VIDA Church Update – September 2017

God is working for salvation and growing His church here, even in the midst of much difficulty. We want to share with you our experience over the last month as we serve the Lord and the Hispanic community here in Houston, Texas.

Get on the roller coaster… Fasten your seatbelts!

The last month has been a roller coaster of emotions. Just days after enjoying God’s amazing creation in a solar eclipse that was visible from the US, we were face to face with what the apostle Paul described as the creation’s bondage to corruption as a result of sin.

IMG_9525F6767928-1

Hurricane Harvey hit Texas the final days of August, dropping the most rain (9 trillion gallons) of any storm in the country’s history and covering the entire Greater Houston area—over 10,000 square miles—with 4 feet of rain in less than two days.

Harvey truck

Harvey kayak

Assisting those affected

Over the last month we have been busy supporting those affected in various ways: serving in shelters, moving and organizing donated clothes and food, working with teams in the “deconstruction” and disinfection of flooded homes, coordinating volunteers, visiting and praying with people, and much more. This week we will be hosting a team in our home that is coming in from a church in California to serve in our area. The road to recovery here in Houston is going to be very long. Many still have uninhabitable homes, and lost their cars, their jobs, and in many cases, everything they had.

But in the midst of so much loss, it has been amazing to see God raising His people up to serve others and touching lives, both of those affected and of those who serve them. The pastors of churches are getting to know each other better and are working together to serve the community and carry the gospel.

Our church attendance has also gone up. We were seeing around 30 weekly, but now we have 40 people joining us every Sunday. Pray that this number continues to increase so we can equip more and more people each Sunday to serve our Lord here in League City.

 Hurricanes and earthquakes

A week after Harvey flooded Houston, Hurricane Irma devastated the Caribbean, and the greatest earthquake since 1932 hit southern Mexico. Many lost their lives and many more lost their possessions and economic stability. As if all this occurring in territories close to us and close to the hearts of our brothers and sisters were not enough… another hurricane, Maria, the worst hurricane in Puerto Rico in 85 years would approach and pass through very center of the island that still had not recovered from Irma. And in Mexico, another devastating earthquake struck, this time in the regions around Mexico City, destroying scores of buildings, and hundreds of homes and lives.

Experiencing all this within three weeks has been, and is, very difficult for our people and the Latino community here. Mexicans and Puerto Ricans who live outside their countries are suffering from not knowing how their loved ones are, from not being able to help them and, at times, from the guilt of not having suffered the same fate as their countrymen.

But of this we are certain: God is still on His throne, and He is exceedingly good. This is what we seek to share with others as we labor to help them.

Finding God in the Storm

Christ reigns—even in the hurricane and in the earthquake—He works for the salvation of multitudes, physically and spiritually; and He gives power to His people to continue fulfilling the mission of sharing the good news in the midst of a creation enslaved to corruption and subject to futility, where things often do not make sense but where a God reigns who converts bitterness to blessing, and gall to glory.

Pray for Us

We greatly appreciate your prayers for our brothers and sisters, for their loved ones, for their countries, and for us as we seek to be used by God as His instruments of peace, comfort and encouragement in times like these. Pray for people not to become bitter against God, but to see in the midst of the tragedy that He is good, and that He loves them so much that He gave His Son for them. He understands how it feels to suffer.

Ruthy

Our daughter now has her learner’s permit and is learning to master the wheel. She is doing a great job. We will soon have a new chauffeur!

After hurricane Harvey, Ruthy joined Clear Creek’s media team to take photos and video and to share the stories of the people affected by the floods and those who served them. She wrote an article that was published about her experience working in one of the many houses where she served. You can read it here.

 

God has been faithful in the midst of the storms and we trust that, with the help of the your prayers, He will continue to work to make His glory known among the Spanish-speaking community of Houston.

“Brethren, pray for us.”

 

With love,

Byron, Anita and Ruthy

2 Cor 5: 7

 

Support

To contribute online, click here.

You can also send us your financial support by mail to:

VIDA Church

999 FM 270

League City, TX 77573

All contributions are tax deductible in the US.

 

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