Hurricane Ike evacuees with children’s foster care ministry wait to return home

By September 17, 2008

USA (MNN) — Hurricane Ike evacuees along the Texas coast face an indefinite wait as the cleanup begins. Greg Eubanks is the director of Buckner
Children's Village
in Beaumont, Texas, one of the hard-hit areas. 

He says they evacuated 42 foster
children and staff last week to Camp Buckner. How they did it was a mark of their care for
these kids. All of the children have
been placed at Buckner by Child Protective Services and come from traumatic
experiences. "Our kids don't need
another escape from danger in the middle of the night. We've done our best to
make this almost like a vacation for our kids." 

It is the second time the staff
and children have had to relocate from Beaumont in nearly three weeks. When
Hurricane Gustav threatened the Texas Gulf Coast during the Labor Day weekend,
staff and children relocated to Camp Buckner for several days.

So how many games of Monopoly can
you play while waiting to return home? Eubanks says, while board games were a part of what they did, there was
a carefully-structured plan in place for the kids to follow. While at the Camp, the kids have been
following a daily schedule of activities that encourage play, physical
activity and spiritual formation. 

Buckner International President
Ken Hall said the children will stay at the Camp for an undetermined amount of
time until power and other necessary services are restored.

There has been moderate damage to
the home, but it was mostly related to wind and rain.

"It appears from that report
that we were blessed with less damage than we had feared," Eubanks said.
"Although it looks like we've got a lot of cleanup. There seems to be some
water damage from seepage and a window that blew in, there's some roof damage
caused by falling trees and we lost some shingles."

Eubanks says their staff has been
focusing on daily lessons in God's Word to help ease the kids' stress. Many of the kids are wondering about their
families and friends at home. Staff
members have been been doing daily devotionals to illustrate God's care in
their lives.

"I think the first one started with the
story of Abraham having to leave his home and leave his family and go where
God told him to go, and the fact that God would protect him and make him a
blessing to others. We've heard the
story shared about how Jesus calmed the storm and that in the middle of the
storms in your life, that the Father and Christ are able to calm those storms."


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