Stories From Harvey: Isaac and Neat

Isaac and his family came to the Church Of The Apostles shelter after flooding destroyed their home. Their story is one of many that demonstrate God's faithfulness and mercy in the midst of this devastating storm. In the wake of #harvey and #irma there are thousands of families like Isaac's who need the church to come alongside and help them recover. Will you help us help them? 


You can by giving to the Anglican Relief & Development Fund at http://www.ardf.org


Thank you for your prayers and generous support!

ARDF Relief Fund Application - Hurricane Harvey

The Anglican Relief and Development Fund (ARDF) has established an emergency fund for those affected by the August 2017 devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey. To apply for ARDF assistance, please complete the form below. All information provided will remain confidential. All funding requests are contingent upon the availability of funds. For an application to be considered, it must be signed by the local Anglican Church in North America Senior Pastor/Rector.

Please email completed applications to harveyrelief@dwgc.org or mail a hard copy to the Diocese of the Western Gulf Coast, 3333 South Panther Creek, The Woodlands, TX 77381, ATTN: Relief Discernment Team.

ARDF Relief Fund Application - Hurricane Harvey

 

 

 

Share Stories of What God is Doing in the Midst of Harvey

We know that Hurricane Harvey has left a path of destruction in its wake. But we also know that the Lord has been moving in our midst. We would like to know what the Lord has been doing in the aftermath of Harvey in our communities, churches and in the lives of those impacted by the hurricane.  

Name *
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How have you seen the Lord moving in your life or community? What stories of beauty, brotherhood, faith, and hope can you share in the midst of Harvey's destruction?

After the Storm Resource Guide

United Way of Greater Houston has created After the Storm for you to use as a resource toward rebuilding after the storm. Whether you are trying to provide basic needs like food, shelter, and clothing, or you are struggling with the stress that is a major part of crisis recovery, you will find important and helpful information here.

 

If you would like to donate to relief efforts, please go to ardf.org or send donations to: 
DWGC Relief Efforts
3333 S. Panther Creek Drive
The Woodlands, TX 77381

To donate non-financial gifts of goods or services, please click this bar or go to dwgc.org/harvey

IF YOU ARE IN NEED OF AID PLEASE EMAIL COMMUNICATIONDIRECTOR@DWGC.ORG.

A Message from Bishop Clark

Only minor damage has been found in diocesan churches. We are still in the processing the extent of need of church members in the diocese. 

If you would like to donate to relief efforts, please go to ardf.org or send donations to: 
DWGC Relief Efforts
3333 S. Panther Creek Drive
The Woodlands, TX 77381

To donate non-financial gifts of goods or services, please click this bar or go to dwgc.org/harvey

IF YOU ARE IN NEED OF AID PLEASE EMAIL COMMUNICATIONDIRECTOR@DWGC.ORG.

Finding Firm Ground in the Midst of Harvey

Harvey’s flood waters surprised us all these last couple days, forcing some to abandon their cars, their homes, and even their pets. Some found safety immediately, stepping off of their roofs and into a first responder’s boat. Others had no choice but to abandon their possessions and wade through the rising waters, fighting against the currents and praying not to be swept away. On the most basic level, it has been a physical struggle to find higher, firmer ground.

Of course, as the waters recede (in most places, though not all), the battle for firmer ground has also become a spiritual one. Harvey’s destruction has shaken us all. Like some of the local reservoirs, a few of us have even wondered if our faith might give way under the weight of our grief. “Where can we find our spiritual footing?” we might wonder. “Where is God in the midst of something like this?” Fortunately, God has given us truths about Himself that can give us firm footing despite whatever we face, even something as devastating as what occurred this week. These truths give us great hope, reminding us who God is and why he's worth trusting.

And so we invite you to read below and consider five hopeful truths in the midst of Harvey. The following passages are quoted from the English Standard Version of the Bible

 Truth #1) God knows exactly what has happened.

