Hurricane Harvey Relief Updates

SEPT. 18 Update by Milton Jones

My major professor in graduate school told me of his first trip to Calcutta to deliver a few thousand pounds of grain. He was overwhelmed with the poverty as he literally had to step over dead bodies on the street. He felt so small and his help so insignificant. In his discouragement, his mentor told him— “People are born one at a time, people live one at a time, and people die one at a time. You have to start somewhere with someone.”

When I think of the overwhelming nature of Hurricane Harvey, I too feel small and our help insignificant. But you have to start somewhere with someone. All of us do. It will take a lot of help, money and time to bring relief to the victims of this tragedy.

You have to start somewhere. We started in Portland, Texas. When Bobby Moore, our Vice President, drove with his family into Portland—they were speechless. As they looked around the area, 85% of the houses had been destroyed. As a result, we partnered with Disaster Response Team and brought in five semi-trucks and trailers—one full of food and water, another with showers and bathrooms, the next one loaded with tools for rebuilding, next a kitchen that serves 4,000 hot meals a day, and lastly one that has mattresses and generators. It’s a start.

We have now made our way over to Rockport, Port Aransas, Aransas Pass, Wharton, Ingleside, and Beaumont. Indeed, we have started. Can you help us?

We need money more than anything else (except your prayers). If you want to volunteer and join us and give some physical labor, you can email us at disaster@christianrelieffund.org.

We especially need some volunteers who can help longer than short term. If you have any heavy equipment that can help clear out the debris and even knock down extremely damaged houses, we need them too. You have to start somewhere with someone.

 

Here’s how you can keep helping those impacted by Harvey.

 

GIVE

The best way that you can help today is to donate. Your gift will be used immediately to get our team in place and to provide immediate help with water, food, and other short-term needs. You can donate here.  As relief for these basic needs become less dire, the team will transition to helping clean up and rebuild in the most affected areas. Please give today.

 

PRAY

God hears our prayers. Please join us in praying for safety and peace for all those affected by this disaster!


GO

Do you want to go be the hands and feet of Jesus for those impacted by Hurricane Harvey? We need help cooking meals, moving debris, distributing relief supplies, and much more. We have a leadership team on site who will make sure you have housing and the tools and support you need to make an impact! Please email us at disaster@christianrelieffund.org and we will send you more information about how you can volunteer!

 

SEPT. 5, 2017 – UPDATE

Our disaster response crew is currently on the ground in Portland, Texas where 20,000 residents were impacted by Hurricane Harvey. In our target area, at least 85% of the homes had major damage from the storm. Most structures had their roofs torn off by strong winds and many peoples’ homes were completely leveled.

But even in the midst of this disaster, we have seen incredible stories of hope.

We met an elderly family in Portland who decided to stick out the hurricane. Evacuating the area would have been too difficult and dangerous, because the husband was on hospice care. By the grace of God, they were safe through the storm, but their home was badly damaged and their property was filled with debris and fallen trees.

Their nephew had been working on clearing the property for days, but had made very little progress. He said, “I was about to give up.” The mess was too big and he was only one person. He felt hopeless.

But then a crew of 20 of our volunteers showed up to help. They got to work and had the whole area cleared in just a few hours!

The family was incredibly grateful. They thanked us and cried tears of joy as our team drove on to the next location.

This story was only possible because of your prayers, financial support, and willingness to volunteer! And it’s just one of hundreds of stories that have come from our disaster relief work along the Texas coast.

Along with cleaning debris, our team has already provided thousands of hot meals, hundreds of showers and clean places for displaced families to sleep, and many, many prayers, hugs and shoulders to lean on.

In addition to our work on the coast, we are partnering with churches in Houston and Beaumont to bring in relief supplies and begin our outreach work in those areas.

We are committed to supporting Harvey victims for the long haul as they rebuild what this storm has blown away.

 

AUG. 31, 2017 – UPDATE

Our disaster response crew is currently on the ground in Portland, Texas where 20,000 residents were impacted by Hurricane Harvey.  The whole city is without power and buildings across town were torn apart by high winds as the eye passed just a few miles from Portland.

Our volunteers are on the ground providing much-needed clean water, serving hot meals (up to 4,000 per day!), providing beds and supplies for local shelters, and offering free shower facilities. As the situation in Portland begins to shift toward rebuilding, we will be providing tools and volunteer support to local residents looking to repair their homes and rebuild their lives.

Of course, you have also seen the devastating flooding in Houston. Active search and rescue operations are still underway in parts of the city, and it is not yet safe for our team to move into place. But, as soon as possible, we will have a team in place providing relief and support to Harvey victims in Houston.

AUG. 28, 2017 – ORIGINAL MESSAGE

Hurricane Harvey tore into Texas this weekend with 110+ mph winds and a storm surge that devastated the Texas coast near Corpus Christi. The damage is catastrophic and the human impact is shocking.

The Houston area is now suffering from life-threatening flooding caused by heavy rainfall that may reach 50 inches in some areas.

More than 40,000 people are currently in shelters throughout the region and that number is expected to rise as the rain continues and many local rivers are likely to crest later this week.

CRF is immediately responding to this disaster with our partner the Disaster Response Team (DRT).

Five large response trailers are currently staged to enter the affected areas as soon as emergency officials allow us to enter. We will begin distributing relief and support as soon as it is safe for us to do so today.

In the early stages of our response, we will be providing clean water, food, showers and housing to hurricane victims around some of the hardest hit areas near Corpus Christi, Texas.

As the catastrophic flooding in Houston subsides and it becomes possible for our team to enter, we will assess the situation and decide where we can make the biggest impact.

GIVE NOW TO HELP HURRICANE VICTIMS

 

The Domino Effect of Clean Water

For the past few years, news about the famine in the Horn of Africa has been a
frequent subject of our newsletters. That’s because it’s one of the largest humanitarian crises facing the world today! And you never let the news fall on deaf ears.

