With Hurricane Harvey still poised to inflict even more damage on the state of Texas, Trevecca alumni, students and staff are already assessing the damage and discussing how to respond.
Dr. Jeffrey Johnson, a 1985 Trevecca graduate and the district superintendent of the Church of the Nazarene’s South Texas district, says disaster response has been quick to respond and teams are already assessing the damage.
From his conversations with pastors and church members, Johnson said he expects the damage to churches, homes and businesses to be extensive.
“We have several churches and parsonages with storm and flooding damage,” Johnson said. “In addition, there are hundreds of our people who have been displaced.”
Johnson reported that Houston First Church of the Nazarene had sustained some damage from the storm, and the pastor, Matt Hawkins, another Trevecca alumnus, was dealing with water that was beginning to seep into his home.
Petrece Claybrook, a Trevecca School of Graduate and Continuing Studies student set to graduate in May, moved to Houston earlier this summer. She and her family members have evacuated their home and are now safe in San Marcos, Texas.
Claybrook kept in touch with her family in Nashville through Facebook posts. “We are traveling now,” Claybrook wrote. “I can’t tell you where we are going, our realtor (truly God sent) who is from Texas has us following her and her family. As we are traveling, the devastation is real, TV doesn’t even touch the surface. Continue to pray for us and our realtor and her family.”
During All School Praise and Worship on Sunday night, a time set aside for traditional undergraduates to worship together before the start of the semester, the student body joined together to pray for students and their families affected by the disaster, including student chaplain Josh Ray from the Woodlands, Texas.
Rain continues to pummel Texas, and forecasters don’t predict a reprieve at least until the weekend. Knowing that many across the Southeast are ready and poised to help, Johnson was clear that now is not the time to travel to the affected areas.
“It’s way too early to come to Houston,” he said. “Nazarenes and churches across the country are offering help and support, and people are ready to help, but it’s too early to come.”
For the time being, those affected by the storms ask for your prayers. Follow the Church of the Nazarene (@Nazarene) and Nazarene Compassionate Ministries (@nazcompassion) on Twitter for up-to-date information about how you can support Hurricane Harvey disaster response efforts. You can give to Nazarene Compassionate Ministries at https://give.nazarene.org/donate/f/128206.