When you go through deep waters, I will be with you… Isaiah 43:2
Less than five blocks from Braes Bayou in Meyerland, one of Houston’s hardest hit neighborhoods during the May 26, 2015, flood, Houston’s First members Dr. Anthony & Anjali Brown watched helplessly as the water began to rise inside their home. Their boys, ages 8, 6 and 4, were sleeping peacefully in their beds, but as the parents saw the water level rising to the electrical outlets they began moving them to higher ground.
“My mind was racing and Psalm 61:2 went through my thoughts,” said Anthony, the teacher for Saved 2 Serve Life Bible Study. “‘From the ends of the earth I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I.’”
The power was out and after hearing the news of devastating floods and missing people in the Texas Hill Country just a couple of days earlier, emotions ran high as rain continued to fall in Houston. The Browns made it through the night at home, but daylight broke and a foot of water stood throughout. Both cars in the garage were soaked as were their neighbors’ homes as water continued to rise from the banks of the bayou.
The Browns were able to gather and save important papers, birth certificates, wedding pictures and precious mementos. “In one sense, we can look at it as a time to simplify,” said Anthony. He says the rising waters brought more than a physical flood. They prompted a flood of love, concern and support for their family from friends in the Life Bible Study and other church members and staff.
“We are used to helping others,” said Anthony. “It’s hard to be the ones in need.” Meeting the needs of others is second nature for Anjali and Anthony, a family medicine doctor associated with Methodist Hospital and most recently with Baylor College of Medicine. But this time, he and his family have been on the receiving end of extraordinary blessings as they transition to an apartment for several months while their home is being restored. “Our classmates and friends have given us food, temporary shelter, childcare, a borrowed car, help moving furniture to storage and a long list of other kindnesses — they even helped us wash toys,” said Anthony. “The prayer and emotional support we’ve received allows us to feel the nearness of God — a supernatural comfort.”
Anthony says in addition to the blessings given to their family by the body of Christ, a ray of light in the bleak aftermath was a deeper connection with their neighbors as they pulled together to help one another clear out the debris to begin rebuilding. “God is bigger than this temporary affliction,” he said. “He is going to see us through it all.”