God's doing. It seems that CCR was interested in starting a disaster
relief ministry. Chris and Connie White agreed to spearhead the process by looking at some local ministries
that were already involved in relief. Unfortunately, they did not have any success with finding anyone local
who was willing to help. Somehow, one of the pastors at CCR knew that we had an active relief ministry, so
Connie contacted Curt. She thought that our ministry was the “most organized, knowledgeable and active”
of the ones she spoke to, and when she found out we would be in town at the same time as the outreach
weekend, everything came together.

Before the service, Curt hosted a meeting for people who were interested in disaster relief. He spoke for
about forty-five minutes to fifteen or so people. Then, during the church service, each ministry was
introduced. Curt even got to speak for a few minutes-the only ministry asked to do so. Afterwards, we
enjoyed lunch with Chris and Connie and all marveled that we “just happened” to be in Tennessee at the time
of this event.

After three weeks in Tennessee, we headed to Jacksonville, NC. We were warmly re-welcomed by Pastor
Greg and his wife Cory, and all of our old friends at Calvary Chapel Jacksonville.  Curt and the guys did
some work in the church that Pastor Greg had had on his “secret” list for awhile. (A secret list is one that
Greg doesn't tell anyone about- he just lets God supply the needs.)  We enjoyed the fellowship with CCJax
tremendously and feel that the Lord has knit our hearts together.  When we were on our way to respond to
Irene back in September, the Lord told Curt that this trip was about making connections. That didn’t make
sense to Curt at the time, but on this trip, Pastor Greg took Curt aside and said the same thing-that he
thought the Lord brought us all together for not just a clean-up effort and a follow-up visit but for an on-
going relationship.

The month on the road went by quickly. We met so many people who love and serve our dear Lord Jesus--it
made the Body of Christ seem so alive.  Then, when we returned to our own fellowship, we were encouraged
by those who greeted us with the report that they had been praying for the different needs--the church
scattered but still connected.  It is so exciting to be part of this vibrant connection in the body of Christ,
be it in Tennessee, North Carolina, Florida, or wherever else we go!