ON MISSION: Bringing Hope to Rockport


Our SPL Mission Team once again traveled to Rockport, Texas the week of June 2-7 to help bring restoration and hope to families who were impacted by Hurricane Harvey (August 2017) in partnership with Rockport Hands of Hope. You may assume that after almost two years there wouldn’t be much recovery work left to do. But there is still much to be done. In fact, there were other teams there with us that were being sent out to do debris clean-up still!

Our team included me (Pastor Mark) and a faithful band of servants – Gene Mueller, Sam Morrow, Richard Heinkel, Chuck Schuette, Al Schelling and his daughters Allie & Izzie, Jayden Holthaus, and Dakota Miloser. Several of these people have been on all three trips to Rockport (July 2018, January 2019, June 2019).

During our time there we had the privilege of transforming the front two rooms of small house for a sweet older couple named Roscoe and Gracie. We tore out the walls down to the studs, added insulation (which they had never had), and hung new drywall on the walls and ceilings. In addition we reframed and installed 6 new windows, painted the trim around the windows, and installed 2 new ceiling fans.

Roscoe and Gracie were blown away by the transformation and the generosity of Hands of Hope. It brought renewed life, joy, and hope into their lives. In addition to what we accomplished, Hands of Hope had provided them with a new roof, new siding, a new porch with a ramp, new windows, and they were planning to have an electrician come to redo the electrical system. Gracie said with amazement multiple times while we were there, “All I asked for was a new roof.” We reminded them throughout our time there that though we were doing the work, the Lord was the one who was providing for them in their need.

Before we left we had the privilege of doing a short house blessing with Gracie and Roscoe and we were blessed as Gracie prayed a blessing over our team as well. Though Gracie is an active believer, Roscoe has not attended worship since his youth, though he says he still believes that Jesus is his Lord and Savior. I pray that through this great outpouring of God’s love that Roscoe and Gracie both might be drawn into a deeper trust and relationship with Jesus more than ever before.

In addition to this work, three members of our group helped out painting and decorating for Vacation Bible School, inventorying cots, and helped begin remodeling and clean-up work on what will be the future office space of Rockport Hands of Hope.

All in all, the tasks accomplished while our team served:
– Tore out drywall down to studs in front two rooms of home
– Insulated and hung dry wall
– Reframed and installed 6 windows
– Painted trim around windows
– Installed 2 new ceiling fans
– House blessing for Roscoe and Gracie
– Painted and decorated for VBS
– Inventoried cots
– Remodeling and clean-up work on future Hands of Hope offices

But we know, God was at work in so many other ways through this team, even outside of the tasks we completed. While we were there, we had the opportunity to connect with the couple that Gene Mueller and his team had served in January 2019, Starr and Bill. One of the things Starr shared stuck with me. She said that our team did more than restore their house. They helped bring restoration and stability to their lives. They gave them hope and new life in a hopeless and dark time for them. And because of the love and care shown to them, they have both been drawn into a life-giving relationship with Jesus as their Lord and Savior.

If you’d like to go on mission with us at SPL, I’d like to connect with you and plug you in to the best serve for you. You can reach me at pastormark@spldecatur.org or 217-423-6955. You can also stay up to date on what our Mission Team is doing next through our SPL Mission Team Facebook group.

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