Amid rows of cots at a shelter for Hurricane Harvey evacuees, a university admissions counselor broke out in song.
“We wanna see your kingdom here,” Victoria White sang on Tuesday, delivering a robust version of “Spirit Break Out” at the Lone Star Convention & Expo Center in Conroe, Tex., about 40 miles north of Houston.
As White, an admissions counselor at Sam Houston State University, sang gospel music about hope and perseverance, people who had been forced to flee their homes by a record-setting amount of rain clapped along.
“Amen,” shouted a few of the evacuees, who are among more than 35,000 people in shelters in Texas, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety.
White was part of a group of volunteers from Others Outreach Missions at the shelter site, CNN reported.
For those whose homes and possessions may have been taken away in the deadly storm, White’s performance provided a reason to smile, if only for a moment. Hurricane Harvey slammed into Texas on Friday, creating record amounts of rainfall and devastating flooding that continues.
White’s performance, which was posted on Facebook, had been viewed by more than 14 million by early Thursday morning.
White told CNN’s Chris Cuomo on Wednesday night that she and others planed to keep singing at as many shelters as possible.
“When we first walked in the door, you may see a little bit of despair, some hopelessness,” she told Cuomo. “But by the time we leave, we’re seeing tons of joy, hope and love.”
Marquist Taylor, also a volunteer with the group, added that seeing how their music impacts people makes him want to “go out and help as much as I can.”
The two-minute video of their performance had been shared nearly 400,000 times by Thursday morning and had almost 170,000 likes. White also has a video of the full 25-minute performance on her Facebook page.
“God bless you all. Your lights are shining bright for the country to see,” one commenter wrote.
“Even in the middle of the storm we need to keep our praise on,” another said. “What a beautiful sight.”
White, who was born and raised in Livingston, two hours outside of Houston, encouraged her fans on Facebook not to take their focus off serving victims of the flood.
“Now, while I am blessed by this outpouring of love and support that I have gotten, PLEASE don’t let this take your focus off of serving,” she wrote.
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