Written by Fernando DeCarvalho

It was Tuesday afternoon, around 1pm, when I began seeing updates from our friends in Houston, Texas. My initial thoughts were, “This is Houston, Texas, one of the biggest cities in one of the wealthiest states in our nation. Most likely they don’t need my help.” I quickly found out that was not the case.

Hurricane Harvey hammered Southeast Texas with sustained winds of over 100 mph and dumped a year’s worth of rain in 36 hours. With at least 70 fellow Americans dead and an estimated $80 billion in damage, this was the worst they’ve faced in over a decade. In fact, I found that the need was tremendous. Many were still in need of rescue and there was a dire shortage of basic supplies. Any help available was more than welcomed.

After obtaining my wife’s permission (I’ve learned a few things in my three years of marriage), I called my friend and coworker Jeff Wagner from SOS and we booked flights to Dallas. Honestly, we had decided to go because our hearts were broken for the people of Texas. On our way down to the Houston area, I called ahead to reserve a 26-foot U Haul. Though we had no money, the plan was to roll into Houston with a truck full of supplies.

We arrived in Dallas at 3pm and by 9pm we had picked up our truck and packed it to the brim with $10,000 worth of water, food, and cleaning supplies. We hit the road and in less than five hours we were in Houston, Texas. We were ready to serve and available for any assignment.

We didn’t anticipate, and words can’t describe what God proceeded to do. As more supplies continued to roll in, we became the supplier to five rescue relief centers in the most devastated areas of Texas. We had little sleep and no showers for five days. Eventually, the sheer magnitude of the need became emotionally taxing.

In the end, seeing the people’s faces light up because they had one more day of water and food was worth it all. We went on to see over 1 million pounds of supplies reach over 5,000 families. Looking back it’s as if the U-Haul was the fives loaves and two fish.

With the willingness of generous donors including Bridge of Hope, CityReach Network, Reach Church and many other churches, and some old fashioned hard work, Jesus multiplied the little we had and fed the multitudes. Our hearts were filled with compassion and faith. Most importantly and indispensably, Jesus met us and did what only He could do!

There is still a great need for those affected by Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma. Would you join us in partnership with Bridge of Hope Ministries by donating today? Click here to give and choose “Bridge of Hope.”

Fernando DeCarvalho and family

Fernando DeCarvalho is the US Director at SOS Adventure where he helps reach thousands of people all over the world. He currently lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with his wife, Elizabeth, and their son, Malachi and serves as a Missionary Evangelist for CityReach Church Pittsburgh.

Jeff Wagner

Jeff Wagner is the Mission Opportunity Director at SOS Adventure where he helps reach thousands of people all over the world. He currently lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with his wife, Rachael.