I was and continue to be a bit in shock with all that is going on. We have been reunited with our daughter after 3 days of the storm. My mother is safe as is my sister-in-law after being rescued. What do we know? Our family is all safe. Some may have lost their homes. Our clergy are all safe. Some may have lost their homes. Our staff is safe but some have lost their homes. The same is true for our parishioners. Thanks to our mayor and our experience fewer lives were lost in this great storm than in the last. What do we know? God is good.
The disaster stretches from one end of Texas where it hits Mexico to the other end where it hits Louisiana. The storm is now presently hovering over the eastern part where they are experiencing the same amount of rain we did here in Houston just days ago. They have opened three huge evacuee sites. Today and tomorrow many will go to Dallas.
Yet, our ministry is flourishing. We are working on a long term recovery strategy and building a network of volunteers to help people muck out houses and clean up to rebuilding. Our churches are shelters, hubs for collection and distribution of water/diapers/blankets. We have a massive web of people helping across the southern part of the diocese which includes over 25 counties.
People from around the world are sending money either directly to our diocese through our donate button on the website or are going through ERD. Through ERD they can also sign up to be notified when it is safe to come and help and where to go.
Let us be aware that gifts to ERD will go to help West Texas too! And, that presently the storm is battering our East Texas and Louisiana. Prayers remain for all of those in harms path. As the storm has left us it now batters our brothers and sisters to the east.
We are engaging the mission of Harvey that has found us. And, we are so fortunate to have friends from across the communion like yourself who have reached out as a sign of hope, who are offering prayers, who are reminding us that the storm shall not have the last word. Death and destruction never has the last word and we are ready to give a testimony to the hope that is in us. God is good and we are buoyed, literally, by the love of friends and coworkers here and around the world - for that is the love of Christ which is greatly evidenced in such dire times.
C. Andrew Doyle, D.D.
IX Bishop of Texas