Looking Forward with Hope
For he guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones. – Proverbs 2:8
In July of 2020, Hurricane Hanna landed in Rio Grande Valley, Texas, and caused destruction everywhere it touched down. With sustained winds of 93 mph and up to 12 inches of rainfall, Hanna forced many families into storm shelters. This occurred in the midst of a pandemic that required people to social distance and mask while they absorbed the first moments of shock, pain, and disbelief from the hurricane.
Among those sheltering were Jorge and Juanita Torres and their four children who fearfully huddled in a small bedroom as Hurricane Hanna blasted their home. After the hurricane, they surveyed the damage and found the roof had been pulled up and the windows had been shattered, allowing 10 inches of rain to fall into their home. The rain not only destroyed their belongings; but their doors, walls, flooring and at the same time, their hope. The Torres’ did their best to clean up what they could, but the destruction prohibited them from being able to stay in their home.
For 18 months, the Torres family lived with Jorge’s mother while waiting for help to rebuild their home. Unfortunately, due to COVID restrictions, nobody was traveling including volunteers from World Renew Disaster Response Services (DRS). And while the Torreses waited, their despair mounting, it was revealed that Juanita had thyroid cancer and Jorge was diagnosed with early on-set Alzheimer’s. It seemed as though their challenges were piling up as high as the debris left from the hurricane.
After managing these continuing trials along with feelings of hopelessness, the Torres’ were encouraged when a team of World Renew DRS volunteers showed up at their door! The team came armed with tools to help repair their home and compassion to help heal their broken hearts. Determined to be a part of the solution, the Torres’ worked hard alongside DRS volunteers during the reconstruction. They helped remove debris, replace board floors, paint trim and walls, mud and finish drywall, and complete other home repairs as well as cook for the crew. The Torres’ were incredibly grateful when they could finally settle again in their home and feel inspired about the future. They have since enrolled three of their children in college while they faithfully continue to rebuild their lives.
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