Amid Devastating Floods, This Church’s Hope Remains Afloat
By Aimee Erskins (Eastside, Houston)
Sunday August 27, a day when we should have been in church was instead a day when Houston became an island. Hurricane Harvey came and dumped 56 inches of rain in 24 hours. This rain brought flooding, power outages, and so much devastation. The Sheldon community, where Eastside Church is, was hit the hardest. The streets were flooded, and thanks to the Cajun Navy and the US Coast Guard, they rescued many of congregation and the people around the church.
The homes across the street had up to 10 inches of water; homes down from the church had 3 feet of water in them. Hearing and seeing the devastation on TV and Facebook made our hearts break. We had to watch it all unfold on TV because there was not a drivable path to the church. When we finally were able to get to church, we found the unthinkable. Water! When Tropical Storm Allison came through many years ago, the church had water damage from the roof. This time it came through the doors. We were in shock. Walking through our church seeing standing water in some areas, the soaked carpet everywhere, it was overwhelming. This was until we walked into the big sanctuary. The sanctuary was DRY! God’s work is amazing! “We are Saved!” is what went through our head! Yes, the church has water in it, but the sanctuary was SAVED! As we drove through the neighborhoods and seeing the mountains of people’s personal possessions piled in the street, it brought everything back.
God has a purpose for Eastside: our community. Phone calls of prayer and help came flooding in! Then donations came of food, blankets, money, and water. Our community needs these donations and that’s where they went. Sheldon is a low income area. One elementary, junior high and the only High School were destroyed by the flood. The students in Sheldon have free or reduced lunch, and for them to think of starting over, they broke down. That’s when we stepped in. We have given out food, blankets, paid a bill on their behalf, and helped them rip out carpet, and sheetrock.
The one thing that we as a church said is that the Devil can’t bring us down. Our congregation and even those who haven’t stepped foot in church in years, came to help us with our carpet. God has plan for this devastation, and we are following his plan.