President Trump and First Lady visit Texas and Louisiana
First Lady Melania Trump: “furthered our determination”
First Lady Melania Trump was “humbled” after returning from Texas and Louisiana with her husband this weekend to meet some of the people and families effected by the damage resulting from Hurricane Harvey.
“Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with the people and families so deeply effected by Harvey,” she said. “After spending the day with children, women and men who have been impacted by the storm, it has only furthered our determination to provide all of the support we can as we pledge to continue our efforts in the long road ahead in the months to come.”
“To have the president, first lady, cabinet secretaries and others come, it was just a joy and it was like a shot of adrenaline.” — Pastor Ken Gurley
“Everything in Houston has been just very dramatic, a lot of emotional struggles,” said Pastor Ken Gurley of Houston’s First Baptist Church of Pearland, the day after President Donald Trump stepped into his church. “To have the president, first lady, cabinet secretaries and others come, it was just a joy and it was like a shot of adrenaline,” he said on Fox News.
Upon landing, the President and Mrs. Trump traveled to the NRG Center in Houston to meet and speak with displaced families staying in the shelter due to the flooding. The First Lady dedicated some of her time in the shelter’s “Kids Zone” donating books, crayons and games for the children. The President and Mrs. Trump then assisted the Red Cross in serving lunch to the families and people living inside the shelter.
The President and First Lady then traveled to a distribution center at Pastor Gurley’s church to thank volunteers and pass out supplies to local families who are in the beginning stages of what will be a long road to rebuilding or recovering their homes. While at the church, the First Lady donated diapers, one of the items most requested from the church.
“He came across as very compassionate, as very concerned, extremely engaged in the process.”–Pastor Gurley
“He came across as very compassionate, as very concerned, extremely engaged in the process,” Pastor Gurley described. “The Monday morning after (Hurricane) Ike (2008) was when Lehman Brothers went under and the financial panic began. And we were lost, and basically no one communicated with us.”
But with President Trump the response has been very inspiring: “To see an engaged administration come down, support the community of faith … and (Trump) walking into that room (in the church) and telling them that he’s with us, it was like the George W. Bush moment at 9/11.”
But the president did more than just speak. He also helped out.
“He and the First Lady actually joined in and started delivering goods, and he acted like an old pro at it — he was engaged,” Gurley said.
After leaving the distribution center, the President and First Lady made an impromptu stop in a local neighborhood to visit with residents who were cleaning debris from their homes.
Before departing Texas, the President and Mrs. Trump took time to meet with first responders in the Coast Guard to thank them for their heroic recovery efforts.
After a brief flight to Lake Charles, Louisiana, the President and First Lady went to a National Guard Armory to meet with local officials, the National Guard, and the Cajun Navy to receive a briefing on the neighboring state’s relief efforts.
President Donald J. Trump Proclaimed September 3, 2017, as a National Day of Prayer for the Victims of Hurricane Harvey and for our National Response and Recovery Efforts
Following are highlights of President Trump’s proclamation:
Hurricane Harvey first made landfall as a Category 4 storm near Rockport, Texas, on the evening of August 25, 2017. The storm has since devastated communities in both Texas and Louisiana, claiming many lives, inflicting countless injuries, destroying or damaging tens of thousands of homes, and causing billions of dollars in damage. The entire Nation grieves with Texas and Louisiana. We are deeply grateful for those performing acts of service, and we pray for healing and comfort for those in need.
Americans have always come to the aid of their fellow countrymen — friend helping friend, neighbor helping neighbor, and stranger helping stranger — and we vow to do so in response to Hurricane Harvey. From the beginning of our Nation, Americans have joined together in prayer during times of great need, to ask for God’s blessings and guidance. This tradition dates to June 12, 1775, when the Continental Congress proclaimed a day of prayer following the Battles of Lexington and Concord, and April 30, 1789, when President George Washington, during the Nation’s first Presidential inauguration, asked Americans to pray for God’s protection and favor.
When we look across Texas and Louisiana, we see the American spirit of service embodied by countless men and women. Brave first responders have rescued those stranded in drowning cars and rising water. Families have given food and shelter to those in need. Houses of worship have organized efforts to clean up communities and repair damaged homes. Individuals of every background are striving for the same goal — to aid and comfort people facing devastating losses. As Americans, we know that no challenge is too great for us to overcome.
As response and recovery efforts continue, and as Americans provide much needed relief to the people of Texas and Louisiana, we are reminded of Scripture’s promise that “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” Melania and I are grateful to everyone devoting time, effort, and resources to the ongoing response, recovery, and rebuilding efforts. We invite all Americans to join us as we continue to pray for those who have lost family members or friends, and for those who are suffering in this time of crisis.
I urge Americans of all faiths and religious traditions and backgrounds to offer prayers today for all those harmed by Hurricane Harvey, including people who have lost family members or been injured, those who have lost homes or other property, and our first responders, law enforcement officers, military personnel, and medical professionals leading the response and recovery efforts. Each of us, in our own way, may call upon our God for strength and comfort during this difficult time. I call on all Americans and houses of worship throughout the Nation to join in one voice of prayer, as we seek to uplift one another and assist those suffering from the consequences of this terrible storm.