Christ In Us – Far East Houston – Matt Barnes

Harvey hit East Houston (Aldine, Mt. Houston, Trinity, Houston Gardens) worse than I’d imagined – most houses we worked in had 3-5 feet of flooding. At that water level, all furniture, appliances, and keepsakes are typically ruined. We worked for five days straight demoing drywall, hugging kids who couldn’t return to school for weeks, carrying water-laden diapers, chasing down dogs, and praying with property owners who have lost everything.

In a six house complex, we were able to gut five properties that were being rented to five low-income families. Flipping these houses enables contractors to quickly rebuild the properties, giving the renters a place to live again soon and saving the property owners their livelihood by keeping the complex rented. We shared the gospel with both groups of people, praying the same restoration that came into our lives when we accepted Christ would occur in their homes in the coming months. Harvey’s destruction provides a perfect allegory.

My favorite thing about our relief efforts was watching people I’ve known for years become Jesus to the city of Houston as they served. The Garden Oaks team I led doubled in size when we partnered with the Briar Forrest team (led by some of my best friends) on Labor Day. Nothing bonds believers like fellowship and service in the face of a crisis situation. I’m so thankful that we’re given the opportunity to “seek the welfare of the city” (Jeremiah 29:7) where God has placed us.




— Matt

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