There’s still work to do

November 29, 2017

While most people were home enjoying too much turkey and dressing and too much football, one local group was on the road to make a difference.

A group of 15 people from Meadow, mostly connected with the First Baptist Church of Meadow, headed south to Hurricane Harvey ravaged Rockport to continue cleanup efforts.

Even though the hurricane occurred in August of this year, cleanup and repair efforts are a long way from being completed. Going to the area from Meadow were FBC Meadow pastor Greg Breedlove and his wife Amy and children Christopher and Ellie. Also, Danny, JoAnne, Niko and Logan Castaneda, Robert, Alicia, and Kaleb Sanchez, Alliana Villapando, Chanse Smith, Riley McBee and Reagan Perez.

The group borrowed a trailer from Calvary Baptist in Brownfield for the trip. Before they got to Brownfield, they had blown a tire and torn up a fender on the trailer. Fortunately, there was another much bigger trailer available. Greg stated, “I was not excited about having to pull a bigger trailer all the way down there when we really were not taking much stuff with us. But, we loaded our luggage inside and took off anyway. When we got there, a lady needed help moving all her furniture out. We needed this big trailer to help her get her stuff moved. I just looked at it as God having a hand in what we were doing and knowing what was ahead for us.”

Over the three days spent in Rockport, the group worked on nine houses. Their chores included moving damaged goods and cleaning debris from yards and homes. Greg stated, “There is a mile and a half long pile of debris going up and down the highway. They are gradually getting it all picked up. There is a very organized cleanup operation in place.”

The group used chain saws and helped clear dead and damaged trees. They reinstalled tarps on damaged roofs, rebuilt a fence, ripped out drywall and reinstalled new drywall. One house was gutted completely. Greg stated the homeowner in this house had not received much help at all so far since the storm.

Greg also stated there is not much activity going on in town. In fact, he stated, “It is really pretty eerie. There are only a few businesses that have reopened.”

He also spoke of the scam artists roaming the area. “People are pretty skeptical of help coming in because so many of them have lost even more when they trusted those who supposedly came in to help and instead inflicted further damage to them by stealing their things or taking their money.”

Driving up in a church van and trailer with the church name on the side was a plus. People just tend to trust you more when you represent a church, Greg stated.

For the most part, the cleanup is just about finished. What will be needed in the future is labor to help rebuild. The First Baptist Church in Rockport is coordinating the bulk of the volunteer efforts for the area and being sure it is all organized when volunteers arrive.

If you are interested in helping either as an individual, a family or a group, contact FBC Rockport at (706) 399-2772 and speak with Jordan.

Greg stated, “I was so proud of our youth. They worked hard and didn’t complain. The others down there were also impressed with our kids.”

It was not all work for the group. On the last day, they headed to the beach for a little rest and relaxation before the long drive home.

Another stop the group made was quite sobering to the group. “We went by Sutherland Springs Baptist Church and stopped and went in. It was terribly moving to all of us. They have the chairs set up in the places where people were killed in the massacre on that Sunday. There is a tape of a worship service playing in the background. Those hurting people are still very grateful for our prayers.”

About the work efforts in Rockport, Greg stated, “We just try to focus on the task at hand, rather than looking at all there is still left to be done. Our goal in going is to just be sure we leave each family in a little better shape than they were when we got there.

“There is so much more to do. We are trusting that God will call out more and more volunteers to go help out and we pray that God’s people will listen when He calls.”

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