HOUSTON–“We couldn’t believe it. We never thought this would happen. We were here in the church worshiping the night before the flood, and we could have never imaged what was to come,” said Pastor Jesus Guillen of Iglesia Bautista Redencion of Houston.
After the storm subsided, Pastor Guillen was not able to get back to the church to assess the damage for a full week. Once he got there, he was quickly faced with the reality that the entire church had to be mudded and gutted, floors had to be ripped up and sheetrock had to be torn down.
While the damage was great, the church was not discouraged. On Sept. 4, which was Labor Day, church members sacrificed their day off to help begin cleaning the church. The process took over two weeks, but Iglesia Bautista Redencion was not without help.
The church received money and donations from churches all over the United States - including churches from California, Virginia, Florida, Tennessee, Atlanta and Arkansas. They were given everything from a U-Haul full of donations to distribute to their community to brand new chairs to help bring life back to their sanctuary.
As a mission mobilizer for the International Mission Board, Pastor Guillen was blessed with multiple contacts around the US that were willing to help him and his church. With $20,000 raised, the church is on track to being rebuilt.
“I thank God for all of the help that we are receiving, because we need Him,” said Pastor Guillen.
Iglesia Bautista Redencion has also been able to minister to their own community. “Churches have been bringing shoes, clothes, food and water, and told me that if we need more they can bring it,” said Pastor Guillen. “On this street, the people lost everything. A lot of people need what has been donated to us, so we put a sign out front that we have resources for them.”
The church has been holding their worship services at Central Baptist Church in Houston. Through God’s people responding in a time of disaster, every need of this church is being met.
“God had a purpose in this - that’s clear to me,” Pastor Guillen proclaimed. “We’ve seen His name glorified through all of this. I’ve been receiving help personally, the church has been receiving help, and we help others. I think the church will grow from this. There will be a big blessing for us and the kingdom.”
For more information how your church can be the hands and feet of Jesus for a church in need, please visit texasbaptists.org/church2church for information. Texas Baptists is collecting a list of churches affected by Hurricane Harvey and seeking to connect partner churches to come alongside to aid in recovery efforts.
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