The water just kept rising on April 19th and 20th. All the home owners could do was watch. When it was all over, the event was described as a 500 year flood in the Cypress Creek area. St. John Lutheran in Cypress received major damage to a number of buildings on their property, including the administration building where flooring and drywall needed to be removed and replaced. Pastor David Bahn said that they were blessed because the congregation had insurance and they were able to begin restoration quickly. More importantly, Pastor Bahn said that the doors for service in the name of Jesus in the community have been wide open.
The spirit of generosity was made evident as St. John has, to this point, raised $35,000 for recovery efforts. The leadership decided to give half of these funds to a congregation located across the street that did not have flood insurance.
Rev. Stephen DeMik of Cypress Chapel, a ministry connected with St. John, Cypress, connected with several people and the congregation assisted them in their recovery to the “disbelief of the owners.” They were very thankful. One of these owners came to church and said, “I feel as though I have come home.”
The stories of recovery build, one upon another. Some who have fallen away from their spiritual life have been reconnected as elders made phone calls to as many members as possible. All connections were gratefully received.
St. John is just one of many LCMS congregations in the area that have become the presence of Christ in their communities and neighborhoods.
Thousands of homes were significantly damaged. Most of the damaged homes were not located in a “flood plain,” and as a result, flood insurance was not required and insurance could not be applied. Two teachers at Salem Lutheran Church in Tomball, Laure Honeck and Brittney Stommel, were included in this category and sustained severe damage to their homes, floors and walls as well as personal content including furniture, televisions and computers. Brittney reported that there was eight inches of water in her home. Both are in need of significant financial assistance.
Reports have also been received concerning the vehicles of a number of LCMS pastors. Their vehicles have been damaged or totaled in the flood and assistance has been requested.
Additionally, Disaster Relief Assistance has been requested by LCMS congregations for members who have been devastated by the flood and lost much of their property.
The Texas District Disaster Relief efforts focus on financial assistance per requests of church workers, members and when resources are available, communities, where local congregations take the initiative.
Funds at this time, are very limited. A minimum of $56,815 and a maximum of nearly $100,000 has been requested. Additional requests are anticipated. However, there are only enough resources available to fund 26% of the minimum number.
Even though this flood is no longer in our news, the damage is real, the recovery is long and the impact is a lifetime. We ask that you become involved with your prayers and, should you be able, with your financial assistance.
To contribute or to learn more about our efforts, visit Texas District Disaster Relief.