Homes were under water in Rising Star, but the hands of Texans on Mission volunteers kept hope afloat in this small West Texas town north of Brownwood.

Resident David Grissom experienced the heaviness of the effects of a May 3 flood as it enveloped the foundation of many homes, including his own. He and his family were in their creekside home as the flood waters rose.

Grissom said he was in shock at the amount of water surrounding them and their home.

“We experienced about knee-deep water on the front porch and 8 inches of water in the house,” he said. “This has never happened before, and I've been here 20 years.”

A record 9 inches of rain impacted 90% of Rising Star’s downtown, flooding  businesses, causing road damage and making parts of the town impassable.

Alexis Grissom, David’s wife, recounted the events from that night and expressed the same shock.

“The kids' room got the worst of it,” Alexis Grissom said. “Water was pouring in from the corners. It was tearing all of it up.”

As the water engulfed their home, David Grissom fought to get his family to safety and save what he could of their belongings.

“I thought I'd have to kick the window out to get out [because] I couldn’t get the front door to open,” David Grissom said. “I made about five or six trips into the house getting stuff out. Last trip, I didn't think I was going to make it back out.”

The flood ruined most of their possessions. They salvaged some furniture but had to throw away much of their clothing, furniture and family keepsakes.

The couple used one word to describe the feeling of the aftermath as they stood in the middle of their bedroom.

“Stressed,” they said.

Texans on Mission volunteers swiftly responded to the community, mounting a disaster relief effort the day after the flood. Volunteers from Greenwood Baptist in Weatherford, and Wylie and Beltway Park Baptist Churches in Abilene worked to replace damaged areas of the home while Grissom and his wife removed items lost to the flood.

While the Grissoms felt the grief of the situation, uncovering items lost one by one, Alexis Grissom said efforts from volunteers did not go unnoticed.

“We really appreciate it. I know it doesn’t seem like it because I’m stressed out, but we really do appreciate it very much,” said Alexis Grissom.

Nine pairs of helping hands disposed of ruined items to a trash site outside the Grissom home and pulled affected drywall and carpeting for replacement.

Alan Broxon, a member of Beltway Park Church, explained what their work consisted of while reflecting on their spirit of service in the West Texas town.

“They had water damage two to four feet up the wall,” said Broxon. “We're cutting sheetrock out, removing the insulation, and then we're going to spray for mold.”

“It's in every room,” he said. “It’s in the living room. It's in the dining room. It's in the kitchen.

“If they had a contractor come in and do it, then that would cost them a lot more than they might be able to afford.

“But it's just helping people,” Broxon said. “And Texans enjoy helping Texans.”

After canvassing the town the day after the flood, Texans on Mission volunteers already had 15 work requests from affected families.

Clyde McMinn, Texans on Mission team leader for the Rising Star relief effort, expects volunteers to remain in the area for another week-and-a-half while providing aid to those impacted. He said an Amarillo-area Texans on Mission relief team will join the current team Monday.

Similar to Broxon, Randy Stovall,  a member of Wylie Church, reflected on the opportunity to bring healing to the families affected by the flood, the Grissom’s being one of many. He said doing the hard work translates into a sense of belief for citizens that things will be OK.

“When I help, I've always felt like you’re giving somebody some hope,” Stovall said. “Yeah, you’re doing physical stuff . You’re cutting, you’re cleaning, you're doing all of that, but really, you’re giving them hope.

“And that’s what they really need.”

Guy White, another member of Wylie Church, shared comparable thoughts to Stovall. He said responding to disasters like this is a calling, one that requires compassion to help families persevere.

“People that come out and do this have such a good heart, and I love working with a group of men that have the same heart,” White said. “We love on [the families], and help them get through their tragedy.”