A few days after the waters receded, a police car, lights flashing, parked at the entrance to one devastated neighborhood. To guard against looting? Certainly every house stood unguarded, doors and windows wide open to dry out the inside. But in an ironic twist, every house was also totally empty. Literally everything that had once been in each house—furniture, clothing, appliances, bedding—was in a huge pile by the curb, saturated, waiting to be hauled away. Even cars and trucks that had been flooded were now useless.
There was nothing left to loot.
That’s the insidious nature of flood. Wind damages some things. Water destroys everything.
The stories of human loss here are overwhelming. One man was still mourning his wife’s death when the rising waters destroyed everything that remained of her life—even photographs. He was left with nothing. No trace. As if she had never existed.
Hurricane Harvey brought devastation to south Texas in a scale that has never been seen before, a scale that is impossible to describe. While some places on relatively higher ground emerged with only minor damage, others just a few feet lower in elevation were swamped. Entire neighborhoods were flooded, many up to the rooftops.
When you actually see it, the mind reels. Block after block, mile after mile, community after community, the scene is the same. In front of thousands upon thousands of homes, huge piles of garbage that were once the bits and pieces of peoples’ lives. Beside the piles, thousands of human beings, no place to go, hollow-eyed.
At first, I thought they were in shock. But then I realized they were grieving—grieving the loss of their past, everything they had ever known. Left with nothing on which to build a future.
Disaster recovery is totally different—the situation, and the needs, literally change every day. All we can tell you at this point is that you will be desperately needed. Typically, once an affected house is emptied, it has to be gutted down to the studs. Drywall, insulation, carpeting—literally everything touched by water must be removed. It’s a dirty job, but it’s the only way. Then, everything that’s left must be treated to remove mildew before drywall is rehung, finished, and painted. We will do our best to inform you what you might expect—but the best advice is to expect the unexpected.
|Price:||$464 per person|
|Deposit:||$50 per person|
|50% of Remaining Balance Due:||March 15, 2018|
|Full Balance Due:||May 15, 2018|
Participants must be at least 14 years old or older. Adults are welcome to participate. Due to liability, under-aged participants will be sent home at their own expense (NO babies or small children). Only registered participants are permitted at the lodging facility and on the project sites. No special skills are required.
18, 19, or 20-year-olds are welcome to attend as participants! Remember that only those who are 21 or older will be considered “adults” at camp and count in your 1 adult to 5 youth required ratio.
You must have one adult (21 years of age or older) for every five youth (20 years of age or under). If you have both males and females in your group, you must have at least one adult volunteer of each gender. The minimum group size is one young person and one adult of the same gender.
Group requires that all participants 18 years of age or older be screened and background checked by your church prior to attending.
Background checks must be multi-state and no older than two years from the start of the mission trip. You choose your background check organization vendor.
18-20 year olds are not considered "adults" during camp, however because of our commitment to safety, we still ask them to go through your church's screening process and have background checks run.
Group requires a pastor-signed Screening and Verification Form for each 18+ participant in order for them to attend the mission trip.
You need to provide transportation for your group to and from your mission trip. The vehicles you bring are used to provide daily transportation to and from work sites. We request that groups bring vehicles that can hold at least 6 people since our work crews are typically that size. If you intend to bring a large bus, call us first to be sure your trip location can accommodate it.
A "typical" day at Group Workcamp involves serving others, "God Sightings," daily devotions, and interactive worship programs. Your schedule will look similar to this:
Check-in: Sunday between 12-2 p.m.
3 p.m First program, followed by the Adult Meeting
5 p.m. Dinner
7 p.m. Evening Program, everyone will get to meet their work crews!
8:30 p.m. Youth group devotions
11 p.m. Lights-out
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday
6:45 a.m. Rise and shine!
7:00 a.m. Breakfast, gather supplies and sack lunches
8:00 a.m. Morning program and then depart for work sites!
12:00 p.m. On-site lunch and devotions
3:30 p.m. Return to lodging for clean-up and free time
5:00 p.m. Dinner
7:30 p.m. Evening program
8:30 p.m. Youth group devotions
11:00 p.m. Lights-out
Same schedule as the other days until 12:30 p.m.
12:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Youth groups have free time (dinner is on their own)
7:30 p.m. The Variety Show and Evening Program start
8:30 p.m. Youth group devotions
11:00 p.m. Lights-out
Check-out: Saturday by 9:00 a.m.
