LDS Church says all missionaries safe; efforts continue to aid victims of Hurricane Harvey

Houston LDS Temple. Photo: Intellectual Reserve, Inc.

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, Aug. 29, 2017 (Gephardt Daily) — In light of the devastation Hurricane Harvey has wreaked upon Houston and nearby Texas cities, many Utahns are concerned for the safety of LDS missionaries currently serving in that area.

Eric Hawkins, spokesman for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, said in a news release early Tuesday morning that all missionaries are safe, although several missions have been affected.

He said precautions were taken in advance of the hurricane, and each companionship gathered food and water to be able to shelter for several days. Some missionaries were moved out of the areas most threatened by flooding, and those who are in flooded areas are “well and are in contact with their mission presidents.”

Missionaries have been asked to contact their families by email to let them know they’re safe, Hawkins said. Mission presidents also have been in touch with families.

As cleanup efforts begin, missionaries will be helping the communities they are serving.

According to the news release, the Houston Temple is surrounded by water. The temple closed after the 11 a.m. session Saturday, and church officials don’t yet know when it will reopen.

Some local chapels experienced water damage, Hawkins wrote, and many worship services were cancelled Sunday. Local leaders are working to identify the needs of the people in their congregations and communities and to care for those in need.

The Church has been sending water, hygiene and cleanup kits to a regional bishop’s storehouse near Houston, to be provided to anyone in need. The Church also is working with community partners to address various needs in the aftermath of the hurricane.

The news release continues:

  • Church leaders, including President Russell M. Nelson (who was in Houston last year and met with Mayor Sylvester Turner) have reached out to offer messages of encouragement and to pledge our willingness to help in the recovery and cleanup efforts.
  • We are praying for the people of Texas, and invite others to join us in those prayers. Anyone wishing to provide support for our efforts to aid to those in Texas is encouraged to make a donation to the Church’s Humanitarian Fund, which can be found here.


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