Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | January 17, 2021

Blessing Mr. Henderson


A few weeks ago I learned about the plight of Mr. Henderson, an elderly gentleman who lives in Brookshire. My friends Ryan Orbin and Dr. Maria Sobarzo both told me about him within hours of each other.


Mr. Henderson, I learned, was living in an old home that had sustained damage during Hurricane Harvey in addition to heavy wear and tear that had compromised the integrity of the house. He had been living without running water for 11 years — and without hot water.

Mr. Henderson learned to live with inconvenience.

The roof of his house leaked like a sieve every time it rained. Over time, the water damaged and rotted roof rafters, walls, flooring, and floor joists. Over time the plumbing in his home developed so many leaks that he had to turn off the water at the meter.

Once a day, Mr. Henderson turned the water on at the water meter, quickly filled two 5-gallon buckets, and then turned off the water. He boiled water in order to sponge bathe and also used the water in the buckets to flush his toilet — every day for the past 11 years.

When I met Mr. Henderson and looked at his home, my heart sank. The only thing worse than the damage was anyone having to live in those conditions. We had to act.

My initial thought was to mobilize volunteers to repair his home on Saturdays over the span of two months. After more thought, I called Ryan and proposed doing all of the work in one week. This would be a big project, for sure. And everything would have to work perfectly in order to get things done in that time period.


I invited my friends Allen Griffin of Gryphon Builders, and Charles Leftwich, a Kingsland Community Group Leader, to meet me and Ryan at Mr. Griffin’s home. Allen is a master builder and Charles agreed to take a week of vacation to help with the remodeling initiative.


Before we could even start we had to address tree-trimming in order to get dumpsters delivered to the work site. Marcell Hunt and our disaster response chain saw crew took care of the tree trimming. Phil Clausen, also with our disaster response team, did mold remediation in the house prior to our start date of January 11.

Allen assessed all of the damage and put together the work flow for the week plus materials list. Charles helped me with volunteer mobilization and work assignments for volunteers.

Allen’s was the most frequently spoken name through the week. He guided us through the difficult process of rebuilding the home’s infrastructure and raising the damaged side of the house.


Repairing Mr. Henderson’s home was a lot like eating an elephant. This project was certainly a big bite. And the more we got into it the more gristle we found, making it even tougher to chew.


But, thanks to the tireless work of so many volunteers who worked long hours on very cold days, we pressed on. Every work crew took ownership of their slice of the work and little by little things began to take a turn for the better.



The roof was a major concern. Ian Norman of Gryphon Builders led a crew to replace the damaged rafters and the rotted roof decking. On Thursday, a team of professional roofers arrived and completed the roof in one day. In addition, electricians, plumbers, and window guys all arrived on schedule to do their work.


Of course, an army of volunteers needs fuel in order to keep working. Gene Garrison and our disaster response cooking crew took care of providing the fuel. We enjoyed delicious meals every day of the project.




While our crews were working at the site, my friends and Kingsland members Kara Potts and Kelly McCurry worked together to arrange for furniture donations and all of the things Mr. Henderson would need in his kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom. They recruited additional volunteers to help with the task of furnishing the house.


Mr. Henderson was especially excited about his new shower and flushing toilet. On Saturday, he took his first hot shower in 11 years. No more boiling water to sponge bathe. And no more buckets of water to flush his toilet.


The best part of the week was becoming friends with Mr. Henderson. He is an absolutely nice gentleman who overflowed with gratitude every day of the remodel. He told me more than once how long he had been praying for help. “God heard your prayers,” I told Him, “and He sent us to bless you.”

In a way, we were all sad to see the project come to an end because we enjoyed our time with Mr. Henderson every day. But, we are all sleeping better knowing that our new friend has a safer and more comfortable home to live out the rest of his days.

I am deeply grateful for every volunteer who spent so many hours to make this home makeover a reality. They modeled what Jesus did best — moving in the direction of people in need and making a difference. And we all made a new friend who deeply touched our hearts. Thank you all for blessing Mr. Henderson.


Responses

  1. What a touching story! I’m so thrilled to hear more and more stories of people helping people who need the Love and what a way to say for them to witness God’s Love ❤️
    Blessings,
    Janet

    • Thanks, Janet. We had a wonderful week with Mr. Henderson.

  2. What an amazing job done by everyone involved! Thank you, Kingsland, for blessing Mr. Henderson.

    • Thanks for lending a hand, DT. It was a great week. So happy for Mr. Henderson.

  3. That’s brilliant!!!

  4. What a beautiful witness!!!! The hands of God👍👍👍

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

  5. Alleluya!!! God provides always to you!!! so you can spread His love!!!!

  6. So awesome Omar. I wish I could have been a part of that.

  7. Kingsland and Omar have completely changed the landscape of our work in Brookshire. One can’t imagine the difficulty in feeling helpless for situations of need and not being able to assist people. With Kingsland coming alongside Eyes On Me and The Hangar Unity Center (Ryan Orbin), we have been able to serve more and point more people to Jesus, therefore, becoming a place of peace for this community. We feel like the church in Thessalonia whose faith rang out without them having to say a word. “The Lord’s message rang out from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia—your faith in God has become known everywhere. Therefore we do not need to say anything about it,”
    ‭‭1 Thessalonians‬ ‭1:8‬ ‭NIV‬‬

    I feel as if the church is unifying in these last days. We may serve different regions and gather at different places on Sundays, but as you can see here we are all one body shining light together in order to win some! Thanks Omar, Kingsland Church, Gryphon Builders and Covered Roofing for your diligence as believers. Thank you for caring in this powerful way.

    • Bobby,

      We are honored and grateful for our partnership in the gospel with Eyes On Me and The Hangar Unity Center. Thanks for all you do to move in the direction of people in need in the most challenging places in the greater Houston area.

      Blessings,
      Omar~

  8. Love this!

  9. Your group is really demonstrative of “Jesus with Skin On” as my dear friend , the late Mrs. Audrey Sly used to say. May God richly bless you and your group of men and women who answered this brave and proud man.

  10. God bless you and your Kingsland team, Omar. For me, you folks show the rest of the Houston area how to live out the second greatest commandment.

    • Thanks for your kind words, Robin. 🙂

  11. Goodness O, even though it is overwhelming to read what Mr. Henderson endured, and what these believers did for him (or for the kingdom), yet why am I not surprised you and your teams did it? Because you always do, and without asking anything in return except that it glorify God. I am so proud to just know your name and shake your hand, because you obey the Great Commission, while serving the personal needs of those being discipled. There are probably others out there like me that would like to help, but are not on your list of volunteers, so let us know how to do that. God bless you O, for blessing so many, so faithfully and so unselfishly.

    • Thanks for your kind words, Rush. I am grateful for your friendship and encouragement.

  12. I like reading about your “missions”. You’re a good man Omar & I feel blessed to call you friend.

    • Thanks, Debbie. Grateful for our longtime friendship 🙂

  13. This blesses my heart so much. So glad that God led you all to repair Mr. Henderson’s home. God bless you for your sacrifical service.

  14. You guys are Heroes

    Pastor Omar u r a super Hero

    Love u

    Great role models

    • Thanks for your kind words, Vinita 🙂


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