Storm Chasing Harvey by Chaplain Steve Lee

Hurricane Harvey needed an “all hands on deck” response.  The Cajun Navy was out in force in the neighborhood below the Addicks Reservoir, rescuing people with their miscellaneous collection of personal watercraft.  I was welfare checking the neighborhood to see if anyone needed assistance, and encouraging and praying with folks as I went.  I couldn’t reach some homes on foot without a boat, but I could reach others if I stayed off the flooded streets and walked yard to yard instead.
One man was sitting on a folding chair in his open garage, listening to flood information on his radio while watching the floodwaters flowing by on the street right in front of his house.  “I been sittin’ here all day,” he told me.  “Should be okay…we’re above 108 feet here.”  I prayed he was right.
I started in Houston being on chaplaincy call for Houston PD Westside Command Station, but along with local QRT volunteers wound up chasing Harvey to East Texas—all the way to the Louisiana border.  Along the way I did a welfare check on a disabled retiree, and on two separate trips from Houston we drove more than three tons of drinking water (sometimes through floodwaters) to Beaumont nursing homes (Beaumont was surrounded by flood waters and lost its running water).  We then picked up two rescued horses in Orange County and drove them to a safe ranch hours away in the Fort Worth area, then picked up a large rental truck and more than four tons more water and drove back to where the storm originally came ashore in Rockport to deliver the water to a fire station for families of both victims and first responders…eight tons of water in all by the end of our deployment.  All along the way we prayed with folks and provided Gospel encouragement.
Disasters cause more than physical damage.  As I write this back in Chicagoland, while still picking up personal pieces from Hurricane Harvey, we are gearing up for possibly chasing Hurricane Irma.
During this past week God directed and provided in miraculous ways.  We had many divine encounters along the way.  Thanks for your prayers and support; here are some of my pictures of our work:

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