Hurricane Harvey made its entrance into my town of Orange, Texas, August 30, 2017. Hundreds of residents in this small town on the Louisiana Border were rescued by boat during the early morning hours, as the flood waters reached 4-5 feet in their homes.
All the major TV networks tried to cover the story, but one who has actually lived it, tells it best. I wish to zero in on Jackie, a member of my church, whom I have known many years. Everybody has a story to tell from their experience with Harvey, but Jackie seems to represent what Created Woman website advocates in regards to fulfilling a God-given dream in order to become all God created us to be, even in the midst of a storm.
As the flood waters rose near her home, Jackie begins to journal her story on facebook.
August 31 – 7 A.M.
Lovell and I are okay. We were evacuated out of our home by boat to the nearest shelter, North Orange Baptist Church. We stayed there all day with other neighbors on our street. We had no cell power for several hours until generators were brought in to charge our phones, but no other electricity at the church. So many people and families lost everything. It was heartbreaking.
As soon as I was able, I called for help. My nephew, Jesse, came to the church and picked us up. He was a God-send. We are safe at his and Jessica's home.
August 31 - 3:27 P.M.
Getting ready to evacuate all our possessions to Kinder, Louisiana.
For all our friends, Tim, our son, is sending a friend from Shreveport to pick Lovell and me up tomorrow morning in Kinder. He will drive us to Dallas where Tim has a car reserved for us at the Dallas airport. From there, we will drive to my daughter, Erica's, house in Georgetown.
Last I heard the water was chest high in my next door neighbor's house. Not sure when we will be home.
My Bible was on my bed. There was so much in that Bible, my heart breaks. My computer with all my ministry notes is lost. What now Lord? You said trust me, and I do. And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28NIV)
To all my friends, I say trust Him; He will make all things new again. He will give you the grace and the strength you need to get back on your feet again. Rally around what you know to be truth, and do not be defeated, because the Lord your God is with you wherever you go and whatever you do. We will be home again.
Lovell and I were at Goodwill in Georgetown with our daughter today buying clothes until we can get back home. When I checked out, the lady at the register, Susan, paid our bill of $79.00. She said that was her effort to the flood victims of Southeast Texas. Apparently she had paid for others who had come in the store as well. Thank you, Susan, for all you have been doing to help all of us through such an awful ordeal.
We are headed home. Mixed feelings.
Our life on the street. But, we will not be defeated.
I stopped by to visit Jackie one day after she returned home. As we stood outside talking on the driveway of her home, tears rolled gently down her face as she described the losses she had just experienced on the night of August 30. But, quite surprising to me, she told me that she and her husband would be leaving Orange.
I said, “You mean you are just walking away from your house, and not rebuilding?”
She replied: “I'm sorry to leave my beautiful home, but Lovell is just not physically able to tackle the remodeling, and I just don't want to. God has much for me to do, and spending a year or more getting the house back up is not what I think He wants me to do. Much ministry waits for me, and I can't wait. I have many more Lambs to minister to in Georgetown. (her new soon-to-be location.)
The “Lambs” that Jackie is referring to are ladies who are serving time in jail for various crimes. It is these ladies that Jackie ministers to once a month in Orange County, Texas.
She concludes with: “My place is definitely in the jail ministry wherever I go.”
Suffice it to say:
The dream God gives to each of us never dies;
sometimes it just changes locations in the midst of the storms of life.
GATHER HER || 10.12.17
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