Hurricane Harvey Relief

I wanted to update you quickly on our relief efforts associated with the hurricane that hit south and southeast Texas this past weekend. Because of the sustained presence of rain in Houston and the surrounding area, we will not know for certain what all the needs are there until the end of this week or the beginning of next week. But we can begin to make preparations as a church to help where we can and support our partner organizations that are already involved in relief work in other places.

What can we do right now?

1 Our first response is, of course, to pray for all those who have been affected and are being affected by the storm. Let’s pray that they are able to rely on a peace that passes understanding. This will be a long road of recovery, as many will suffer emotionally as well as physically. May God grant mercy to them during this time, and may the Lord use the church to comfort those who are hurting.

2 Our second way of helping is to give financially. We are asking all First Irving Members to give directly to our disaster relief fund at First Irving. We will distribute these donations to partner organizations as needs arise. These partner organizations will likely include the North American Mission Board, the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention, and the Baptist General Convention of Texas.

We are asking you to give directly to the church, though, because we will also need money to help minister to partner churches in the Houston and other affected areas, as well as ministering to any displaced people that come to Dallas or Irving. We will also likely send teams from our church to help with mud-outs and other recovery efforts. These funds can be used for that ministry as well.

You can give online here: http://firstirving.org/give/. You can also bring a check directly to the church office, if that works better for you.

3 A third way of helping is to donate specific items to help the shelter efforts underway in Irving and in Dallas. The city of Irving will be receiving displaced people in the coming days, and the city of Dallas has already begun converting the convention center into a mega-shelter.

They will be in need of the following items:

  • New Underwear (men, women, and children)
  • New socks (men, women, and children)
  • Toiletries
  • Hygiene products
  • Baby formula
  • Baby wipes
  • Baby bottles
  • Diapers (all sizes)
  • Pack n’ Plays (for babies to sleep)

We will receive these items in the HUB of our church over the next few days and take them directly to the designated drop-off sites. Or, if you prefer, you can take them directly to this location for the Dallas shelter: 15660 N. Dallas Parkway from 3pm-8pm.

4 If you are an animal lover and have extra room in your house or supplies that can be donated, you can work with the North Texas SPCA, who has taken in a number of stranded animals. I know this may not sound like a huge ministry, but families become very anxious when they are separated from their pets. You can help these families by looking after their animals until they can be reunited, or you can donate to the shelter. Here is a link: https://www.spca.org/.

5 You can also give blood. There will be a large demand for blood donations over the next couple of weeks to help all those affected. If you have time and are able, you can donate blood here: http://www.carterbloodcare.org/. The phone number for the Irving location is: 972-258-0055. It’s located at 7750 N. MacArthur Blvd. #115 Irving, TX 75063.

6 The final way you can help is by volunteering, either to help at a local shelter or in mud-out efforts in Houston and south Texas. We will keep you updated on local shelter needs as we know about them. In terms of doing mud-outs, we will likely take teams to help our sister churches in the area over the next couple of months. Or, if you are already trained with one of our state conventions in their disaster relief programs, you can work directly with them. We will update you on trips that we will take, once we are able to hear from these churches regarding their specific needs.

 

Thank you for being the kind of people who want to help those who have been affected. We all can do something! So, let’s be the hands and feet of Jesus in this time.

If you have any more questions, you can feel free to contact our church office at 972-253-1171 or you can email Anthony Ball, our Missions Pastor, at aball@fbcirving.org.



Jared Richard

Jared Richard

SENIOR PASTOR

Jared serves as the Senior Pastor of First Irving. He joined the staff in July of 2016 after spending over 8 years at Champion Forest Baptist Church in Houston, TX. Jared holds degrees from Louisiana State University and New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary. He is currently working on his Ph.D. in Preaching at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, N.C. He is married to Jordan and they have one son, Jude. 

Jared has a passion for preaching God’s Word and moving the gospel to the ends of the earth. His hope is that his ministry at First Irving will help this community of faith love the truth of God’s Word more fully and be more dedicated to its declaration all over the world. Jared loves LSU sports, specifically LSU football. Geaux Tigers! He also is a dedicated New Orleans Saints fan, which he understands is problematic to the people of Irving who love the Cowboys. He loves anything in the water: rafting, skiing, tubing; and enjoys playing ultimate frisbee, tennis, and golf.