As the weather develops today, it is looking very likely that Hurricane Ike will make landfall along the upper Texas coast, with the most likely strike point being Galveston Island. The western end of the island is already flooding, and water has started seeping from the bay into the streets of the city, while the surf is overtopping the seawall.
Local news reports indicate that only about half of the population has left, even though the mayor ordered a mandatory evacuation for the whole island. With forecasts calling for an 18 foot storm surge in Galveston Bay, that is not good news, since about 70% of the city will be inundated with flood water, most of which will be 8 to 10 feet deep.
In addition to that, the entire Houston metropolitan area, with over 5 million people, will experience heavy rains, flooding in low lying areas, and high winds. The need for assistance and relief following the storm will be tremendous.
Texas Baptists already have a channel, through the disaster relief ministry of the BGCT, to provide assistance and support. Over the next days and weeks, and perhaps even months, opportunities to practice servanthood will be almost as abundant in the Houston area as they have been in New Orleans for the past three years. The BGCT disaster relief ministry will coordinate volunteer efforts with local churches. Helping hands will be needed immediately, for debris cleanup as well as for repair work, and in the long term for all kinds of recovery assistance. So while you are praying for the Lord to give us comfort and peace as we go through the storm, pray about opportunities God might give you to make an offering to Him as you serve someone else.
Local hurricane advice says, “Run from the water, hide from the wind.” We are far enough inland not to have any worries about the water, and our neighborhood can take 25 inches of rain without batting an eye, so we will “hunker down” and hide from the wind. We hope to be up and about and offering a helping hand as soon as we can.