Some might say, “It sure feels like God has abandoned us in the midst of this. Does he even know what’s going on?” In the midst of profound grief, it can be tempting to wonder if God cares. Yet God is always described in the Bible as the living God who sees, hears, and remembers his people. Consider the beginning of Exodus as he hears the cries of the Israelites:

“And God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob.” (Ex. 2:24)

“God saw the people of Israel, and he knew.” (Ex. 2:25)

God has not turned a deaf ear to those affected by Harvey. Far from it, he has seen what is going on and knows our circumstances.

Truth #2) Not only is God aware, he is in control.

Nothing is more powerful than he, according to the Scriptures, and there is never a moment in which he is not understood to be in control, especially over nature.

“By the breath of God ice is given,
    and the broad waters are frozen fast.
He loads the thick cloud with moisture;
    the clouds scatter his lightning.
They turn around and around by his guidance,
    to accomplish all that he commands them
    on the face of the habitable world.
 Whether for correction or for his land
    or for love, he causes it to happen.
                    (Job 37:1-13)

“And [Jesus] awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, ‘Peace! Be still!’ And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.” (Mk. 4:39)

All creation is subject to his authority, and so if God had wanted to withhold the wind and the rains of Harvey, he could have done so with the snap of a finger. And yet mysteriously, in his divine wisdom, and for reasons beyond our understanding, he decided to allow it. Though difficult to understand, it’s the very fact that he is sovereign that gives us hope in times of grief.

 

Truth #3) Christians are promised an inheritance in Christ. We are not, though, promised freedom from pain.

When we experience suffering, most of us are naturally surprised. We ask ourselves what we have done in order to “deserve it.” This question, one which most of us have posed God at some point, assumes he treats us in proportion to our faithfulness and obedience.  While this may be true in some ways, God never promises His people freedom from pain. Instead, we are told quite the opposite by Jesus, particularly in regards to persecution:

“Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you.” (Jn. 15:20)

The truth is, he does not treat us as we deserve. Remember these words from Psalm 103:

"He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities." (Psalm 103:10)

And so the truth is that though we will experience pain, the reality is that God is still gracious towards us. These passages help reframe our expectations of what the Christian life might look like. Now, rather than asking why God might allow something to happen, we find ourselves continuing to praise Him in spite of it, and even asking how He is inviting us into intimacy with him even in the midst of it. 

Truth #4) Yet in Jesus, God identifies with our suffering

One part of Jesus’ identity that sets him apart from other religious leaders is that He identifies with our suffering. Of course, we know this because the Cross, when he not only endured excruciating suffering as he was tortured and crucified, but even experienced the abandonment of his Father as he bore our sins.

“Then Pilate took Jesus and flogged him.” (Jn. 19:1)

“And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, ‘Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?’ that is, ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’” (Mt. 27:46)    

Simply put, we simply can’t out-suffer Jesus, whether it be physically, emotionally, or relationally. And so for those of us who are suffering the loss of a home, livelihood, or even loved one, Jesus can identify with us. 

Truth #5) Nothing can separate us from the love of Christ.

Finally, In Romans 8 the Apostle Paul explains that no matter how dire our circumstances, they cannot cut us off from the love of Christ.

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?... I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Rom. 8:35, 38-39)

The remarkable thing about this list of circumstances is that it applies to Christians! And so while we’re not promised immunity from pain, we are promised the presence and hope of Christ’s love in the midst of it. 

May the Lord use these beautiful truths in the coming weeks and months to set your feet on solid ground.

- Bishop Clark and all the Diocesan Leadership Team

Diocese of the Western Gulf Coast

DONATE

Only minor damage has been found at diocesan churches. We are still in the process of assessing needs of people in the Diocese. 

If you would like to donate to relief efforts, please go to ardf.org or send donations to: 
DWGC Relief Efforts
3333 S. Panther Creek Drive
The Woodlands, TX 77381

If you have immediate need, please contact communicationdirector@dwgc.org