President Trump designated Sunday, September 3, 2017 as a National Day of Prayer for victims and first responders in the path of Hurricane Harvey - and across the Houston metro area, people took that to heart.
In the town of Spring, Pastor Beth Warpmaker had already planned a day of service for Kinsmen Luther Church prior to the hurricane. But after the storm, she redirected her congregation to help with cleanup.
It was certainly no day of rest.
“We say we worshipped, and now we work-ship,” laughed Warpmaker.
Entire neighborhoods in Spring were flooded by rising waters. Warpmaker had 49 inches of water in her home, and church member Anne Brady has 16 inches.
A team from the church spent Sunday helping her remove ruined flooring and drywall inside her home.
“All these people, you realize what good friends you have,” Brady said.
“In my sermon this morning, I said it takes disasters and devastation like this to let us know all the angels that surround us every day,” said Warpmaker.
But while some worked with hammers and saws, others' tool of choice was song.
Congregants from Pleasant Hill Church of Deliverance came to the George R. Brown shelter for worship music and prayer.
“We came out to bring hope to the people,” said Gail Johnson, a pastor at the church.
She knew many people staying there had lost homes, businesses – but some were also living without a spiritual home, unable to get to church.
“We need to pray,” said Johnson. “Pray for Houston, pray for one another and become unified in the body of Christ.”
But whether it’s communicated through music, or the sounds of power tools, the message is the same – this tragedy is bringing the people of Houston closer together.
“It just breaks down all the walls we usually put up, you know?” said Warpmaker. “They all come tumbling down.”