Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Presiding Bishop Blesses Home!

Courtesy of the Galveston Daily News:

Published January 16, 2011

GALVESTON — Melvin Brooks gathered with his family at his small frame home just off Broadway in Galveston on Saturday.

Displaced by Hurricane Ike, the homeowners waited as dusk fell to welcome a distinguished visitor and benefactor, the Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church in the United States.

The bishop was on the island to conduct a formal blessing of the Brooks family home and to encourage representatives of the many volunteers who have spent the past months restoring it.

As darkness fell outside, the interior space was lit only by a few scattered industrial lights. As volunteers and leaders arrived and the bishop’s entourage made its way from the island’s William Temple Episcopal Center, members of the Brooks family reviewed what life had been like since the storm.

“It was a mess with water damage and rain from the windows,” Rena Brooks, Melvin’s wife, said. “We stayed in a hotel, all together in just one room — then had to find a place to rent. We couldn’t get any help from FEMA.”

Help finally came after a co-worker told them of a grant program from the Episcopal Church. The family, narrowly avoiding foreclosure, was able to hold on to the property.

“With the help of the Lord, we were able to keep going,” Rena Brooks said.

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