Friends, we have been overwhelmed by your love and concern for us since Hurricane Harvey brought flooding to Houston. We’ve been sharing updates on Facebook and each time we mention a prayer request, you respond and we see God move!

But in the days and weeks to come, families like mine will continue to need your prayers. Here are ways you can pray for special-needs families in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.

Pray for displaced families staying in shelters. Thousands of families were rescued from their homes and are now staying in shelters across the city of Houston and the suburbs. For our kids with sensory issues, so many people in one space can be overwhelming. They may react with anxiety and aggression. Pray they can stay calm, find quiet, safe spots to relax, and for their parents and caretakers to remain calm and supportive with all the extra eyes on them. 

Pray for those whose homes and cars were destroyed or damaged. The images we’re seeing on the news are devastating. When families return to their homes, they may find nothing worth salvaging. That could include medical equipment, communication aides, adaptations they’ve made to their homes, and even favorite collections. Pray for resources to quickly replace the most important material items they need.

Pray for food and necessities. With the food allergies and aversions many of our kids have, they may not be able to eat everything offered at shelters or what’s left in their homes or on the grocery store shelves. Our son James also wears diapers part time, in a size that’s hard to find. Other kids may need certain types of soap for their sensitive skin or specific types of feminine care products. Pray special-needs families are able to get the food and necessities they need to keep their kids healthy.

Pray for medicine and access to medical care. This morning we counted how many pills we have left for James and talked about giving him lower doses in case we can’t make it to the pharmacy by this weekend. Multiply that concern by the thousands who rely on life-saving medicine. Hospitals and clinics around the city have also closed or had to evacuate, which leads to canceled appointments and a backlog of patients who will need to be seen in the coming weeks. Pray for favor for those who have the highest needs to get the medicine and appointments they need. 

Pray for fear and anxiety. Many of our children can’t process the fear and other strong emotions they are experiencing through this emergency situation. They absorb the stress around them but don’t have the ability to calm themselves down or stop the worries. Pray that the peace of God would guard their hearts and minds (Phil. 4:7). 

Pray for parents and caretakers who are feeling extra stress and exhaustion. Even in our home that has remained dry and with power, we’re feeling stress from being homebound for so many days without a break. This can lead to short tempers and over reactions. We must rely on God to fill us up so we can continue to serve our families well. Pray God would supply parents’ needs for rest and patience according to His great riches (Phil. 4:19).

There are many other ways to pray for families like mine, and we appreciate each prayer you lift up on our behalf! Thank you for weeping when we weep, so we can all rejoice together at what God will do in the weeks and months to come!

Those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy. Psalm 126:5

If you’re looking for help right away, here are resources I know of:

  • Easter Seals Greater Houston
  • Disaster Survivors with Disabilities Hotline at 1 (800) 626-4959. The hotline provides referrals for disaster assistance with:* Disaster-related problem-solving
    * Evacuation strategies and issues
    * Shelter accessibility issues
    * Temporary housing strategies
    * Assistive device, durable medical equipment and consumable medical supply referrals
    * Just-In-Time Disaster Response and Recovery Training- Web-Based and On-Site
  • Donate online to SBDR or Send Relief by giving here. You can also text SENDRELIEF to 41444 to aid the residents of the Texas coast. (The Southern Baptist Convention has the third largest disaster relief organization in the country. Red Cross and others depend on help from the SBDR.)

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