Everywhere you look, Hurricane Harvey’s footprint is evident.
While some areas of the Crossroads have risen from the rubble, for others, like many living in Bloomington, Harvey’s threat is still very much felt.
The impoverished, unincorporated community is still slowly picking up the pieces – literally.
Debris, trash and limbs in some parts of Bloomington still rest where Harvey last left them.
While heartbreaking, something good has come out of Bloomington.
This something good has not just risen from the rubble but transformed the town.
They’re the Mennonites, and they’ve been a godsend for the town.
The Mennonites were at the county’s emergency management center on their way to Refugio when Danny Garcia, Victoria County Commissioner Precinct No. 1, saw them.
They asked if he needed help, and the rest is history.
Bloomington still may be struggling to pick up the pieces, but with the help of this wonderful group of people, it’s not only rebuilding, it’s also being reborn.
“Neighbors are not just who lives next to where you live. Neighbors are all over the place,” said Dave Martin, of Lombard, Ill., a Mennonite volunteer.
We couldn’t agree more with his mindset. The Mennonites’ efforts have made them part of Bloomington’s family.
While homes and cities were forever changed, so were the hearts of Bloomington residents. They’ve been touched by a beautiful community of Mennonites who have stayed as long as their help is needed.
It is through disaster that we see such beautiful acts of kindness and humanity.
Hurricane Harvey may have been able to rip away our homes, but it could never sink our spirits.
Garcia has called the Mennonites’ arrival divine intervention.
We believe he is absolutely right. Although, the Mennonites would just say they’re doing what they would always do – helping others in need.
We’ve told stories of Harvey’s destruction and the rebuilding process during the past eight months.
We are reminded of Harvey’s impact every day. We all felt Harvey’s impact, and while some of us felt that impact less than others, what it truly left behind has forever changed us.
Sadly, hurricane season will soon be upon us again, and from here on out, we will all be more wary of the next cyclone forming out in our waters.
And we should be.
But what the Mennonites have done, and what the countless other volunteers have done, is to remind us that no matter what storm comes our way, we will weather it.