We are currently in Moffett, OK where a historic flood damaged every home and building from major rains that happened upriver this summer.  We're rebuilding 3 homes and also helping others as we can, trusting The LORD to help us keep our commitments.  Unfortunately we've struggled to get volunteers, even locals to help us, which is truly sad.  We're set up to handle volunteers so if you're interested in learning more about joining us, click here.  There is also a volunteer availability calendar on that page. If you're interested in financially supporting Calvary Relief, click here.  

To read our 2019 Review, please click here. To stay up to date with what we're doing, please see our Facebook account and/or our newsletters, links are above.  Please pray that wherever we are and whatever we do, we'd be diligent as we share the love of Jesus with those around us in a tangible way.  Please remember to keep us in your prayers and especially that we'd grow in our relationship with The LORD and draw others to Him in all we say and do!  Curt & Mary Jo

Disaster Pastor

Curt Hencye

Hurricane Ida-Houma Update-1

We made it to Houma, LA mid-afternoon on Friday, the 3rd.  We started out on Thursday and needed to find a place to sleep that night.  Everything was booked for at least 2 weeks almost 5 hours away from Houma!  We ended up finding an RV park so we could have a bathhouse and slept in our truck!

In the morning, we got up and asked a neighbor to nuke the breakfast MJ had made for out trip and I made coffee.  We were about 3 hours out so decided to get stocked up.  We found a gas station that was willing to allow us to pump 100 gallons of ethanol-free gas, filled up our diesel tanks and extra diesel cans, loaded up on ice and groceries and headed to Houma.  We didn’t have any issues getting here until we were 3 ½ miles from the exit off 90 to Houma, where we had a blowout!  This was the first blowout we’ve had since we switched tires back in 2016 with advice from Myron who goes to church with our good friend Nathan of CAM.  He also pointed us to CAM’s base camp where they were feeding folks, so we were able to get our dinner there for a few days.  He then brought us the new tires we needed to replace the blown out ones, (read on), when he arrived today to run their camp for this week.

When we responded to Gustav in 2008, we landed at a small Baptist church in Baton Rouge and did mostly tree and tarp work and helped feed people with the help of our friend Brady, met some awesome Chaplains from Church of God who we quickly became eternal friends with, distributed food and goods, etc.  Pastor Jeff, his wife Annette and some folks who attend Grace Chapel of Houma, had evacuated to the church we were staying at and we were the only ones there.  They helped us and we helped them!  Then we headed down to Houma to help him for a couple of days.  We stayed in touch over the years and are now serving with them here in Houma again, this time long-term.

Since we only had a diesel and tool trailer we stayed with Jeff & Annette at their house.  They had just gotten back home late Thursday night and were just figuring things out.  He had a generator going and we were at least able to sleep comfortably in AC with a bed!

The first thing we did was take off to look at the church and the damages sustained.  It had some issues but didn’t look too bad.  We went back to their house and unloaded our personal stuff and then headed out to tarp our first roof. 

We were joined by Craig who attends church at Grace and he had a few guys to help us.  First, we had to remove a metal carport that had blown on the house from the neighbors.  We attached a rope to the top of it and the other end to a pickup and rolled it off with no damages to the house!  We were able to get the tarp on as rain was on the way!  We came back Saturday morning and finished attaching it securely to the sides of the house so that it will remain intact until they can find roofers to replace it.

Our next house was Carole’s, a single lady who lives alone.  She had a lot of damage to her roof, windows, fence, yard, inside her home, etc.  A family from Grace, Raj, Leena, "Harry"-Karishma, and Niklil helped us on her home and another later in the week.  We worked on her roof the rest of Saturday and got it finished. We’ll be helping her with a couple of other things including her insurance issues as well.

From there we headed to pick up dinner from CAM, back home to eat, shower, and to bed!  We talked with Mark and Emma Jean, one of Jeff’s neighbors, and found out that they had some concerns with a couple areas on their roof.  We told them that we’d assess it in the next morning.

