Eastside Takes on Harvey

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.

eastside 1
Intersection of Tidwell and Beltway 8, the church is less than a mile down Tidwell.

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.

eastside 2
One church member’s home that had three feet of water

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.

eastside 3
Pastor Kenneth Mayo giving a check to a Carroll Elementary for School Supplies.
eastside 4
Bro. Kenneth gives a check to Monahan Elementary for school supplies.
eastside 5
The new education wing floor, where food is distributed to those in need.

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.

eastside 6
Our Hispanic pastor, Bro. Freddie Buenrostro carries out trash.
eastside 7
Even the youngest helper helping clean up, you can notice the lack of carpet.
eastside 8
The third pile of trash that was pulled from the inside of the church, awaiting someone to take it to a dumpster.
eastside 9
The pastor’s office, while we are taking out carpet.
eastside 10
Another office and sound room missing carpet.
eastside 11
Removal of carpet.
Hallway with no carpet, the prior carpet was glued down, and the yellow is the glue residue.
eastside 13
Recovery is tiresome, and we all need a rest. Please continue praying for Eastside and our community.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: