Chapel Happenings – Hurricane Harvey Brings Community Together

Archived in the category: General Info, Organizations
Posted by Joyce Rhyne on 14 Sep 17 - 0 Comments

by Erny McDonough

Harvey will always be etched in our minds! Sorry about all you who have Harvey as your given name, for when we hear it, we will immediately remember the Mandatory Evacuation, the boil water order, and sewage backing up into our homes! We will remember the long gas lines or the stations without any gasoline at all. We will remember the lost furniture and parquet flooring. Sorry – but that is now what our minds will go to! And what about those who lost their homes, their jobs, and even their hope? BUT – NONE OF US LOST OUR LIVES!

There is an elm tree that came up voluntarily several years ago, which I harbored until it was large enough that it would not be mowed down. Harvey took all of its leaves – not one remained when we returned from our “flight”! But, now the leaves are returning, just as Port O’Connor is coming back and will be as full as ever if not even better – PORT O’CONNOR STRONG!

We suffered together and now we must mend together. And we are doing it! Since the Chapel has been one of the many distribution points for this community, we have seen all kinds of generosity displayed. Most have heard of the Project Lighthouse, where many volunteers traveled from the safety of their dwellings in Fort Worth to the dirty, smelly, hot and “mosquito infested” swamps of our community. Jimmy came from Waco and led the efforts to help clean up one of our beach communities close by. We have had people here from Edmond, Oklahoma, who brought things to help. Men drove over 500 miles one way just to bring in building materials and comfort items. A man came to the Chapel from Denton just to help and say that he loves us. (I know the moment that I began listing people, I would miss some very important ones – but please overlook my lack of a good memory!)

People of this Port O’Connor have come and almost lived at the Chapel to help make sure that everyone who had a need was served. Bubba’s fed hundreds, Docks fed hundreds, a group from Three Rivers fed hundreds, and individuals have helped each other! People have once again began realizing we are a community and are coming together and helping each other! Remember who Jesus said was our neighbor? (Hint – it was the man in need!)

Being an old preacher, I have gone to many funerals and had family members tell me that the funeral was the first Family Reunion they had had in years! WHY? Why wait until a tragedy occurs to get together? Do it often!

Maybe it is too early to make a new suggestion about the future outlook of our community, but I would love to see more than just a Community Thanksgiving Service and an Easter Sunrise Service! Why not more? When we come together and share a common meal, we will get to know each other – who know, we might even find greater common ground! Port O’Connor is a unique place and has always been known for helping those in need, but why wait until another crisis hits us to unite as we are doing now!

I know this is not my normal “Chapel Happenings” article, but we are working long hours trying to help serve this community with the love of Jesus through helping to meet their needs. Fisherman’s Chapel is an interdenominational congregation that aims to serve the people of Port O’Connor the best way we know how. One will always find a warm welcome here, so we urge you to, “Come, grow with us!”

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