LU Send Prepares Team to Rebuild Hurricane Harvey Damage
Over the course of Liberty University’s spring break, LU Send Now has a team prepared that will be moving their area of focus from academia to rebuilding the damaged homes of Rockport, Texas, and find any and all ways to serve the people of the area.
The team of 21 is preparing to serve alongside Samaritan’s Purse in a community still recovering from 2017’s Hurricane Harvey. This will be the first time that LU Send Now has partnered with Samaritan’s Purse for a rebuilding project, which will likely allow the team more time to form relationships and bonds with the homeowners they will be serving.
One of the leaders for the team, LU Shepherd Dillon Segur, cited the partnership with Samaritan’s Purse and the time afforded by spring break as being incentives for the trip.
“I wanted to go because this is the first time that LU Send Now is partnering with Samaritan’s Purse to do a rebuild, and I thought it was a good way to gain experience and learn about a new form of disaster relief,” Segur said. “Spring break is a great time to do missions/service because, as a student, you are pulled in so many directions that the only time you can serve is during breaks.”
Team member Noah Pipes recognizes that this spring break will be different from every other year, and he looks forward to the opportunity to come to the aid of those that cannot enjoy this season.
“I am most looking forward to doing something for someone else during a holiday (that) is heavily focused on oneself,” Pipes said. “Every other spring break, I would have gone on vacation or enjoyed quality time with my girlfriend, friends and family, but I felt God strongly call me to this trip to do something not for myself, but for someone who is in dire need.”
The team will be working to restore residents’ flooring, which will include installing carpet and hardwood, as well as anything else that is placed before them. Pipes will draw on his work experience from last summer when he worked for a home restoration company. His fellow team member, Kristen Smith, has only minor experience in the field, but Smith said she is prepared to learn and serve others in the process.
“I do not have any experience for rebuilding major things other than painting homes, going on a variety of other mission trips and sharing the gospel, but I am looking forward to what I will learn on this trip and how God is going to use me for His kingdom,” Smith said.
As they rebuild the physical damage left by the hurricane, the team will also try to restore morale and use the trip to advance and share the gospel.
“While this trip is a great way to provide a physical need for someone, it is also a great way to provide a spiritual need for someone,” Pipes said. “I am praying for gospel-centered conversations to occur, but if they don’t, I pray that our team’s actions clearly show the love of God and plant a seed in their heart.”
As can be expected, spending such an extended amount of time together often develops strong bonds within the team, and this is something that Segur said he looks forward to experiencing once again on his fourth LU Send Now trip.
“I am looking forward to seeing how the students will bond over the trip,” Segur said. “Every trip, students meet new friends, and they gain relationships with people that they never would have met without going on the trip.”
This will be the second trip that LU Send Now has made to Rockport, giving the program another opportunity to aid those who are still suffering the fallout of Hurricane Harvey.
“I think this trip, in particular, is a wonderful experience because the team is being deployed many months after Hurricane Harvey happened in Texas, so we will have a unique experience to show the community that we help even after many organizations may have stopped helping,” Smith said.