"All the paths of the LORD are steadfast love and faithfulness, for those who keep His covenant and His testimonies" (Psalm 25:10).
Covenant Church (PCA) - Houston, TX
Saturday, September 23, 2017
Transforming Hearts, Conforming to Christ

Hurricane Katrina & Rita Relief

 

  

There are many ways for you to love our neighbors affected by Hurricanes Katrina & Rita. 

 

Hurricane Rita & Katrina Update (10/18/05)

Gulfport, Mississippi

First Presybterian Church (PCA) of Gulfport, Mississippi was hard hit during Hurricane Katrina.  Estimates indicate that the building has sustained at least $4 million in damage, most of which will be unrecoverable due to an insurance clause precluding storm surge.  In addition, about 30 homes of congregation members were completely destroyed with a total loss of all possessions.  An additional 20 homes were also heavily damaged and are not covered by insurance.  The church has let 3 of their 8 staff members go for financial reasons.  The minister of First Pres Gulfport (Guy), an old seminary friend of Julian’s, was called to the church just before the storm hit and continues to minister to this congregation.

While MNA has been able to provide a limited amount of financial assistance to 67 families of First Pres Gulfport ($2,500 each), MNA is focused on cleanup and cannot extend to rebuilding.  As you can imagine, the long-term effect of Katrina on both the church and the community are huge.

 

 

A mutual friend of Julian and Guy, Jay Harvey of Evangelical PCA in Newark, DE, has initiated a plan to adopt the Gulfport church.  They plan to send down work teams of 15-20 persons per month to work for a week. The teams will work to reconstruct at least 50 houses belonging to members of the congregation and their neighbors to bear witness to the love of Christ.  At a cost of $10,000 /house for materials, they are looking at a total of $500,000 over the next 8 months for this reconstruction project.

 

The relief effort is seeking two things:

 

  1. They are seeking groups of handy laborers to go to Gulfport for rebuilding.  MNA does cleanup but they are not involved in the rebuilding effort in this area.  The projected rebuilding period is 8 months.
  2. They are looking for finances to help sustain the rebuilding over this period.

If you can help with either item above, contact First Presbyterian Church of Gulfport, MS at 228-863-2664.  Financial contributions can be sent to: P. O. Box 6012, Gulfport, MS 39506.

 

Thank you all for the help many have already given. May we be found faithful to the last.

 

Algiers, Louisiana

Many of you have been wondering what we have been doing over the last weeks with Hurricane Katrina relief.  Here is a short update.

 

The group of evacuees from Second Baptist, Algiers, LA have all found apartments in Houston.  They have found apartments and have all the basics.  Covenant has provided them with bedding, food, and kitchen utensils amongst other items.

 

Most are now trying to return to New Orleans.  A small business owner and his wife have been able to assess the damage.  Their business needs to be torn down and rebuilt.  Covenant had provided tarps and other goods to prevent further damage to the electrical equipment inside the building.  Money has also been spent to cover the insurance deductible.  While awaiting final insurance settlement (in the next 2-3 weeks), they have come back to Houston in the interim.  When the insurance money arrives, they will return to New Orleans to rebuild their life there.  The busines itself also housed a small church on the same property that the owner kept open.  He is hoping to rebuild the church as well as the business.

 

Reverend Taza Green of Second Baptist Algiers has also been back to New Orleans to assess the damage and speak with the insurers.  At present, it doesn’t seem that the damage to the church building was great.  Rev. Green is hoping to reopen the church as soon as possible. 

 

At the moment, the entire group is still based in Houston but doing trips to New Orleans in order to rebuild as they are able.  Due to the unstable conditions in New Orleans, they can only remain there for short periods of time before returning to their base in Houston.  At the present time, we do not know how long it will take for a full relocation back to New Orleans.

 

We cannot stress how important the help Covenant has given has been to these folks from Second Baptist Algiers.  Thank you for all of your help.

 

Other News

Two members from Covenant recently went to Beaumont to assist Reformed PCA with clean up and assess damage.  Reformed PCA Beaumont is a daughter church of Covenant.  Some of the money given for Hurricane Relief has been sent to this church to help with their current needs.

 

From all reports, Mission to North America (MNA) has been dooing a great job clearing away debris and helping out.  They are at work in and around New Orleans Parish and Slidell, LA.  We have sent some of our Hurricane Relief funds to them to aid in their work.

 

We want to thank all of you for your help, both in prayer and financially.  We do not feel like we have accomplished much, we we do hope that we have accomplished something.  Through your generosity we have been able to bear a faithful witness to the grace and love of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

 

Julian Zugg, Associate Pastor


Hurricane Rita Update (9/26/05)

Covenant PCA and its members were spared the direct effects of Hurricane Rita (landfall 24-Sep-05).  Because many members and friends of Covenant had evacuated the Houston area, Sunday school, the monthly fellowship luncheon, and evening worship were cancelled on Sunday, September 25.  However, our morning worship service was held at 11:00 a.m. and we were joined by many of our brethren from Southwest PCA.

However, Reformed PCA in Beaumont, TX was in the path of the storm.  We understand that most of their members were safely evacuated from the Beaumont area before Hurricane Rita came onshore.  Please pray for Pastor Mark Gibson and the members of Reformed PCA in Beaumont.  So far, we have not heard an assessment of any potential damage to the Reformed church property.   As we learn more about their needs, we may be shifting some of our hurricane donations to helping our sister church as she recovers from the effects of Hurricane Rita.

