Today marks one week since Hurricane Harvey first made landfall, and wreaked climatic mayhem on Rockport, TX. The devastating storm hit that small city with a first punch before pouring out his full fury on Houston with torrential rains that remained over the city and every outlying community, dumping 50 inches of rain, and leaving residents trapped by floodwaters. Today, waters are receding in that sprawling city of millions, but in Beaumont, Texas, population 119,000, the situation may be even worse than the one faced in the metropolis.

Flooded and stranded citizens of Beaumont are being flown out en masse by C-130s because their city water supply is down due to the downpours, and no one knows when drinkable, sustainable water for the city will return.

Desperate evacuees from all points are dazed, numb, and panicked, just wanting to be “anywhere to get help.” Shelters in Houston, Dallas, and others west and in between are being as accommodating as possible, with the growing thousands in their midst.

It takes food and water to survive, souls also need sustenance, and that's where Victoria White, Marquist Taylor, and a few other voices rang out to lift the sheltered spirits in song, and a visit from Spiderman brought some bright smiles across generations.

From tears to joy, hope, and love

Victoria White and her group from Others Outreach Mission never had a thought for themselves when they walked through the doors of the Conroe Convention and Expo Center.

With cell phones being in the hands of some of their audience, though, word has spread about the soaring spirits of these singers, and today, Victoria was again featured in a major network story.

White sees people with hurting hearts as she walks among the rows of endless cots and blankets spread over floors. She likes to begin with the song, “Spirit Break Out” because of its hopeful energy, and it usually never fails to bring out a chorus of clapping.

She relates that the faces she first sees coming in reflect “a little bit of despair, some hopelessness,” and that by the time the singers leave, those looks are replaced with “tons of joy, hope, and love.”

White and her mission are based in Houston, so they fully realize that the road toward recovery will be long and never easy, but in the moments they share from their hearts and voices, joy and respite take over.

“Amazing Grace” is the most requested favorite.

Taylor is vice president of Others Outreach mission and reiterates that there are no boundaries to the calling of love and service. He accepts the “duty and assignment” to live, and sing out that love to others, “no matter their color, their background or race, and [where] they’re driven.”

We all need a superhero

There's nothing like traumatic times to bring out the best in humankind, and perhaps even the not so human. The goodness and giving in humanity has been evidenced at its finest this week, from the Cajun Navy to those serving in food lines. A little fantasy assistance never hurts in dire times, either. Spiderman dropped by Houston shelters on August 31, making a deliberate effort to bring himself and his amazing, web-hurling hands down to kid-level for hugs and comforting words.

The man in costume later identified himself as Peter Parker, and reminded his followers that the images that are inescapable on phones and television screens are “real people, real families, and real children who need real help.” Parker brought stickers to share with every child, and adults clamored to pose with the willing ambassador for doing good. There were several people ill on cots that this Spiderman made a point to see, and there is no doubt that for young, old, or any age, a smile and a caring hug is good medicine.

As of today's figures, 32,000 are in shelters, and the Beaumont area remains in the rescue operation, while Houston launches recovery.

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