We anticipated not going crazy with stuff on Sunday, but it turned out that God had other plans for us!  We got up to make breakfast and coffee and decided to invite Mark and Emma Jean to join us.  We had a great breakfast during which I was able to do a devo from Ephesians 1:1-2 explaining that a saint is someone who is a true Christian and follower of Christ.  Those saints have access to God’s Grace, which he freely gives to all who follow Him!  His Grace is where His Peace comes from.  The LORD’s Peace is NOT understandable to us humans, it’s an inner calm regardless of all the cares, troubles and things that are constantly going on in our world that DO NOT give us any peace!  Jesus never promised us that He wouldn’t give us more than we could handle, He only promised us that we would have troubles, trials, and tribulations on this earth and in the midst of all of that, He’d give us His peace!  Keep them in your prayers.  They seemed to nod a lot, but I don’t believe they have a relationship with Christ.

We were going to wait until later in the day to fix the roof issues, but God told me to get it done.  It didn’t take long, but it was hot and humid as we were directly in the sun!  They also had some interior damage and fence down.  Unfortunately, with most wind storm insurance coverages there’s a 2-5% deductible based on the premium value, not the damages.  This often results in high deductibles.  I sat down and looked through their insurance paperwork and explained what coverages they had, what their deductible would be, etc.  I also pointed out that their policy states that if they make a claim their premium will go up and they will have a mark against them to have their policy cancelled, even if their claim falls below their deductible and the insurance company gives them no money!  I told them that I didn’t think the damages would be enough to warrant involving their insurance company and that we would be happy to take care of all but a couple of things on their roof.  I also offered my assistance with their adjuster walk through and help understanding what ends up being covered or not covered should they decide to go that route.  We offered them a generator to use, but they declined, so I gave them one of my Milwaukee battery operated fans so that they could at least have a breeze when they sleep!

We then took care of a few personal things and then the sky opened and it rained hard!  Good thing we got their roof dried in!  We then decided to go look at what it was going to take to make Grace Chapel into  Camp Calvary GC!  We drove through several flooded roads from the rains.  Many residents were very concerned with any wake of water going up into their homes and understandably so!

We walked into the church and discovered that the roof was more damaged than what we thought.  Many areas had begun to leak a lot of water, bringing down ceiling tiles and insulation, and a couple of rooms had standing water in them.  We immediately went back and got our tool trailer and then got busy moving furniture, removing any wet ceiling tiles and insulation, and cleaned up the mess.  Jeff and I got up on the roof and had to tarp the AC unit as it had water going into it, into the duct work, and then into the church.  We also found about 20 small to large holes on the vinyl roof that needed patched.  

The LORD had prompted me to pick up the exact right material we needed when we were shopping at Lowe’s before we headed to Houma, so we were able to patch all the holes.  The shopping center owners are working on the whole roof but waiting on insurance info to figure out all that they’re going to do.  Unfortunately, they are saying that Grace is responsible to fix any damages to the AC unit and any water damages to the inside of the unit.  We’ve got the insurance adjuster coming tomorrow and we’ll go over the lease to see what is true and what isn’t, as well as what is or isn’t covered.

I don’t have any of my remediation equipment with us as we weren’t in TN where all of that is, when we responded.  I quickly called Charles who owns a couple of remediation franchises and has taught me a lot of what I know about remediation over the years.  He said that he would loan us any equipment and give me the chemical we needed for free!  So up to New Orleans I went to get what I needed!  I’m going to be able to keep it for at least one home that we’re also working on.

The church is finally dried out and we’ll clean and spray as soon as I can, then need to replace the flooring and possibly some carpet in the hallway.  We’re also going to install 3 windows in 2 rooms so that we can put window AC units in them.  This way we can cool the rooms we need for volunteers without doing the whole building.  We have restrooms and will be setting up a shower outside.

Meanwhile back in TN, Doug was busy getting our bunkhouse and V10 loaded up and ready to send to us.  Kent from CC Murfreesboro was picking it up Sunday morning to bring here.  Doug is an expert at puzzles and Tetris, and I get to be an excellent Jenga player on my end!  Kent had a blowout about halfway here and ended up having to sleep in the truck and we met up with him on Monday morning in time for hugs, handed him breakfast, and then Mary Jo and Annette took him to the airport so he could make the pastor’s conference.

We were able to also connect with a local church whose pastor grew up with Jeff’s son and they were best friends.  They have a campus wide generator system and have set up quite an operation to help their community.  We’re able to house volunteers there until we get electric and AC in the church.  They’ve been feeding us and the community for now, though that may change this week.  Mary Jo has been helping oversee the volunteers serving at the church with all of the distribution stuff and everyone loves her there, so I guess we’re in!!

