Chaplain Deployed To Texas Describes Recovery Efforts, Experience

September 18, 2017
Pastor Alexis Twito | | (678) 485-4726

Chaplain Deployed To Texas Describes Recovery Efforts, Experience

“There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity...
a time to tear down and a time to build”
(Ecclesiastes 3)

On Monday, Sept. 10, I began my first day of a two-week deployment in Victoria, Texas doing hurricane relief work with The Salvation Army. I'm serving here on the Emotional & Spiritual Care Team. And after only a week, I've seen something that gives me hope. Today, I saw signs of new life. Signs of rebuilding.

As we made the 45-minute drive into Victoria from the motel, we passed a huge caravan of bucket trucks and construction vehicles -- an army of electricians, engineers, carpenters, and other laborers on their way to help the communities rebuild.

In various neighborhoods, the large pile of tree cuttings and branches sitting along the road that had been cleared away from the homes were starting to be collected and taken away.

Where yesterday there was none, today I saw cell phone towers erected and road signs being repaired and repositioned.

At the canteen over lunch, we served dozens of people taking a break from a long morning of cleaning, fixing, and building. People who were covered in drywall dust and paint, sweaty from working on broken fences and cleaning up disheveled living spaces, wearing hard hats and work belts. People who were working on their own homes and people who had been working on the homes of neighbors, friends or family members.

Recovery from Hurricane Harvey will be long. The devastation is so widespread. And in the midst of such extensive destruction and loss, and so much despair, days like today are hopeful. There are so many people at work, from all over the country, to help rebuild communities like a Victoria, Texas. I'm so proud of our Salvation Army volunteers doing their part to support the recovery work.

So we will continue to bring meals into neighborhoods where residents are working to rebuild their homes. And we will continue to make sure the laborers stay hydrated by giving them water and Gatorade. And when people need help knowing where to turn for help, or when they just need a shoulder to lean on, we'll continue to send chaplains to provide emotional and spiritual care. Bit by bit, together, we will rebuild.

About The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army, established in London in 1865, has been supporting those in need without discrimination for more than 135 years in the U.S. More than 25 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through a range of social services: food for the hungry, relief for disaster victims, assistance for the disabled, outreach to the elderly and ill, clothing and shelter to the homeless, and opportunities for underprivileged children. The Salvation Army tracks the level of need across the country with the Human Needs Index ( The Salvation Army has served survivors of every major national disaster since 1900. The Salvation Army does not place an administrative fee on disaster donations. During emergency disasters, 100 percent of designated gifts are used to support specific relief efforts. For more information, go to or follow on Twitter @SalvationArmyUS.

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The Salvation Army, an international movement, is an evangelical part of the universal Christian Church. Its message is based on the Bible. Its ministry is motivated by the love of God. Its mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination.
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