Saturday, September 20, 2008

More Updates from Mike Cole

September 20 Update from GP Rev. Mike Cole:

The information continues to trickle in (pun intended) as we begin to grasp the enormity of the recovery that lies before us. We are putting together a long-term Disaster Recovery Team (those interested may apply to me) which will oversee the recovery effort over the next several years. There are thousands of homes and lives to rebuild in our communities. This will take effort, coordination and a lot of money.

The faith community has proven to be a far better administrator of these kinds of efforts than the government, so that’s where our energies will be spent – impacting lives for Jesus Christ in ways the government can’t. For example, SETIO has rebuilt nearly 2,000 homes in the Golden Triangle in the three years since Rita. The government is just now releasing funds to rebuild 3,400 homes destroyed during Rita. We have the faith, we have the people, we have the know-how, we have the compassion, we have the expertise and we have the commitment to make a dynamic impact for Jesus Christ in our presbytery.

Here are a couple more reports from our congregations:

Houston, St. Andrews – Jeff Smith reports: the people: everyone, as far as we have been able to assess, is healthy and safe, praise God! Many, as you might expect are without power. We are working to coordinate ways of serving these members of our family by providing the essentials: places to do laundry, recharge equipment, sit in the AC, catch up on the news, browse the internet, etc. also, to provide teams to help cut trees, and clear property.

The facility: our electricity was restored Thursday afternoon. We are working on ways to use the facility to reach out and serve our neighbors without power. We held services in the dark last week with over 140 in attendance... And will hold regular schedule this Sunday.

Orange, FPC – Jeannie Alexander reports: In the Lutcher/Sanctuary bldg: Front door blown off and water/debris inside. In the Sanctuary there were 3 roof leaks .. plaster down in those areas and water got inside the sanctuary floor because of those leaks. Consequently, the Fellowship Hall (which is underneath the Sanctuary) got water down into it. The entire ceiling is mildewed. Door are rippled in the wood from water. The newly redone hard wood floors are buckled in many areas. The basement was completely flooded. The CE building had a leak on one end from the roof...just clean up needed inside there. The Gillespie Building faired very well...thank God. :) I think there was a small leak into the kitchen..nothing major..

The Power House did very well also. Nothing there to mention.

On the grounds...several trees down and the usual debris.

God is good and several families worked all day long and got the grounds cleaned up today and we got the Gillespie set up for a service on Sunday. Our new pastor comes tomorrow and we are looking forward to his arrival. We told him this is a special homecoming for him...welcomed by a hurricane.

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