Local Pastor Helps with Harvey Relief

First Baptist Church Pastor of Missions and Media Rod Payne, first went to the area to help cook for shelters with the Texas Baptist Men.
Now he's headed back down there to help the red cross with their mission.

After seeing the devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey first hand, Payne said no matter how bad the damage looked in photos, it was worse in person.

“People keep asking if the pictures do it justice and the pictures are dramatic but to see people with all their belongings from inside their homes stacked up outside their home because there is literally nothing left that they can salvage, or very few personal items. It's amazing,” Payne said.

And Payne would know, he was one of the many who provided aid after hurricane Katrina hit Louisiana.
He says even though both disaster areas were created by hurricanes, the situations are distinctly different.

“I think it's the sheer scale,” Payne said. “The enormity of the amount of mileage that's covered. A huge amount of land that was covered in this incident with Harvey. Certainly, there was awful human suffering in Louisiana and New Orleans specifically, but what we are seeing in south Texas, at least what I have seen personally and the teams we have sent are seeing is almost tornadic in its damage path.”

Payne says anyone can volunteer but it's a smoother transition if you've already taken steps before disaster strikes.   

“You are saying you don't need training to pull out sheet rock and that much is true,” Payne said. “That's true. We are going to need willing hands and hearts for a long time down there. But if you do receive just a modest amount of training from any of the organizations, it gives you the opportunity to immediately be dispatched, to be deployed. To go in and plug in and say this is what I have been trained to do.”

The recovery efforts in south Texas will be on going for some time and now another part of the country is in the midst of a hurricane where more donations and volunteers will be needed.
Payne said as far as he knows none of the organizations in this part of the country will be redirected to help the areas affected by Hurricane Irma.
He says it's more likely they will stay in Texas focusing on needs closer to home.
 


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