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Alexandria church sends team to Houston

Members of Church of the Harvest pose with other volunteers and the home owner in Houston, Texas. They spent four days helping homeowners clean up after Hurricane Harvey. (Contributed)1 / 2
Shawn Pfeffer and Andy Trumble of Church of the Harvest in Alexandria haul debris from a home damaged by Hurricane Harvey. (Contributed)2 / 2

Seven volunteers from Alexandria's Church for the Harvest went to Houston to help clean up after Hurricane Harvey, and the church might send volunteers again.

The team was in Houston Oct. 8-12, sleeping on air beds at night, worshipping early in the morning and then working all day in the sweltering heat and humidity, said Pastor Mike Bartolomeo, one of the seven.

The team ripped out carpet and Sheetrock, cut out flooring and tile, and dumped ruined clothing, furniture, water heaters and more on the curb for the city of Houston to take and dispose of, he said.

They went as part of a national ministry called Eight Days of Hope, a rapid response group assembled after Hurricane Katrina wreaked havoc on Gulf Coast lives. Volunteers do whatever is needed after a natural disaster.

Hurricane Harvey damaged more than 100,000 homes. Nearly 800,000 households have applied for federal assistance, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Team members from Church for the Harvest were Diane Middendorf, Shawn Pfeffer, Kim Pfeffer, Kelsey Brown, Andy Trumble and Pastors Mike and Rhonda Bartolomeo.

"The outreach was very rewarding for everyone that went," Bartolomeo said. "The team ministered to the various home owners the love of Christ and had numerous opportunities to pray for the families devastated by this hurricane."

Church for the Harvest will joining Eight Days of Hope again as opportunities arise, he said.