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PHOTO: Vice President Mike Pence helps move debris during a visit to an area hit by Hurricane Harvey, Thursday, Aug. 31, 2017, in Rockport, Texas.
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 saidoutside 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.
.@GregAbbott_TX in Rockport, TX with @VP announces proclamation for Day of Prayer in on Sunday. pic.twitter.com/djZJJqxI93
— 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.
MOMENTS AGO: @SecondLady leads a prayer in Rockport, Texas. #Harvey pic.twitter.com/yer8KydOtN
— Fox News (@FoxNews) August 31, 2017
Later, Abbott and Pence donned work gloves and helped clear debris.
Helping Rockport cleanup and recover after #Harvey with @VP. pic.twitter.com/dmBEMN59su
— 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.”
If you haven’t already, please consider helping the victims of Tropical Storm Harvey. LIFE Outreach International, the parent organization of The Stream, is collecting donations here. The Red Cross is also collecting monetary gifts and blood. See here for more ways to help.