This is the fourth installment in the “Unprecedented” story series, telling the stories of Harvey through the people of Clear Creek Community Church. To learn more about the series, read the introduction here.
League City Man Finds Help In Unexpected Place
The sun was shining in a clear blue sky as Ishfaq Ahmad stood in his driveway in League City chatting with a stranger. By all accounts, Ishfaq and the house behind him looked ordinary. But after a glance at the pile of debris in each neighbors’ yard and a glimpse of the labor crew swarming in and around the house with armloads of soggy sheetrock, it became all too apparent that this house was another in the long line of those affected by Hurricane Harvey.
When the rain began, Ishfaq wasn’t at home. They’d had flooding in their home previously, and Ishfaq began to worry about his home and belongings amidst the ever-rising water. After multiple calls and text messages to his son, Ishfaq finally got through and told him to save what he could on the first floor. But the water continued to stream in wherever it could find a way, and eventually flooding rose to two feet in the house. Ishfaq’s son moved as much as possible, but not every cherished memory on the first floor could be saved. All of the furniture was soaked through and unsalvageable.
Eventually, the water receded, and Ishfaq was able to return to his home. After surveying the damage and realizing that his family wouldn’t be able to do everything needed, he began to contact all the people he knew, hoping someone could help. Hours passed, then days, without any word of aid. With the imminent growth of mold and mildew, he began to worry about his family’s health.
Several days later, Ishfaq saw a crew of volunteers working at a neighbor’s house. Desperate, he asked his neighbor where the help came from, and she explained that groups from Clear Creek Community Church were helping with demolition and cleaning in flooded homes. Later that day, Ishfaq called the church.
After a few days, a CCCC volunteer assessor arrived to survey the damage. An eight-person labor crew showed up on the next day and quickly began removing the furniture and damaged belongings from the home. Amidst the din of hammers pounding pry bars and sheetrock being thrown into piles, the team leader asked Ishfaq if he went to Clear Creek Community Church. Ishfaq explained that he regularly attends a local mosque.
After they finished working on the house, the team leader sent Ishfaq a text, telling him how glad he was to have met him, and how thankful he was for the opportunity to work at his house. Ishfaq replied: “I am very much thankful to you and your church. Really happy in the timely help!”
“Today was special,” the team leader said later that day. “I don’t know exactly how Ish was affected by us serving him, but I know it was special to him… We are making a difference, one life at a time.”