HOW TO SERVE
To identify the local coalition in your desired area, go to the coalitions page and contact the coalition coordinator for your area.
ENGAGE YOUR CHURCH
For resources to help mobilize your congregation and its volunteers, access our Church Engagement Toolkit.
The mission of Houston Responds is to unite, empower, and mobilize congregations across Greater Houston to expedite long-term recovery, respond to community crises, and prepare for future disasters. Why?
When, in a story Jesus told, a man on a road is robbed, beaten and left half-dead, what does he need? A neighbor – someone who cares enough to stop and inquire, and offers what he has, to help. The same is true of crisis response today. What is missing? What is the hole? Neighbors who care enough to stop and inquire and who are willing and able to help. We call this a God-shaped hole. Why?
Given that our highest purpose, after loving God, is loving our neighbors, this is a hole God’s people are designed to fill. And it is essential that we fill it. In the wake of Harvey and Imelda, in the face of a pandemic, systemic racism, and ongoing community crises, the needs are great. Disaster response agencies bring tremendous resources yet cannot do it all. Who better to connect those resources with those in need than local congregations of people who know and love their neighbors?
When disasters and crises come, they take a heavy human toll. In addition to the physical, financial and medical challenges, disaster survivors and people in crisis often feel discouraged, depressed, and disconnected from their community and even from God. When volunteers from local congregations show up to compassionately care and pray, repair a distribute food or masks, or provide computers for under-resourced students, it provides a powerful reminder that God still loves us, and God’s people do, too. It’s the kind of love that can bring healing and hope. It can restore hearts and restore relationships with people and with God. It can be transformational both for the receiver, the giver, and an entire congregation.
How can your visiting group participate in receiving, as well as giving, God’s blessing through disaster and crisis response? Many groups from congregations around the country have come to help with disaster response.