Students start summer in mission

Texas colleges send team to help Hurricane Harvey survivors.

June 21, 2018

Students from Texas colleges spent a week earlier this month helping repair homes damaged by Hurricane Harvey.
Credit: Rio Texas Conference

Thirty Texas college students, young adults, alumni, and supporters spent a week helping ongoing Hurricane Harvey recovery earlier this summer. Students from Texas State, San Antonio, Texas Wesley, and other young adults spent five days working on four homes in the Rockport area with the Costal Bend Disaster Recovery Team.

Each work team was led by a college student. Teams rebuilt homes still damaged after Hurricane Harvey. One team replaced damaged siding, installed new flooring, repaired cabinets, installed a new dishwasher, and painted for an elderly couple in Bayside.

The homeowner offered her appreciation at a client dinner, “I want to thank God for sending this group to help me.”

Another team worked in Holiday Beach with survivors forced to sleep on the living room couch for the past year. The team installed drywall in the couple’s bedroom, repaired the bathrooms, and helped in the dining area.

Another team installed drywall on ceilings and walls for an Aransas City resident forced to live in a hotel for the past year.

Worship and prayer was a central focus of the week. The mornings started with a group devotion and evenings ended in worship. Students shared lunch with survivors at the work sites and reflected on how God was at work.

“Every visit [by these student] is like a ray of hope,” said one Harvey survivor. “Everyone brings different gifts to the glory of God.”

The college and young adult team were supported by the leadership of camp director Rev. Suzette Thorpe Johnson of Texas State United Campus Ministry. Worship and event programming was provided by Texas Wesley and Texas State UCM. Meals were led by Servant Church, safety by First UMC San Marcos, site management by Bethany UMC, and the client dinner was provided by Rockport UMC. The camp was made possible by the planning and support of UMARMY and the gracious hosting by Asbury UMC and Rev. Tom Tarver.

The week allowed student to live out their faithful witness as a connected United Methodist ministry.

"The joy and love that I got from participating in UMARMY this year, truly shows me the way God works in our lives to help those around us" said Texas Wesley alumni Robert Stockman. Students built relationships, helped those in need with dignity and grace, enjoyed time with each other, and grew personally in their faith of Jesus Christ.

To see more photos for the week in mission visit this Facebook page.

This article first appeared on the Website for the Rio Texas United Methodist Conference Website.

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