They gave me a list of about 50 names of folks that needed work done on their properties.  I contacted everyone on the list and then went to the homes of those who still needed help to assess the needs and triage what we do when and as we have willing servants to help!  We’ve got about 20 homes that need some sort of assistance.  A lot of them need my help to walk through the insurance process.

We began serving at a couple of homes this week.  A couple of trees and some roof tarping.  Saturday, we had Randy who has served with us before, and his friend Travis join us and they’ll be here through this week. Saturday, we had a team of 17 people come down from The Open Door Church in Lafayette for the day.  Some of them helped a family load up a moving truck because their apartment was condemned, and they were moving to a different city nearby.  When they finished that, they went to another home to do a tear out with 3 others who joined us after lunch. 

The rest of us served at a home of a family, Doug, Cindy, and Ross, that had half of their roof torn off and a lot of water entered the back half of their home, so everything had to be removed.  They have an adult son who has Muscular Dystrophy which brings with it a lot of other medical issues and he can’t be in the home with all the mold that is growing.  It is also important that he stays on a tight schedule/routine so that what does function in his body does so, as best it can.  Because of Ross’s issues and since they can’t find any other place to live nearby, they are currently living in their 2-car garage.  The father has been diligently doing all he could, but he could only do so much.  We were able to get almost all the rest of the tear out done yesterday.  We’ll go back tomorrow and finish everything up.  If it still needs dried, we’ll set up the dehumidifier and air movers that Charles loaned us, and once it’s dried, we’ll get it sprayed so that they can move back in their home while It’s being repaired.  The wife was pretty shaken up by everything, but they are firm believer’s and know that God is in charge!  They were a huge encouragement to us!  Please keep them in your prayers.

We’ve got some other things that we need to then move onto, tarping, trees, and we’ve also got at least 3 homes that need help with the tear outs and remediation. 

Most of these folks have insurance, but because of wind-storm insurance policies, they have high deductibles that they have no choice about, so they will be short funded.  A lot of them haven’t had an adjuster show up at their homes yet, and once they do, it will be a process to get their first check.  The adjusters who have already been here are telling folks that things that obviously need removed/replaced won’t be included in the first check, but they can put in a supplemental claim down the road to get more money.  It’s a huge game insurance companies play with these folks at one of the worst times of their lives.  I’ve been doing this for over 17 years and helped 1000’s of folks and so far have only seen 2 cases that someone got what they should’ve gotten up front and right away and sadly most folks don’t realize that they’re being ripped off.  Going forward I’ve told the homeowners that I need to be at their home anytime an adjuster is there as we need to get as much on paper the first time.  Then when they get their initial settlement paperwork, I’ll go through that with them and help advocate for them to get the money that they are supposed to get. 

Last Sunday we couldn’t have church, but this Sunday we set up in the shade behind the church.  We cleaned everything up next to our trailer as best we could, Raj, his daughter “Harry”, and Jeff led us in Worship and then Jeff did a topical teaching for what everyone is going through from 1 Samuel 14, emphasizing verse 6.  Here’s a great quote from his teaching, "The character of God has not changed- every truth we knew about God before the storm is true after the storm."  AMEN!

From what we can gather talking to residents who’ve lived here their whole lives, including some older than me, this is the most damage they’ve ever seen and the worst storm ever in their recollection.  Not to downplay anything, but from New Orleans to Houma there were 17,000 power poles knocked down that needed replaced from Katrina.  For Ida, they counted 30,000!

We still need to get back to TN, soon, to get the rest of our tools, especially our remediation equipment and chemicals, and load up and move our 5th wheel home and Mary Jo’s van here to Houma.  Pray that all of that would work out soon!

We need volunteers, so come on out and join us.  One, two, three or more!  Singles, families, youth groups, church groups, retirees, whoever you are, we can use a hand.  It takes NO experience to follow directions as you serve and grow in The LORD!  God has always been faithful to provide just the right thing for everyone who’s ever served with us from age 5-95 over the past 17 years!  If you’re interested in growing in The LORD as you selflessly serve others alongside of Calvary Relief, please let us know!  For more info on joining us, click here.

If you’re interested in helping with any of the expenses with Calvary Relief, please click here.

If there’s ever anything you need prayer about or just need to talk to someone, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us and let us know!

Love y’all and LORD Bless,

Curt & Mary Jo


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