The founder of a faith-based volunteer ministry that began in the days immediately following Hurricane Katrina is already preparing to help the people of Texas devastated by Hurricane Harvey.
Since it launched in 2005, Eight Days of Hope and its rapid response team "Hope Reigns" have been to various parts of the country to help people put their lives and homes back together. Steve Tybor says the volunteer organization is planning to be on site for up to two months in the areas hit by Harvey:
"Every piece of equipment that God has blessed us with – Bobcats, bucket trucks, chainsaws, tarps – we're taking everything that God has entrusted us with. We're launching a new feeding ministry. We have a 53-foot feeding trailer – [it's] a $500,000 piece of equipment. It can make 2,000 meals in a 90-minute window. We're going to be unleashing that ministry for the first time ever in Texas ...."
"We've been praying that God would open the door. It looks like we could announce in the next few days a major church in Houston that will be our partner .... [For volunteers who join us] we provide the food and lodging and T-shirts and nighttime worship. It's a cool experience ...."
"Right now, there's no clean water in some parts of Houston. There's some parts where the toilets are not working. We're talking about basic necessities, the little things in life that we take for granted. We need to be in prayer right now. There's still people in unsafe conditions who are waiting for help ...."
"I love our government. I don't care if you're a liberal or a conservative. This is about us setting aside our differences and showing people in Texas and Louisiana that we have your back. We're going to be praying for you. We're going to send you a meal. We're going to send you some volunteers and we're going to give to help people rebuild ...."
"It isn't just gutting a house and rebuilding a home. It's walking the journey with these people, loving them as Christ loves us unconditionally. When they want to talk for 30 minutes and you get nothing done, listen for 30 minutes. It's allowing them to cry on your shoulder ...."
"Our hope is that at some point, maybe in January or February, to go back and rebuild these homes. But you don't even think about rebuilding right now. With 10,000 families out of their homes, we will find 1,000 families tomorrow that we can help. It's about getting people down there and being a good conduit ...."
Tybor made his comments on American Family Radio on Monday.