JB and I are the Opposites Attract kind of couple. I am usually pretty optimistic and positive about life. He tends to look at things with a different perspective. As a matter of fact, we have joked about the fact that if he ever wrote a blog, it would be called My Stormy Outlook.
We discussed the idea of having him “guest blog” a My Stormy Outlook post today because he has a story to tell…but he has homework to grade and football to watch, so I will try my best to share a bit of JB’s Stormy Outlook.
It has been a few weeks since Hurricane Harvey roared across south Texas and dumped an unimaginable amount of water on a good chunk of our beloved state. The pictures we have seen and the first-hand accounts we have heard have been incredibly heartbreaking.
JB has a tough outer shell, but he’s a big softy inside…and his heart hurts for the people who are affected. He has 24 years of military service behind him and I know he misses the ability to GO and DO when something bad happens.
Just a few days after Harvey hit, our pastor announced at our Sunday morning church service that our church would be sending a disaster relief team to Houston. JB jumped at the chance to sign up to do something.
Yesterday JB returned home after a long weekend of extremely hard work. He arrived exhausted, saddened by what he saw, and thankful he could go and lend a helping hand.
He spent one whole day helping clean out a home that had been shut up since the storm. He met the couple that lived there. He watched with great heartache as they realized there was very little left to salvage of their possessions. All day long, they made trip after trip carrying their water-soaked belongings out of their home to pile them on the curb.
The next day, JB helped gut another home. The household goods had already been removed, so he spent the day pulling over 400 nails out of the ruined drywall. The flooded homes have to be striped of anything the water touched.
In the area where JB and his team worked, the homes were anywhere from four to 12 feet under water during the flood. This means many of the homes are being completely gutted down to the frame of the home.
The devastation is so tremendous that many Texans are left to completely start over from scratch. Everything they owned from clothes to cars were destroyed.
However, what impressed JB during the weekend was the spirit of the clean-up crews. From short-term volunteers…to ones who are there for the long haul…they are dedicated to doing the most dirty, difficult work to help the flood victims move forward. Most of the volunteers that JB met were well over 50 years old. Those with the time to give tend to be older, but they are not letting age stop them for doing what they can to help those in need.
With great sorrow in his eyes, JB told me how massive the clean up truly is…which means it will be a painstakingly slow process for these homeowners. It will be quite some time before they can move back into their homes and try to find some kind of new normal in a place that doesn’t quite look like home anymore…a place with all new furnishings but few keepsakes of the home that once stood there.
What is even more mind-boggling is that there are people in the same kind of recovery mode in Florida, the Caribbean, and our northwestern states. There are a tremendous number of people trying to put back together the pieces of their lives after storm and wildfire damage in just the last few weeks.
This post does feel more Stormy than Rosie, but sharing JB’s story is important. Many of you care and want to know how those affected are doing. Many of you would like to be able to do something to help as well.
There is a wonderful organization that has been on the ground helping from Day 1. They are called the Texas Baptist Men’s Disaster Relief. The money you donate to them will go directly to the those affected by Hurricane Harvey.
JB and his team worked directly with this amazing group. Some of the great work they are doing that JB witnessed was:
- Preparing food for the volunteers and the flood victims
- Providing trucks stocked with washers, dryers, and showers
- Organizing and running the clean-up efforts in damaged homes
We can tell you with confidence, your support of the Texas Baptist Men will go directly toward helping Texans in need.
As I think about all that JB has experienced, these verses keep coming to mind:
I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord,
the Maker of heaven and earth. ~Psalms 121: 1-2
I love these Psalms, because they remind us that in times of trouble, the Lord will send help. He won’t leave us all alone. He will be there to see us through troubled waters. Sometimes we even get the opportunity to be that help for someone in need…and that can turn a Stormy Outlook…Rosie.