Thousands of donors have given sacrificially to help others have clean water to drink. From student groups to individuals—from $10 to $10,000—we’ve been able to match each dollar to drill a well for every $5,000 given,
thanks to some generous grantors!

The big day finally arrives!  Funds are sent to our team in Kenya, the community gathers to pray over the drilling crew, the work begins and, before long, water erupts from the ground in the middle of the desert!
(We also drill in Haiti, but that’s another story!)

Now the party really gets started.  The pump is flowing with clean water and the community is gathered to praise God for His great faithfulness.  The air is filled with singing and earnest words of gratitude… and the jerry cans are full of water.

Now the community begins to imagine what is possible with clean water.  CRF continues our community development work by supporting farms, distributing goats, and starting schools for children who once spent hours each day fetching water.

Once the community has the foundation of clean water and has begun to gather their homes around the well, we plant a church! CRF has a dedicated church
planting team in Turkana, Kenya who have planted more than
100 churches in the region.

But the good news doesn’t stop with wells or farms or even churches. CRF
sponsors follow up after our well projects by sponsoring children who need extra support to grow up healthy and receive a great education to escape poverty!

And this is just the beginning. We can’t wait to see what happens in the decades to come! Over the last three years, CRF donors have helped more than
150,000 people get clean water!

How many more people can we help in the next three years?

The Orange City Update

You may remember the terrible Typhoon Haiyan that struck the Philippines in November of 2013. The high winds and flooding killed more than 6,000 people, and left millions homeless. And CRF donors answered the call to create a city of hope — an Orange City — on a picturesque island outside of Cebu.

We are excited to announce that the Orange City is complete! Through the generous support of CRF donors and partnerships with M.A.R.C.H. for Christ and Habitat for Humanity, 350 new homes are now finished and are providing high-quality, long-term housing for more than 1,000 people! The Orange City is a testament to the fact that God is stronger than any storm!

CHECK OUT THIS AERIAL VIDEO OF THE CITY!

 

Joan Jones School Update

Joan Jones was known for her hospitality, and now it has multiplied to Campamento, Honduras. The Joan Jones Memorial School has now opened there. Many of you gave to help build this school in her honor. The new facility is an elementary school that will house students from the first through sixth grade. Around 180 students will be able to attend this educational center.

The government graciously gave us the land for the school because they needed a facility in a new community of over 300 homes. Members of the LCBC church in Pennsylvania sponsor most all of the children at the new school. The mayor was so happy with the situation that he gave CRF another building to create a technical school.

We think that this new school in Honduras is truly a fitting honor to Joan Jones. Joan had a contagious compassion. She had an immense leadership. She had a joyful and positive spirit that was like no other. She loved the Lord. And she loved children. And no one was more hospitable than Joan. After preaching at the North Richland Hills congregation, Jon Jones became president of Bread For A Hungry World. As a team Jon and Joan traveled all over the world to help orphaned and destitute children. Hopeless kids found help and hope from them everywhere they went.

A few years ago, Bread For a Hungry World merged with Christian Relief Fund. As we worked together, I learned to appreciate even more the humility, vision and kindness of Jon and Joan. Joan is truly an inspirational mother to kids without families on nearly every continent. Perhaps no place was loved by Joan more than Campamento, Honduras. The completion of this school will bring the hospitality that marked Joan Jones to so many little children in Honduras who need a break.

Thank you, Joan. We love and miss you. — Milton Jones

Sponsors Make Dreams Come True

Johnny Miller’s dream seemed impossible.

He was an eleven-year-old Liberian boy who had just survived a seven-year civil war. 600,000 people had been killed. His country was in shambles. He was surrounded by poverty and brokenness. War was all he remembered. How could a boy like Johnny ever become a doctor? All hope seemed lost.

But then Johnny found his way to Ford-Madden Christian Academy (FMCA) and was sponsored by Troy and Katie Link. That’s when everything changed!

Literally without their support, I wouldn’t have reached where I am today! I remain grateful to my sponsors whose prayers and financial support contributed immensely to my life and encouraged me to reach for my dreams.

And Johnny definitely reached for his dreams. After working hard to catch up on the years of education he had missed during the war, Johnny graduated with honors from FMCA and received a scholarship from CRF to attend one of Liberia’s best universities.

After graduating from undergrad, Johnny received a government scholarship to attend medical school in China. He was finally on his way to becoming a doctor! But there was a problem—all of Johnny’s classes were going to be taught in Mandarin… and Johnny didn’t know Mandarin.

There was this huge language barrier that I had to overcome. I had a year of preparatory classes where I learned basic Chinese language and culture. Learning Mandarin was very challenging, but I knew I had a huge support network praying for me. After one year of intense study, I could speak Mandarin fluently.

Now just a few years later, Johnny has graduated with a degree in clinical medicine and is returning to Liberia for his internship. He’s thrilled for the opportunity to provide medical care to children and families who are living through poverty!

Being a doctor means everything to me. It’s a dream come true, a dream that took years of determination, hard work, perseverance and self-discipline. I am honored to be counted among those of this noble profession. I am also excited that I get the chance to save lives. I am most humbled about the opportunity to help people in less privileged communities.

It’s always encouraging to hear stories about children escaping the cycle of poverty, but the story often doesn’t end there. All around the world, CRF sponsored children are growing up to become agents of change in their communities. We are grateful that God allowed us to play a part in Johnny’s story and we are anticipating the great work he will do for Liberia!

I thank God for using you the bless me. You’ve touched thousands of lives, including mine, in a way that you can never imagine. Yours truly, Johnny Carolus Miller

 

SPONSOR A CHILD TODAY!