A Sustained Work of Mercy: Hurricane Relief in Houston

Steve Larson

Excerpts from the First Quarter 2018 Report from Steve Larson, OPC Regional Disaster Response Coordinator, Houston, TX.

What began as a frenzied effort to respond to the immediate aftermath of the worst hurricane to hit Texas in decades, and the worst flooding in the Houston area in living memory, has blossomed into a sustained work of mercy and outreach in one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the United States.

Let me lead off by expressing appreciation to:

  • Site Coordinator Jeff Davis and Hospitality Coordinator Gloria Davis
  • Volunteer Coordinator Peggy Sumpter
  • Fred and Brenda Deru, spending an extended period of time here to help with the disaster relief ministry
  • Regional Home Missionary Rev. Mark Sumpter
  • OPC Disaster Response Coordinator David Nakhla
  • Communications Coordinator Janet Birkmann

The Volunteers:

There are way too many individual volunteers to mention. This is amazing to think about! God truly has done an amazing work to provoke many hearts into devoting personal vacation time and resources to minister to hurting people in Houston trying to recover from the devastating effects of Hurricane Harvey.

  • As of March 31, 2018, 189 individuals have shown up in Houston to put their hands to the plow.
  • They represent OP churches from all regions of the country; PCA, URC, Bible Presbyterian, and non-Presbyterian and reformed churches; Reformed Mission Services, PCA Mission to North America, and private relief groups such as Justice for All.
  • Without their God-inspired "call to action," this ministry would not be possible.

The Work:

The work includes: Inspection of property damage to assess how we may serve the family, yard and property debris cleanup, tear out and demolition of damaged walls, floors, cabinetry and the like, mold remediation, repair/replace electrical wiring and fixtures, repair/replace plumbing and fixtures, install moisture barrier systems, install new insulation and drywall, finish and paint drywall, install flooring, windows, interior and exterior doors, interior moldings, lighting, kitchen cabinetry and appliances, reconstruct built-in shelves and cabinetry, inspect and repair HVAC systems, dig exterior drainage ditches and install drain pipe, regrade exterior of property to improve drainage, repair/replace gutters and downspouts, roof repairs.

The Ministry:

The Hurricane Harvey disaster relief ministry is just that, a ministry. I remain convinced that God in his great providence brought Hurricane Harvey to the shores of Texas so that his church would have the great privilege to show mercy and to bring good news to the afflicted.

As servants of Christ, when we offer to serve a family's physical and material need for disaster relief and recovery, we do it with the deliberate intention of showing them the love of Christ, and sharing the hope of the gospel in Christ. I'm not aware of a single instance where a family has declined our request to pray with and for them, and we make it a point to do this with each family we encounter.

Though we are small in number, God has used the Orthodox Presbyterian Church in Houston to make a positive impact in the lives of many people...

CLICK HERE to Read the Full Report

PHOTO: Left to Right: Rev. Kim Dang (Pastor, Houston Vietnamese CMA Church), Betty Jean Larson, Fred de Ru (Volunteer from Alaska), David Nakhla (OPC Disaster Response Coordinator), Steve Larson (Regional Disaster Response Coordinator), Rev. Mark Sumpter (Regional Home Missionary), Jeff Davis (Site Coordinator), Gloria Davis (Hospitality Coordinator), Mrs. Dang and son Zachariah.