An Update On TX Vineyards Impacted By Hurricane Harvey

Regional Leader Phil Jeansonne gives an update on how the Vineyards in TX were affected by Hurricane Harvey, and how they are responding with Kingdom mercy to those impacted in Vineyard churches.


Phil Jeansonne

Lead Pastor, Vineyard Church of New Orleans

[To read about Vineyard USA & Disaster Relief, click here.]

Hurricane Harvey Update: South Central Region

Phil Jeansonne is our South Central Regional Leader, overseeing and encouraging Area Leaders and pastors in that part of the country. He is also the pastor of Vineyard New Orleans, which hosts their mercy response ministry – now receiving teams from Vineyards to help in the rebuilding.

We asked Phil for an update on how our Vineyards and pastors, as well as their communities, are doing.

09.08.2017

An Update On Vineyard Churches

Between Texas and Louisiana, a total of 17 Vineyard churches were vulnerable to the destruction brought by Harvey’s torrential rains. Fortunately, nine of those were not affected adversely. The remaining 8 churches and their communities did experience moderate to severe flooding.

Most of the church facilities were largely unaffected or had minor issues, except for the Conroe Vineyard, pastored by Raymond McDonald. They did experience some roof issues/leaks causing water damage to carpets and several walls. Most churches should be able to gather this weekend, although the Katy Vineyard will have to meet with another church as the school they meet in is not yet available to them.

An Update On Vineyard Pastors

It appears that only one Vineyard pastor’s home flooded. Geoff Bynum, pastor of the Katy Vineyard had nearly 2 feet of water and has lost everything on the first floor of his home. As you might expect He and D’Ann were still in a state of numbness/shock at the devastation. Geoff has met with FEMA and their response is still unknown.

I doubt that government assistance will amount to much. Geoff did not have flood insurance. It was not required as he did not live in a flood zone, until now. We are in touch with Geoff and will help him walk through the next steps. I am concerned that some of the pastors may experience financial issues with many people not returning to church for a while and offerings being down. We will keep in touch with them to see when some may need assistance for they and their staffs.

The Work Ahead Of Us

I could not be prouder of this region’s compassion for and response to their communities. Within the affected areas every one of them went at work serving their neighbors immediately after the rains ceased. Watching them take care of their people and then their neighbors was amazing.

With little outside resources available, they just did what they could to serve. Some were temporary shelters, others were feeding their neighborhoods, some were rescuing flood victims, and others were taking care of families and children.

The Trinity Vineyard, pastored by Michael Lehmann, was the first that we heard from who had been able to get to his church building. We (Mercy Response) quickly decided to locate our first base of operation at Trinity. That was accomplished this past weekend and some teams are already arriving to help with the work.

I was able to visit most of the pastors/churches over the last two days and found them tired but doing well. They are eager to do more for their communities. With Trinity camp in place, we visited several other churches and have determined that it may be beneficial to have several smaller camps in at least three other Vineyard churches to be nearer the work.

At present, we are considering additional sites at Reagan Wagonner’s Sugarland Vineyard, Raymond McDonald’s Conroe Vineyard, and Bill Laswell’s Brazosport Vineyard. Their facilities are up and running and are conducive for our purposes. We estimate that it could take many months to assist the Vineyard churches in the affected areas.

We had a potential site at One River Vineyard, pastored by Robert McLachlan, in central Houston but that has fallen through. He will work with us through another site.

What Are The Needs?

Needs are changing daily. In most places, the need for Boxes of Hope are diminishing. Although, in Lake Jackson the surrounding towns are still inaccessible and that need may reappear once the residents can return. We are using some donations to provide gift cards to residents to purchase their needed items.

We could use donations of gift cards to Wal-Mart, Home Depot, and Lowes, that would be used by homeowners. We need an additional shower trailer for the Conroe location.

Want To Send A Team?

We are dependent on volunteer teams and donations for the work being done. It will be a week or so before we know what financial needs the churches may have.

All of these needs are listed on our ministry website, www.vineyardmercyresponse.org, along with opportunities to register teams and information on what is happening on the ground. You can get regular updates from them on their Mercy Response Facebook page here.

Our main contact on the ground is Doug Anderson. He is leading our efforts and coordinating the work. He can be contacted via the website here.

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[To read about Vineyard USA & Disaster Relief, click here.]