You'll be serving residents affected by Hurricane Harvey in the Houston area. The situation is constantly changing and actual projects may not be finalized until the week of the camp. Please allow for flexibility as we work to ensure we serve the people of Houston in the best possible way. You will receive updated information before each of these Hurricane Recovery Camp experiences.
Tools: Each group is asked to bring painting and construction tools including rollers, gloves, hammers, circular saws, post hold diggers, electric drills, ladders, etc. A cooler and water jug is also needed for every 6 people--these keep lunch and water cold for participants on their work site. The full Tool List is located online for every registered group on their Group Page.
Personal Items: The full Packing List is also located online for every registered group on their Group Page, but it’s pretty much what you’d expect. A twin-size air mattress and bedding for sleeping, water jugs and coolers for lunches, work gloves, modest swimsuits, and modest clothing appropriate for a Christian mission trip.
Yes. Because of the nature of disaster recovery efforts, we will most likely keep churches and groups together as we serve the communities in the Houston area. We cannot guarantee that your group will be all together or that your group will be by themselves on assigned projects. We may need to split groups up to serve the community or put more than one group on a project at a time.
Safety is our top priority!
The Hurricane Recovery camps are limited to a maximum of 400 participants and we house them all typically in a church or Christian school. Group staff transforms the facility into a home away from home–there will be a separate male and female sleeping areas, a cafeteria for meals, adequate bathrooms and showers, and either a gym or auditorium for programs.
Participants need to bring twin-size air mattresses (please don’t bring queen size), pillows, sleeping bags or other bedding to sleep on classroom floors. Groups are assigned to sleeping rooms together, gender separate. Sleeping rooms may be shared with other groups or individuals, depending on the size of groups and the size of the room.
Registered groups can see more information about their lodging facility online on their Group Page under the General Lodging tab. Trip Leaders are given the lodging facility’s address.
Registered groups are given a sample menu online on their Group Page under the Schedule, Menu, Packing tab. Meals will consist of hot breakfasts, sack lunches, and hot dinners. All meals will be prepared for participants. Picnic-style lunches will be assembled in the mornings and brought to work sites.
If you have a participant that has a special diet or allergy, share the sample menu with them so they can start planning. Please know that we do have peanut butter on the menu as an option and we are unable to guarantee that there will not be any cross-contamination during the preparation of the meals by kitchen staff. Participants are more than welcome to bring their own food items to fill in as needed during the weekend. There will be a staff member available who will be able to answer any and all questions about food.
Jesus-centered. Our goal is to point people to Jesus. Programs focus on Bible passages and daily themes that challenge us to respond to Jesus in ways we will never forget.
Interactive. People learn better by doing. Participants will be involved in sharing, speaking, singing, acting,reflecting...not just sitting and watching.
Relevant. Through creative multimedia, thought provoking sound and video, and moving contemporary worship, programs are designed to reach everyone.
Fun. Relationship-building activities, games and having fun are part of every program. Expect to have a great time!
After you register by paying a $50 (non-refundable) deposit per space, there are 2 payment dates for the remaining balance:
March 15, 2018: Half of what is remaining is due.
May 15, 2018: The final half is due. (All payments are non-refundable after this date.)
Payments can be made online, by phone, or by mail.
We want your trip to be as easy on you as possible. That's why we provide the following so you don't have to:
Call us! If there's space available in your mission trip, we'll ask for necessary payment for each additional participant. If you have exhausted all efforts to re-fill spaces and just can't, call us to make cancellations. We'll adjust your balance accordingly.
Cancellations have a huge effect on the people we serve, it is devastating news to them when we have to cancel. Based on the number of registered participants, we plan for lodging, food orders, work materials and staffing-just for starters. Not to mention, that depending on the time of year, it is simply impossible for us to re-fill cancelled spaces.
We also recognize that unexpected events happen that can pull participants away from their original commitment. Please give us a call, we are happy to talk through ideas to recruit other participants and keeping your group intact.
We ask that all participants arrive on time and stay for the entire time. Every part of the program is valuable and helps guarantee a life-changing experience. We really try not to make exceptions to this because it does affect other participants, residents, and work projects. Please check the schedule and make travel arrangements accordingly. Contact us if a situation arises.