This page is set up to provide updates on our COHI members.  Following is a story from board member Rev. Micki Rios about her and her family's hurricane Harvey experience.  


We have lived in the same house for 35 years and have been the only owners of this house, raised our children in this house and with one fell swoop, we have learned that nothing is permanent.  We do not “hang on” to material things and we do not “keep up with the Jones’”, however, when it looks as if things are ruined beyond repair, one certainly does think deeply about what to do next.  

I have to tell you, I have been a “helper” a long time and have listened to stories and have gone on mission trips to rebuild homes from Katrina; and even though I listened, I don’t think I understood the impact of being uprooted and displaced and sad.  I now understand – and we were lucky, we didn’t have water up to the roof.  However, displaced is displaced, it does not take 6 feet of water to understand the impact of a Harvey story.

We are rebuilding, we have been ministered to, we have been helped and we are repairing our home.  I cannot help but think of those who do not have resources, and my heart hurts for them.  I cannot help but think of those who have no church, no family and no resources, and my heart hurts for them.  I cannot help but think of those who are alone, perhaps by choice perhaps by something beyond their control and who are without resources, and it makes my heart hurt for them.

While my husband and I continue to put our life back together, I struggle with schedules, with where my clothes are, especially shoes, and wondering what my new normal will be – and when.  I understand now what it means to have that anxiety when the rain starts and never wanting carpet in my home again!  I feel that anxiety and sadness when I drive down my street and see the effects of the rebuilding in the front yards of almost every home. 

And, I am grateful.  I am grateful that I have family, that I have a daughter who insisted I stay with her while my husband “bunks” at our home during the rebuilding.  I am grateful to know things WILL be back to some kind of normal while I know others who will never be back to normal.  I am grateful for groups I am part of, who checked on us, who brought over supplies, who came to pull carpet and get sheetrock out and throw away what could not be saved without wondering if they should ask me.  I am grateful for a God who constantly surrounds me with His love and His words of encouragement.

Thank you for asking how we are doing, thank you for being lay chaplains who are always looking out for others, thank you for being a community who prays for the wellbeing of all people – those who have groups, but also those who do not.

We are doing well, it could have been much worse, but we appreciate being asked how we’re doing.

Micki Rios