Surviving the Storm

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Surviving the Storm

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Hurricane Harvey brought unspeakable destruction to the citizens of Houston, Texas. One Westminster alumna, Rebecca Liu, found herself caught in the middle of the hurricane during her second year at Rice University in Houston.

“Classes were cancelled from the afternoon of the Friday that Harvey was expected to hit (8/25) through the following week (9/1),” said Liu. Students living on campus escaped from the brunt of the flooding but still witnessed the effects of Harvey on their school community.

“I know some of my professors were affected either by mandatory evacuation or getting their houses flooded. Some of my off-campus friends were stranded or lost power/water. Another one of my friends had to be rescued by boat with her family because her house was completely flooded,” said Liu.

The roads surrounding Rice were flooded, forcing students to stay in their dorms until the water receded. As soon as they were physically able to head out into the affected neighborhoods, Rebecca set to work. Along with her Reformed Youth Fellowship group and fellow students, Liu tore out destroyed flooring and drywall in ruined homes.

A pile of ruined furniture due to the hurricane

“After volunteering to clean out some houses, I would say the hardest part is watching flood victims come to terms with how much they have lost. From photos to furniture, Harvey took away large portions of people’s livelihood with its destructive waters,” said Liu. Any item that came in contact with flood waters had to be thrown away, an additional blow to the families already displaced from their homes.

Despite the chaos and destruction caused by Hurricane Harvey, Rebecca found the strength of the storm to be awe-inspiring.

“There was a particularly special moment where the students near my residential college gathered together on the Sunday of the storm to worship together. As the rain beat on the windows and the tornado sirens went off, we continued to worship and pray, and it’s just pretty incredible to see a group of young people brave the storm to be together as the body of Christ,” said Liu.