Marie Dickson, of Westside Baptist Church in Corsicana, cleans out a flood-damaged home in Conroe.


TXM volunteers work in five Texas communities

Storms have taken a toll across Texas in recent days, and Texans on Mission has deployed disaster relief volunteers into several communities in May – San Marcos, Conroe, Rising Star, Huffman and Kingwood.

“There has been flooding, tornadoes and devastating straight winds,” said David Wells, state TXM Disaster Relief director. “It’s been a hard couple of weeks for many people in Texas,” Wells said. “We are fortunate that we have so many dedicated volunteers to disperse over a wide geographic area.

“They are trained and flexible to work in difficult, ever changing situations,” Wells said. “They’re amazing, and the prayer warriors and financial donors who stand behind them are amazing, as well.”

As of May 13, TXM volunteer days numbered 375 for the month.

Parts of Conroe have been flooded for a second time this year. Some of those homes have been abandoned, but many more are being cleaned out for eventual rebuilding.

Gary Smith, TXM incident commander in Conroe, said three Flood Recovery teams worked jobs Monday. And free public laundry service is offered at the TXM base on the campus of West Conroe Baptist Church.

The Conroe flood came as no surprise to the community. “This area received a lot of water from rain, and it caused extensive flooding into homes,” Smith said. “The sad part is so many of these homes have been flooded before, and so it's not new to them.”

Most people “have gone into their homes and have begun to try to salvage whatever they can,” he added.

People ask TXM volunteers why they work for free, Smith said. “We do it because Jesus asks us to be the hands and feet on the ground to take care of the needs of his people. And we're all his people.”

In the midst of hard work, he said it’s easy to “forget the real reason why we're here, and that’s to share Jesus.”

In San Marcos, Incident Commander Jerry Ickes said TXM assessors continue to find residents in need of assistance after damage from recent high winds. The teams are setting up at Calvary Baptist Church in San Marcos. They relocated to the Hill Country from Kingwood, north of Houston, over the weekend.

“We currently have 28 volunteers on site” with feeding, box and electronic units in San Marcos, Ickes said. Chainsaw teams from Bluebonnet Association and Kerrville, plus a shower/laundry unit from Green Acres Baptist Church in Tyler, are arriving soon.

Ann Neal, of Crosspoint Church in McKinney, and Donna McEwen, of Central Baptist Church in Jacksonville, sort through sewn toys and hearts the team hands out to children affected by crisis. Each comes with a message of hope.

About 60 Texans on Mission volunteers meet after their first day of response to the Conroe area floods. By the end of day March 13, the team had received 30 work requests from flooded families needing mud out help in their homes. The Conroe effort is expected to last through Thursday.