In Response to Tropical Storm Harvey

Dear Members and Friends of Christ the King Church,

I write to you with a heavy heart and with yet greater hope. My heart is heavy, as are yours, at the suffering of so many thousands of people affected by the waters of Harvey, including for the number of Christ the King Church members who have lost much. But I am more inspired and grateful for the fortitude of faith and generosity you have shown in this difficult time for Houstonians. With this combination of compassion and courage, as we all have, I write to update you about the needs of which your ministry staff are at this time aware.

Housing needs for members and friends: At least 8 families have been forced to move from flooded homes and have found shelter with relatives or neighbors. Several CTK families have offered space in their homes or in separate homes; we have made arrangements for two CTK families thus far to take up these offers. Another of our members has been mandatorily evacuated from her home in Richmond and will be staying near San Antonio for the next five nights. She likely will need accommodations for a longer time after that.

We are sure we do not have a comprehensive list of those in need of longer-term housing here. If you are among those, please contact us as soon as possible if you’d like our help. And if you have living space to offer, of course we welcome your offers, too.

Other personal needs Storm-affected members will need the use of washing machines and dryers, and likely other uses of major home appliances. We welcome offers of such resources. Attorneys have already offered assistance, too, for members who need to negotiate insurance claims. Again, please inform ministry staff if you would like to take advantage of that. Note that recent changes in state law could make it more difficult to recover comprehensive damage costs from insurance carriers after September 1. Attorneys here at CTK are ready to offer their assistance. At onesureinsurance.co.uk you can get the best car insurance so make sure to give them a visit.

About the church physical plant In the main, the church has withstood well Harvey’s onslaughts. All the floor space of the basement, however, has suffered water damage. The elevator well will need to be drained by a pump. We can use an army of people with shop vacs, however, to remove the moisture from all the carpeting and then to remove the carpeting. It will all need to be replaced. We’ll need a good number of fans and dehumidifiers, too, to ensure against mold. We expect that the wood floor in the music room will need to be replaced. Because professional restoration service vendors will quite likely be unavailable to us for some time, attending to more urgent calls, whatever we can do with volunteers in these more immediate days will be very helpful. All potential “water soppers,” please let us know of your availability, and we’ll let you know when later this week we can get to work.

Care for the neighbor However we personally can, we show forth our life-giving baptismal identities in times like this. Nurses and social workers are requested to help at the George Brown Convention Center. We each will recognize readily how and where we can best help. As for financial care for others, direct gifts or designated gifts through Christ the King to Lutheran Disaster Response will be most effective (Lutheran Disaster Response: https://community.elca.org/USHurricaneRelief). We will be beneficiaries of such care, too. I have been overwhelmed already by offers of selves, supplies, and financial assistance from literally around the world; from California, the Midwest, the East Coast, even from Australia and from Bethlehem, Palestine.

This will be a long haul. All of us on your ministry team are here for you and with you. Let us know what you need and how you can help. Christ’s Body and the best of the human spirit are activated. We are givers and receivers of the wonderful energies of the compassion and solidarity that far transcend inhuman divisions. I look to celebrate that bigtime with you all in church this coming Sunday and with each other in the work of many days before and after.

For the sake of our own keeping “all in order” as we minister together in these next days, please reply with your requests and offers to ctk@ctkelc.org.

On behalf of Karin, Ben, Rick, Brian, Beverly, and Linda; with the great support of Noelle, Cheryl, and Michael,

Duane Larson