“I knew the Mormon’s would come!” Words echoed by one aged, suffering woman in Texas tell a beautiful story of how members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are able to act on their faith.
Devastation and death have made their impact on the Houston region, with Hurricane Harvey sending a crushing blow to so many. As the floodwaters recede, the reality of the situation becomes more apparent and thousands are starting to cleanup from the aftermath of the powerful storm.
In the movies, heroes always come to save the day. Over the past few years, a different group of individuals is receiving more and more recognition for their rescuing efforts, and they are being counted on to bring helping hands and, more importantly, hope.
President Hall of the Texas Houston South Mission updated parents on some of the relief efforts that missionaries are currently engaged in:
“I wanted to give you a feel for the work the missionaries will be involved in going forward. It is referred to as “muck” work and it is as glamorous as it sounds. Imagine moving, but with everything soaking wet and with very little packed. The missionaries help with the following: they remove all furniture and household goods. They then remove the carpet, cut the dry wall approximately 1-2 inches above the flood line, remove the insulation, and prepare the home to be restored. It is hot, smelly, arduous work, but the missionaries are happy to do it and do it with energy.
Today we worked a street where the water had risen to almost 8 feet. The local bishop’s home had flooded, and he along with the members, had organized to serve all in his neighborhood. The first home we went to was Rosemary’s, a widow, who lost all she had. She was somewhat reluctant to have strangers in her home, but the missionaries quickly won her over and she let us do a lot of work. She had stacks and stacks of belongings and there were two rooms she wouldn’t let us enter.
Sister Hall came to learn that these rooms were full of clothing she wanted to keep and didn’t want thrown out. The local relief society sisters have volunteered to wash any quantity of clothes needed, and when Rosemary learned that the sisters would do this, it made her day. She was visibly distraught and the elders volunteered to give her a blessing, for which this sweet woman couldn’t have been more grateful. The missionaries will be back tomorrow and they, with the members, will go house to house blessing all that will open their doors.”
President Hall also shared a story of one such woman in dire straits who was looking for someone to rescue her in her attempt to start the clean-up project.
…an elderly woman saw the yellow shirts coming and exclaimed, “I knew the Mormon’s would come!” The organization of the Church, the members, and the missionaries are simply best in class. There is no challenge too great for the members of the Lord’s Church!
What is Mormon Helping Hands?
“Mormon Helping Hands is a priesthood-directed Church program to provide community service and disaster relief to those in need.
The program provides priesthood leaders with an optional service opportunity for Church members and helps establish the name and reputation of the Church. It is a proven means of helping dispel stereotypes often held about the Church, showing that Latter-day Saints are Christians who contribute to the good of their communities.” ¹
How wonderful is it to belong to a Church that is known for being a people who are willing to be among the first responders, no matter what tragedies occur. “I knew the Mormons would come” – what a wonderful compliment and testament to the goodness of this Church.
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf arrived in Houston to provide support to local volunteers, watch him interact here: