Having been born and raised in Houston, I grew up hearing about hurricanes. I’ve known what to do to prepare, and all too well about the damage the winds and water can cause to a house.
On August 25, 2017, I remember thinking that it would start raining, the wind would pick up, and that would be the end of Harvey, but that was not be the case. My husband and I felt safe. We were very sure that nothing would happen. But around 1:00 am, I awoke to water coming in our dining room, bedroom, and hallway. It was not much water but our floors were damaged. We did our best to lift the furniture and dry the floors as much as possible.
The rain continued throughout the morning. The weatherman said it would get worse. We took turns sitting under the porch, watching the water rise. We had no plans of evacuating our house, but we knew the water was still rising. At that moment, the Lord sent three angels (men from our church) with a small boat. They told us, “Pastors, you two are coming with us because the creek down the street is overflowing its banks and it will only get worse.” We still had running water and electricity and felt we were okay, but they insisted. We were placed in a small boat, and then transferred on to a larger one. It took six men to push that boat through the strong current of Clear Creek. We then transferred to a large Army truck.
Our members took us to their beautiful home in Alvin where we stayed for five days. We would pray and try to call church families. Many of the people had lost power and could not leave their homes. Due to so much flooding, most stores were closed. Even when they opened, only 10 people were allowed inside at one time. Water, bread, and many other items were in such demand that they ran out very fast.
Jaime and I are pastors first. We left our house, but being very honest, we were never concerned with materialistic things. We trusted God with our home. Many of our members had gone to different shelters. Many people lost everything they had. We knew the church and other building were fine, but not knowing about our church family was so difficult for us.
During times like these, your emotions are all over the place but we must continue to pray and trust God. We needed to be an example to others and show them that God is our hope.
When we were finally able to return to our house, Jaime and I were in shock to see that the houses on our left, right, and across the street were all flooded. But our house sat high and dry. Perhaps, God took care of us because He knew that we would need to assist others.
Our next stop was to the church, to spread the word that Oasis would be open to offer cleaning supplies, clothes, and food. Serving others is so easy when you have a team of people who are there to serve. Before we even arrived at the church, people who could travel were setting up. Donations had already started coming in. Within a few hours, we were open and ready to serve the community.
We are so grateful for DRUSA. Men, women, and children from North and South Carolina and Oklahoma were heaven sent. They arrived early Sunday and by evening, they were ready with hot meals. There were long and very emotional days, as we saw the catastrophe all around us. People in need came with nothing but the clothes on their backs, many crying, and others still in shock.
I learned to put my personal emotions on hold. As a parent, I would see my girls and their families every day. We would see our church family at least twice a week. But going five days without seeing them was hard. I had to place my personal desires on the back burner. Though we suffered damage, it was minor in comparison to other people. As I write this, we are finally getting ready to replace the floor in our house.
We praise God that we served 15,000 hot plates to the surrounding areas in Webster. God is faithful. Our church was able to assist many of our church members by providing them sheet rock, mattresses, and assisting with their cleanup. Oasis of Hope took the opportunity to show our love and to serve.
Mary Alice Treviño is the Girls’ Ministries Director for the Texas Latin Conference and serves on the IPHC Girls’ Ministries General Board. She and her husband, Jaime, pastor Oasis of Hope in Webster, Texas. They welcomed the DRUSA feeding kitchens to their church and truly lived up to the church’s name by being an oasis of hope during the aftermath of a catastrophic hurricane.