Disaster Relief

Helping Rebuild Homes in Texas

The Need

Living Word has a successful history of assisting with disaster recovery, as evidenced by our work following Hurricane Katrina in Biloxi, Mississippi. After the disastrous hurricane season of 2017, there is a need for a similar effort in Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico. Because of the devastation in Texas, we initiated a discovery phase for how we can assist those who most need the help following that storm. We determined that the best place to partner would be with Servants, Inc. from Red Lion and Nehemiah’s Vision in Vidor, Texas. We will help renovate houses of those who were struck by Hurricane Harvey.

The larger cities affected by Harvey – Houston, Beaumont, Galveston, and others – have had more help than this poor rural bedroom community in the petroleum region of east Texas. The average Vidor household income is $40k per year. As the hurricane hit Vidor, it was not a wind event as much as it was a flooding event. They received over 60 inches of rain in less than 72 hours, so all the homes in low-lying areas were flooded from 3 to 6 feet deep. This flooding caused massive damage to over 500 homes. Some of the home owners had flood insurance and some will be assisted by the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA), but many are not covered by any assistance programs.

Disaster Recovery Trips to Vidor, Texas

In February, Living Word, in partnership with Servants began sending teams to Vidor to begin the process of rebuilding homes. After an initial assessment, we determined a set number of houses that we were committed to rebuilding. We are evaluating additional opportunities to serve based on the resources we have available. One team per month will go to Vidor to help with construction until the work is completed.

Trip Dates:
July 15-21 (sign up deadline is June 25)
August 5-11 (sign up deadline is July 16)
September 9-15 (sign up deadline is August 20)

Trip Information Meetings: An information meeting is scheduled prior to each trip to provide details about the work to be done, travel, etc. No pre-registration for the meeting. Attending the meeting does not commit you to participating in the trip.

Meeting Dates:
Sun, July 8, 10:30-11:30 am
Sun, August 12, 10:30-11:30 am

Teams: A team of 10-15 men and women ages 18+ will serve through a variety of tasks. We need both skilled craftsmen as well as those who can assist them in a variety of ways. Trip participants do not have to attend Living Word.

Registration and Planning Process: The registration process and trip organization will be through Servants. Nehemiah’s Vision has arranged accommodations and they will be screening potential homeowners to prioritize the work that needs to be done. This will provide great benefit for us in making sure our teams are used to the best purposes when they are on the ground and can coordinate help on a longer-term basis.

There are two churches that are actively involved in the process, Vidor First Baptist Church and Wesley United Methodist Church. Both pastors have been assisting us in coordinating the efforts in Vidor.

Cost: The cost of the trips for transportation, food, and lodging is estimated to be between $500-$600 for the week. Payment for the trip is due 1 week prior to departure. If you want to participate but don’t have the funds to cover the cost of your trip, you are welcome to raise support for the trip. Servants will guide team members through raising support and paying their trip fee.

Questions? Contact Trent Davis from Servants at trent@servants.org.