Answering the Call

April 23, 2013 • United States

A volunteer couple explains why they pick up everything and leave at a moment’s notice to serve with Samaritan’s Purse

April 21-27 is National Volunteer Week in the United States. We will be spotlighting Samaritan’s Purse volunteers, and volunteer opportunities, throughout the week.

Bill and Martha Hauck always had a heart for missions and even dreamed about maybe one day going to Africa to serve the Lord. But through their many travels, this Chicago area couple realized God could use them at home in the United States just as much as in other suffering countries.

“There’s so much need here,” Martha said when she and Bill left their Chicago-area home to volunteer when Samaritan’s Purse responded to a tornado in Calhoun, Georgia, in February. “It’s hard for people to understand why we’d come this far to do that, but it is God’s calling. When we come on a job site, we know it’s going to be a slice of heaven.”

Shannon Derouen explains why he volunteers with Samaritan’s Purse

The Haucks have been helping in domestic disaster relief efforts since Hurricane Katrina in 2005, serving with a variety of organizations. But three years ago, Martha and Bill joined Samaritan’s Purse to help with flood relief in Minot, North Dakota. It was that trip that made them decide to only serve with our ministry from then on. They’ve helped with six disasters since.

“Samaritan’s Purse is so well organized compared to other agencies who do similar work,” Bill said. “Samaritan’s Purse is God-centered and brings Christ to the front. You can sense that as a worker.”

United States Disaster Relief volunteers Bill and Martha national volunteer weekThe Haucks said that Samaritan’s Purse truly takes care of all the volunteers’ needs, and everyone who helps feels utilized and valued. There’s always a place and a job for everyone, no matter their skill level.

“We have a lot of volunteers come out, men and women who don’t have experience in disaster relief but God called them so they came,” said Tommy Belisario, a program manager with Samaritan’s Purse. “It’s really exciting to see people do what God called them to do. They get excited and that excites us. I think a lot of people have the desire to help people.”

Shannon Derouen, a frequent disaster relief volunteer from Memphis, said he’s been exclusively volunteering with Samaritan’s Purse for the past couple of years as well.

“I have helped on other disaster relief teams but to have a such a solid footprint and a foundation to launch from [with Samaritan’s Purse] is awesome. It’s a great organization to take my existing passion,” he said.

Many Samaritan’s Purse volunteers come from all over the United States when a disaster strikes, regardless of their location.

Martha and Bill are blessed with flexible schedules so they can pick up at a moment’s notice in order to join relief efforts no matter where they are. Bill is retired from the corporate world and is now self-employed in his own handyman business, while Martha works part-time back in Chicago.

Originally, they thought they’d wait until they were retired, but with retirement not being what it used to be in this economy, the Haucks knew they had to serve now while they were healthy.

“I think a lot of people make plans,” Martha said. “They think, ‘We’re going to do this when we retire.’ But there’s a need here. You always receive more than you give. You do a little work to help, and you’re blessed. It’s hard to explain if you have not done it.”