First Lutheran Church in CR Helps Houston Recovery

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG-TV9) -- It's been nearly seven months since Hurricane Harvey rocked the city of Houston. After five days of constant rain and wind, the city was left devastated from the storm.

While the city received a lot of help in the weeks following the storm, it's still in need. That's why a pastor and some parishioners from eastern Iowa are in Houston this week.

First Lutheran Church in Cedar Rapids worked with a team from Minnesota to restore homes.

“I felt the call last fall to pay it forward from the Cedar Rapids flood, so I sent out a call,” Pastor Craig Brown said.

So Pastor Craig Brown and six churchgoers set off for south Houston. The team was shocked to see the amount of debris left; covering the neighborhood lawns.

"And on the top of this pile was this giant Pooh Bear and you knew that some little boy or little girl had probably lost their best friend,” Rebecca Jacobs said.

The volunteers have remodeled one home. First they cleaned the yard, then they went inside, where the heavy lifting began.

"Kind a trim up what was already be removed so we could be prepared for the new dry wall and insulation,” Jacobs said.

The group says they immediately felt welcomed by this neighborhood. And appreciated by the homeowner, a young widow.

"The scripture became very real for us this is our call as people of faith to help those in need,” Brown said.

After three days of work, and more than 350 total hours of labor, it was hard for this group to say goodbye. Especially knowing there's still more work to do in this city.

"This is really is a group process. It's not going to be one group, team or city that's going to recover from the flood or hurricane but it really takes the whole country bonding together,” Brown said.

Just like 10 years ago in Cedar Rapids. When strangers helped their fellow church members clean up and move on to the next chapter in life.

"It brought back a flood of memories, literally seeing the images that we saw 10 years ago but we knew we were making a positive impact,” Brown said.


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