Sonja Longoria has lived in her home on South Ann Street in Rockport, TX for the past thirty two years. Sonja’s home sustained roof damage from Hurricane Harvey, and almost a year later, Ms. Longoria is receiving help for the first time. While Sonja Longoria had reached out to several organizations in the past eleven months, Bounce Student Disaster Recovery was the first group who was willing to help repair her roof. Students from Baptist Temple Church arrived at Sonja Longoria’s home on July 17th, and by July 20th, Ms. Longoria will have a new roof.
Sonja Longoria was in tears as she recounted all the ways that God had been moving in her life during the past month. Ms. Longoria had almost given up hope that she would receive help in repairing her home, after having reached out to several organizations. While Ms. Longoria tried to save up enough money to rebuild her roof, it was never enough. Even if she was able to save up the money for the repairs, Ms. Longoria explained, she didn’t know anyone who would be willing to help with the repairs.
Yet, on a hot and humid July day, a group of Bounce Student Volunteers arrived at Ms. Longoria’s home willing to repair her roof for free. The students were not merely offering Ms. Longoria their labor at no cost to her, but they had actually raised $279 to participate in Bounce for the week! A week of their summer and $279 per student seemed like a small price to pay when the students realized that Ms. Longoria would not have been able to receive help any other way.
Behind the screen door of her home, Ms. Longoria listened to contemporary Christian music. “My daughter has convinced me to listen to this music,” she explained. “Before I didn’t listen to any music in my home.”
Ms. Longoria’s daughter, Elaina Longoria, had been released from prison three weeks earlier, and while in prison, Elaina had accepted Christ. “Now my daughter and I go to church together,” Ms. Longoria said.
Each day that students were working on Ms. Longoria’s home, they stopped for lunch and a devotional. Students would gather in a group on Ms. Longoria’s lawn and open up the Bible together. During their devotional time, the students reflected upon the work that they were doing for Ms. Longoria and they began to more fully realize their role as the church; in being Christ’s witnesses by restoring hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.