This month, we are praying for, learning about, and supporting our Monthly Mission Partner, Episcopal Relief and Development (ERD). The recent unprecedented and catastrophic flooding resulting from the landfalls of monster storm Hurricane Harvey in Texas and Louisiana is among the worst natural disasters on record. The deadly storm, which dumped an unprecedented nine trillion gallons of rain in four days, devastated swaths of Texas, especially the greater Houston area where rainfall reached 50 inches. More than six million people in the Houston area have been affected as the storm flooded streets, homes, and businesses. Damage is estimated between $30 and $100 billion; FEMA estimates that more than 30,000 people will require emergency shelter. And now, Hurricane Irma, one of the most powerful storms ever recorded, is wreaking havoc across the Caribbean, heading for Florida, where mandatory evacuations have begun.
When a disaster happens, it’s common to see an even greater need for assistance a few months after the event—after the National Guard, TV cameras and many other aid agencies have gone. ERD partners with Episcopal dioceses for the long term, as they work with underserved and marginalized populations in their communities, enabling them to make a full and sustained recovery.
In the weeks, months, and years to come, the Episcopal Dioceses of Texas, West Texas, Louisiana and Western Louisiana, and other dioceses will be moving from emergency relief to long term disaster recovery and assistance with the help of ERD’s US Disaster Program. This program works with diocesan and congregational leadership to provide technical resources and connections to others around the country who have faced similar challenges, as well as access to the Ready to Serve volunteer database. For more information, go to www.episcopalrelief.org/what-we-do/us-disaster-program. Your support of ERD is a tangible, practical, effective and reliable way to minister to those whose lives have been forever changed by Hurricane Harvey. Please keep ERD in your prayers, and give generously on September 24 to support this important ministry.