By Wesley Strackbein
Hurricane Harvey will go down as a defining event in the history of our family, as will it for tens of thousands of others along the Texas coast. We have good friends who barely escaped alive as Harvey leveled their home and property, and our acreage still looks like a war zone a full week after the storm. The clean-up and rebuilding process will take months for us and years for others. There is no question that this storm’s impact has been severe.
Yet one thing that bothers me greatly is the historical ignorance shown by the national media in the wake of this disaster. Over and over again, I’ve heard it proffered by ABC and FOX News, among other media outlets, that “never before has Texas been so devastated by a hurricane,” or words close to this.
For the sake of the record, however, these commentators should take note that on September 8, 1900, a hurricane struck the island city of Galveston, claiming more than 6,000 human lives. This hurricane was the deadliest natural disaster known to have occurred in what’s now the geographical United States since the Global Flood. Far more died in this catastrophe than as a result of the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake and the Johnstown Flood combined.
And it happened in Texas.
The present trial many are enduring is real and great, and we need to reach out and help, however we can. But we also need to know and tell the truth about where Harvey stands in the grand scheme of things. Measured by loss of life, nothing comes close to the 6,000 + souls who perished 117 years ago when another monstrous storm ravaged the Texas coast. Considering this fact, we should rejoice — with humble and grateful hearts — that God has been merciful to spare our families the painful loss of loved ones that our forebears experienced.
“O praise the LORD, all ye nations: praise him, all ye people. For his merciful kindness [has been] great toward us. . . . Praise ye the LORD” (Psalm 117:1-2).
Book Recommendation: The best book, by far, that our family has seen on the 1900 catastrophe is Isaac’s Storm: A Man, a Time, and the Deadliest Hurricane in History, by Erik Larson. It is a well-researched and moving account of this past disaster that is well worth reading.
Wesley Strackbein is the Director of Unbroken Faith Ministries, an outreach of the Strackbein family whose goal it is to encourage others to pass the true faith, unbroken, from generation to generation. Wesley has lectured on John Knox in St. Andrews, Scotland; the French Huguenots in Paris, France; and has given messages on Texas and American history in various locations across the US. Among his passions are to proclaim the sufficiency of the Scripture for all of life and the great deeds of God in history. Wesley has edited numerous books, including Life is But a Vapor: The Life & Letters of Michael G. Billings and John Calvin: Man of the Millennium, and his articles have been published in Patriarch Magazine, the Patriot Update, the Schwarz Report and the Johnson City Record Courier, among other media outlets. He has also produced numerous films, including The League of Grateful Sons, The Mysterious Islands, as well as the new documentary recently completed by the Strackbeins, Anchored: A Grandfather’s Legacy, which brings to life a rich family heritage that stands behind Unbroken Faith Ministries—God’s faithful witness through the Holdens over five generations.