Hurricane Harvey

The situation

Hurricane Harvey hit the Gulf Coast on August 25, 2017. Millions of people were caught in the multiple days of heavy rain, winds, and overflowing banks of the many bayous around greater Houston area. Many were able to evacuate; thousands more were trapped in their homes or emergency shelters for an extended period of time.

The final “R”

When disaster visits your space and the single concern of the moment is rescue, relief comes much later in waves of thankfulness and appreciation. Meanwhile, something inside you knows a big piece is missing. You are too weary to name it or own it, even as healing demands your attention. That is when a unique corps of people stepping into your world, can bring life – giving energy that unveils the final “R” in recovery—Rejoice!

Lately we have had a burst of rejoicing in our Gulf Coast Synod as dozens of volunteers and thousands of dollars have poured into our lives from all across the country, lifting clouds of gloom left by the past summer’s deluge of tragedy. Even when two days of freezing temperatures and rain in January kept most of Houston off the streets, winter-savvy Iowans joyfully zipped through their rebuild assignment. They recreated the floor of a children’s ministry building to maximize a congregation’s capacity to serve their community. With tears in his eyes and a sob in his voice, one Houston construction project manager said,

“I’ve never worked with any group of people like these friends from northeast Iowa. Nothing got in the way of the work they came to do and finish in record time.”

Our thanks to all! Your ongoing prayers and your generous financial support keep us aware that we are not alone in this. We continue to hear from people who are just discovering the true extent of the damage to their homes, livelihoods, and ministries. The immediate emergency for this hurricane disaster is over, but long term recovery has no fixed deadline. The hymns of our faith such as this one, serve to unite us as we respond to the challenge of the days ahead:

Through all the tumult and the strife, I hear that music ringing.
It finds an echo in my soul. How can I keep from singing?
No storm can shake my inmost calm while to that rock I’m clinging.
Since Christ is Lord of heaven and earth, how can I keep from singing.
My Life Flows On in Endless Song, Robert Lowry (ELW 763)

Join LEAD’s Courageous Community

Following a natural disaster, healthy leaders must intentionally care for themselves as they care for others. LEAD’s Courageous Community is an opportunity for leaders everywhere to be part of the healing community. This effort will be focused on those who have been impacted by Hurricane Harvey with the hope to expand and respond to other natural disaster needs in the future. Read more.


Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer.
Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers.  


  1. […] Disaster response efforts will not get underway until the rain stops and the water recedes. In the meantime we urge you to generously support Lutheran Disaster Response and the Gulf Coast Synod disaster fund. […]