Harvey

Posted by Scott Foster on

1000-year rain is a terrible description. 1 in a 1000 maybe? Like, what was Noah’s flood? Maybe “Once in God-lifetime”—like never again! “I put my bow in the sky to remind you” kind of a thing. Biblical proportions!

I’m sure it feels very Biblical to Houston and the whole area.

There’s so much craziness on Facebook about it all. The president marveling at the crowd outside the firehouse in Corpus Christi. The First Lady’s footwear (please!)—she had sneakers on and a ball cap when she got off the plane in Texas. Don’t be hateful just because you don’t rock stilettos.

The Joel Osteen meme with the “Blessed” yacht cruising through the flood waters cracked me up! Their communication could have been better and a lot more responsive, but Lakewood Church is open and helping. They’re a big church and people are always taking shots at ‘em because they're successful. And they meet in what used to be The Summit, the home of the Rockets, and every major rock concert in Houston for decades. They’re big and that place will hold a lot of cots. It’s not the Superdome by a long-shot.

Never mind the politics and the snarky shots. The people helping people, saving lives on live TV, are awesome! And as far as I know the rain has stopped. But, the water’s still standing and making its own way, carving new channels, as it tries to find somewhere to go!

My friend, the honorably retired Rev. Dr. Judye Pistole, posted this in the pre-sunrise hours of Tuesday morning:

It's still raining. The water rises inexorably. The river doesn't crest til midday so it seems likely the lake and the rain will merge in our house. No electricity although the circuit the streetlight is on has power again so you can look out the window and see that the water is in the yard. The cell networks are so overloaded during the day we cannot get on the internet or text or can rarely call out to update family. At 3 in the morning it is possible. 
We are well, have plenty of water, food, pet food. It is just stressful, so stressful to be helpless as are and were so many others against the rain and rising water. We bought this house in 1983, my husband and I. It has the highest elevation on the street. It has never flooded; it probably will today.

It did flood.  She and her family were evacuated by boats Tuesday late. She made the local news because there’s a TV screen shot of her in the back of the boat. God Bless them all!

WNYC had a former NYC staffer on the air who is now a public radio anchor in Houston. If you didn’t hear this, he described it something like this: Imagine Superstorm Sandy hovering over all five boroughs for five straight days and you get a sense of how bad this is. Wow! That’s hard to imagine.

I’m sure you have stories from family and friends, too. I’m sure you’ve seen the photos. They’re riveting. It’s awful. And even in the best of relief circumstances and government response, this is going to take years to recover.

The best thing we can do is send money to the Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA), Red Cross, or some other reputable relief agency. And, you could certainly volunteer through those groups. Just don’t try to self-deploy because it’s not helpful if you’re not tied to a credentialed group. They don’t know what to do with you and they probably won’t even let you in the area.

Most of all, we can pray.

We can pray for everyone effected, the victims and their families, the displaced, and especially for the first responders—how about the Cajun Navy? A whole fleet of flat-bottom fishing boats. Those cats are crazy!

Grace and peace,

Scott

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