When Winter Storm Uri blew into Texas two years ago, millions of Texans found themselves shivering in the dark without running water – some are still recovering. Liz Belrose was one of them.
Two days into the storm, Liz huddled in her duplex when her tenant in the second unit noticed water draining from their common-use laundry room. A connection to their washing machine broke, sending out gallons of water.
Fortunately, Liz got a family member to vacuum the water and plug the break, putting what she thought was an end to the problem. It wasn’t. Within days, another pipe burst, but this time, repairers discovered mold that had spread inside the walls of Liz’s bedroom, a spare bedroom, and her tenant’s unit.
With her health challenges, the mold presented a major problem for Liz. She breathes with the help of a tracheostomy and uses a wheelchair to get around. She also physically couldn’t make the repairs and didn’t have the money to do them, so she turned to ADRN for help.
“That was my first Godsend,” she said.
Her second Godsend was ADRN volunteer Tami Newett, the Disaster Relief Shepherd paired with Liz. Tami Newett attends Riverbend Church member and helped Liz navigate the repairs while encouraging her relationship with Christ.
“Tami reminds me not to fear and trust God. She was more than a shepherd. She’s been my friend,” Liz said.
ADRN also helped Liz repair and renovate her home. Contractors remediated the mold, fixed the laundry room, and one contractor donated personal time to help Liz with extra repairs.
Through her relationship with Tami and ADRN, Liz has reconnected with her church, Christian Life Austin.
“It had been 20 years since I sat in a church, but the minute I walked in, it was like a 20-pound load lifted off me. I was at peace,” she said.
Liz now concentrates on her art. She likes to create gel ink drawings. She’s even started a small LifeGroup at the church, where she and fellow artists discuss how art impacts faith. She believes God’s creation is God’s art, and His beauty is in everything we see.
“He is amazing. There have been times I can feel His arms around me, and I know I’m not alone,” she said.
Disasters are difficult to manage alone. We thank God for Tami Newett and churches like Riverbend, who stand shoulder-to-shoulder with disaster survivors. That is God’s love in action.
If you’re interested in becoming a Disaster Relief Shepherd for people like Liz, ADRN has free online training through our Volunteer Portal. Click here to visit the portal find out more.