A local pastor with connections to Texas shared his thoughts and prayers in regards to Hurricane Harvey.

John Schaffner, who lived in Texas for three years with his wife and three children, is deeply troubled by the events that have been taking place along the Gulf Coast during late August.

Members of Schaffner's family, as well as several friends from Texas, have been directly affected by the storm, which has been wreaking havoc across the southeastern parts of the state since August 24.

"My wife has an aunt and uncle that got rescued off of their rooftop," shared Schaffner, "and one of my best friends is a pastor of a church in Houston... there's lots of personal connections there."

"Anybody is going to be heartbroken over seeing these videos and images, but it makes it even more personal, and hits even closer to home when you know people wading through the water."

Schaffner and his family are trying to remain hopeful during this difficult time, praying and offering encouragement and support in whatever ways possible. "We're just very grateful for how people have responded. The faith community in particular... it's an opportunity for faith in action."

The pastor asks for prayer for all those affected by Hurricane Harvey, as well as for those responding to the crisis. He highlighted the countless individuals still waiting to be rescued, and those in desperate need, as well as the continued support of the Christian community during this time of difficulty. 

"[I pray] that the church would continue to respond, to be the hands and feet of Jesus," Schaffner reflected, "and that in the midst of this disaster, there would be an openness, for people to seek out hope and spiritual rescue in Jesus."