Restoration is a Process

FEBRUARY 2018

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by Abbie Thiebaut Abbie works in the EM office supporting hurricane relief trips to Texas. She recently spent a few weeks in Port Arthurand Houstonleading mission trip teams.

“Lord Jesus Christ, restore us to your glory.” This was my prayer during the recent two weeks that I spent serving in Houston and Port Arthur, Texas.

I recently had the privilege to spend a few weeks in Texas to aid in our hurricane relief work, and it has me thinking a lot more about the idea of restoration. The physical work that relief teams are doing to restore the homes is both a metaphor for the Lord’s restorative work on our souls and perhaps part of the process itself.

After the floods associated with Hurricane Harvey receded, nearly all of the homes in Port Arthur and surrounding communities had to be gutted down to the studs. Worldly possessions needed to be thrown out and families were expected to start anew by rebuilding. As I toured the week's project sites and work to be done, I noticed in many of the homes the beauty in the basics of the home.

Underneath layers of old drywall and antique wallpaper, beautiful wood flooring and shiplap walls stood out particularly in one home that we worked in. I couldn’t help but think, after all of this was over, the family would be left with a home brighter and more beautiful than they ever could have imagined before the destruction took place...and that’s just what I started to see.

Hurricane Harvey Relief Texas

While the team came to do the physical restoration projects that needed to be done after the storm, God used it as an opportunity to show his goodness and his plans for restoration for His kingdom as a whole.

Teams got to witness first hand God’s sovereignty and goodness—and they got to share it with the family that they served.

The teams spent the week cleaning up the home, hanging new drywall, and restoring the home to its former glory. During our debrief sessions, I was encouraged to hear all that God was doing in the lives of the team members that week. Along the way, I saw restoration happen in the hearts of the teams as well. Broken relationships were mended, broken stories seen in a new light, and broken hearts turned back to God.

There’s still a ton of work to be done in Texas to restore the homes and lives or people devastated by Hurricane Harvey, but my prayer is that God would use this as an opportunity to also restore all of us to be better and brighter than ever.

Hurricane Harvey Relief Texas

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