Gov. Abbott Declares Sunday ‘Day of Prayer in Texas’; Pence Helps Clear Debris
"It's important that we remember the greatest power that exists is the power of God."
Texas Governor Greg Abbott is asking “Texans of all faiths and religious traditions” to pray on Sunday, September 3.
Hurricane and Tropical Storm Harvey ravaged the southeast region of Texas for the last week. At least 30 lives have been lost so far, with more deaths expected as waters recede. Rescues are still underway as people remain stranded in areas where floodwaters approach rooftops. Experts predict the total financial impact of the storm will be tens of billions of dollars.
“We will rise again and we will rebuild this great town and the affected areas across the entire state of Texas,” Abbott said outside of First Baptist Church in Rockport, Texas Thursday. The coastal town looks like the scene of an “apocalypse,” CNN reported, with neighborhoods and buildings destroyed. “But as we gather today at this church, it’s important that we remember the greatest power that exists is the power of God.”
Behind the governor, portions of First Baptist’s roof and outer wall were gone. But the cross-shaped steeple towered undamaged.
— Matt Hirsch (@MattJHirsch) August 31, 2017
“It was God acting through the lives of so many Texans who came to the rescue of other Texans. It was the power of God that was able to pull people out of the water and literally save them,” Abbott said.
The Texas governor was flanked by Vice President Mike Pence, Second Lady Karen Pence and other presidential cabinet members.
“You’ve inspired the nation by your resilience, and by your courage,” Pence said to the gathered crowd. “And we just came here to commend you and to encourage you.”
Pence acknowledged rebuilding after Harvey would take years. “The challenges will be great. But we know that the generosity and the prayers and the faith of the people of Texas and the American people will be greater still.”
Mrs. Pence led the group in prayer, thanking God for those who are saving lives and asking his protection on them.
— Fox News (@FoxNews) August 31, 2017
Later, Abbott and Pence donned work gloves and helped clear debris.
— Gov. Greg Abbott (@GovAbbott) August 31, 2017
The record-breaking storm, which dumped over 50 inches of rain in some parts of the state in less than one week, has pushed over 30,000 people into shelters. In a press conference Wednesday, Abbott said efforts were underway to move evacuees out of shelters and into hotels till they could return home.
But “there is no storm as tough as the people of Texas,” Abbott said Thursday. In his proclamation, he said “throughout our history, Texans have been strengthened, assured and lifted up through prayer.”