Christian Chronicle

18 vans, 150 volunteers, 465 miles, one goal: to help Harvey victims

‘These people are amazing,’ says an Iranian immigrant grateful for the love shown after his family’s home flooded.

First Place, In-depth Coverage, Associated Church Press

Second Place, Best Reporter portfolio, Oklahoma Society of Professional Journalists

By Bobby Ross Jr. | The Christian Chronicle

HOUSTON — The homeowner was shirtless and sweating.

He was still angry — he admitted that much — over the devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey two months ago.

But he was curious, too, about the strangers who showed up in white vans in his neighborhood and raked trash and debris from his barren yard.

“They came all the way down here for this?” he asked, intrigued that these Christians drove 465 miles to serve victims of a storm that dumped a record-breaking 52 inches of rain on the nation’s fourth-largest city.

A slight smile formed on the man’s face.

“I usually tell people from Oklahoma to head north,” he joked.

These days, though, southeast Texas can use the help — even it comes from across the Red River.

Emotional scenes of boats rescuing Lone Star State residents from flooded homes have faded from television screens. But for thousands who lost possessions and livelihoods, needs remain immense.

That’s why the Edmond Church of Christ — a 1,200-member congregation north of Oklahoma City — felt compelled to send help.

Read the full story.

First published online, this story appears in the December 2017 print edition of The Christian Chronicle.


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