 

 

Hurricane Katrina Update (9/26/05)

Our brethren from Second Baptist (Algiers, LA) are getting settled into Houston after relocating here following Hurricane Katrina.  On Sunday, September 18 approximately 40 members of Second Baptist Algiers worshiped at Covenant.  It was a joy to worship God with our brothers and sisters in the Lord.  This past Sunday (September 25), the good folks of Second Baptist Algiers held their own worship service.  We will continue to work with this congregation to help them settle into Houston.  Many thanks to everyone who has helped with the Katrina relief effort through your prayers and donations of money, materials, and most importantly, time.


Updated Letter (9/15/05)

We continue to labor and serve our Lord and Master Jesus Christ by giving aid to families displaced by Hurricane Katrina. The list below shows what we have undertaken.

 

First: Since the need for evening meals in our area has declined, we have discontinued this ministry.  The waiting lines at the Texas Department of Health and Human Services have also declined.  Because of this, most of the major donors at this site have ceased helping these people.  We have continued, in a limited way, to help this group. If 50 people have one meal in Jesus’ name, it is still something.  We anticipate that this line will end in the next few days.

 

Second: There are a number of people who have made donations to Desire Street Ministries of New Orleans. It has been our privilege to send funding to them.  For more information on Desire Street, go to their website at http://www.desirestreet.org/.

 

Third: The forty people from Second Baptist-Algiers (New Orleans area) are now settled in apartments in Houston. FEMA checks pay for rent & utilities and Lone Star cards pay for food, but the families had none of the basic household items or furnishings.  After helping them acquire apartments close together, we then began to provide bedding and kitchen supplies and now some tables and chairs.  We will continue to work with Rev. Taza Green in helping him minister to his flock.  There are many in this group who do not know Christ and it is our prayer that they come to saving knowledge of Him.  We seek to minister to both the physical and spiritual needs of this group.  Pray that we might do so.

 

The next phase: We are providing funding to send a group from Second Baptist-Algiesr back to New Orleans to assess and secure their existing properties.  Some properties were not flooded, but suffered wind damage and possible looting.  Given that they will be in Houston for an absolute minimum of 3 months, it is important to secure any possessions that are left and to cover damaged roofs.  We are in the early stages of helping them find employment here in Houston.

 

KATRINA RELIEF FINANCIAL UPDATE as of Thursday, September 15We thank all of you who have helped us minister to Katrina refugees.  We have received support from many churches in the PCA and we are very grateful for your help.  Although we are doing the hands on help, please know that you have provided the means that allow us to assist them.  May the Lord bless each of you, for by grace, great is your reward in heaven.  Pray that we might be found wise and faithful stewards.

(all amounts are approximate and rounded)

 

Designated gifts received for:

            Katrina-General                                                $20,355

            Desire Street Ministries-Katrina                         $  5,250

            Total Gifts Received                                          $25,605

 

Disbursements for:

            People of Second Baptist Church-Algiers              $ 9,200

            Desire Street Ministries-Katrina                          $ 5,250

            Other Katrina Relief needs (details to come)       $11,155

            Total Disbursements Planned or Expected            $25,605

 

 

 

Covenant Presbyterian Church

Houston, TX

Do not withhold good from those who need it, when you have the ability to do it.  Do not say to your neighbor, "Go! Return tomorrow and I will give it"--when you have it with you at the time.         

--Proverbs 3:27, 28

One person is generous and yet grows more wealthy, but another withholds more than he ought and comes to poverty.  A generous person will be enriched, and the one who provides water for others will himself be satisfied.

--Proverbs 11:24,25

 

Open Letter to the Congregation (9/11/05)

Dear Members and Friends of Covenant PCA:                                              SundayMorning (9/11/05)

First: THANK YOU for your help over the past week!  People have been fed that would have gone hungry, medical needs have been met, and there has been faithful witnessing to our Lord Jesus Christ.  With your help about 200 people were fed Sunday, 100 Monday, 70 Wednesday, and 30 Friday night.  Thank you for the furniture, housewares, and other items you donated!  Every piece has been taken and is being used.  Your love, time, and money have been a blessing to many.

 

Second: The waiting line at the Texas Department of Health and Human Services is much shorter.  We took food to the few in line on Wednesday and Friday nights.  As the need for evening meals in our area declines, we will consider a change in strategy.

 

Third: Wednesday night we had a joint planning meeting of deacons and elders to better focus, manage, and coordinate our relief efforts.  It was decided that since God had brought us a group of related families from Second Baptist Church-Algiers (in the New Orleans metro area), we should focus our efforts on helping them get established.  There are about 40 of them, 13 family units, hard working, and motivated to help themselves.  Their minister, Pastor Taza Green, is the third generation pastor of this church which has existed 137 years!

 

Since we are focusing on this group of people, this will be the extent of our ministry as a church, and we will not be able to help others.  We want to help Second Baptist Church-Algiers people to settle into their apartments and our deacons and elders agreed to fund the purchase of some basic needs.  FEMA checks will cover rent and utilities, and Lone Star Cards will cover food.  We aim to provide bedding, cooking items, and other household items for these 40 individuals.  Even with our help, these families will still have many needs and are willing to help themselves.  If you have any useful things to donate, please call Julian at the office (281-870-0349) or his cell (281-795-4526).

 

Financial donations designated for KATRINA RELIEF are desperately needed and may be mailed to the church office or placed in the offering plate.  If you know of people outside our church looking to help with Katrina Relief, please ask them to consider making a financial donation to our church.

 

We are a church of only about 150 people, and the needs created by Hurricane Katrina are overwhelming.  By God’s grace, we can have a meaningful impact in the lives of these 40 individuals.

 

Blessing to you all in Christ’s name, 

 

Julian Zugg, Associate Pastor

Bob Roane, Senior Pastor

Bob Laroe, Chairman of Deacons

The LORD sat enthroned at the Flood,
And the LORD sits as King forever.
The Lord will give strength to His people;
The LORD will bless His people with peace.    

-- Psalm 29:10-11