Local ministries team up to bring disaster relief to Houston area

CARBONDALE, IL – Ministries in southern Illinois are reaching out to the Hurricane Harvey victims in the Houston, Texas, area.

Although the storm hit last August, people are still trying to rebuild. Four local ministries are teaming up to help.

For some, it’s still hard to believe this is was what Houston looked like only seven months ago. With that much devastation, it could take years for some people to bounce back. Students from Two Southern Illinois University at Carbondale ministries, The United Methodist Wesley Foundation and the Roman Catholic Newman Center, teamed up with two Carterville churches, First United Methodist Church and the Catholic Church of the Holy Spirit.

“I think Houston needs a lot. One of those things is an uplifting spirit and a boost in morale,” said SIU student Aaron Hisey.

Hisey and fellow student Jason Cramer will join a mission trip during their spring break, March 10-17. They said there is no way to prepare for what they are going to see.

“You just got to give it to God to be able to make miracles out of the situation,”  said Cramer.

Although the public attention may have turned away from Houston, First United Methodist Church Pastor Bob Morwell says he wants to show them people still care.

“When groups like ours show them that we have not forgotten you and we are here to help, it lifts their spirits in a way that lasts well beyond the time we are able to spend,” said Morwell.

The volunteers hope their efforts will be a living testimony to everyone they meet. About 18 people are going on the trip.

First Methodist will host a fish fry from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 17, to raise funds in support of the team.  A minimum donation of $5 per person is requested. 

If you have questions about the fish fry, you can contact the First United Methodist Church by calling 618-985-4511 or emailing cartervillefirstumc@frontier.com.

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