Blessed to Bless Others

June 27, 2024 • United States

A Texas family is inspired to serve with Samaritan’s Purse after a volunteer team helped mud out and clean their flooded home.

U.S. Disaster Relief

The Avilas woke in a frenzy Thursday, May 2, as water roared through their home and climbed higher up the walls. The babbling brook behind their house in Livingston, Texas, now threatened to sweep them away. They waded through the torrent and eventually found safety. As their property was torn apart, the Avilas watched years of hard work flow away in a flash.

Southeast Texas received heaps of rainfall in late April and early May, causing widespread flooding and damage to homes and businesses across the region. For the Avilas, the storm was tragic. The flood waters inundated and permanently damaged the foundation of their home, which they recently reconstructed after buying the house eight years ago.

“I imagined it looked like I was on the Titanic,” Laura Avila said. “We were in shock. It was five minutes of panic.”

Laura and Hugo immigrated to the Unites States from Mexico 12 years ago and have resided in Livingston since with their three children and Laura’s parents and sister. They started a cleaning and maintenance company and worked hard to purchase property in their new town and country. After the storm, the family was left with next to nothing. Still, Laura kept her faith that God had a plan for her family.

“I tell you, we were drowning, but we didn’t drown. Why? Because God had a purpose for us,” the mother said.

After U.S. Disaster Relief teams helped clean up their home, members of the Avila family gratefully served flood victims like themselves through Samaritan’s Purse.

Not long after, Samaritan’s Purse volunteers arrived at the Avilas’ property and got to work. The family saw the light of Christ through the volunteers as they removed debris, helped mud out the home, and salvaged valuables. This led Laura, Hugo, and her eldest son, Ronaldo, to put on the orange shirt themselves and volunteer with Samaritan’s Purse in their community.

“Helping others is a very nice thing, right?” she said. “But now it is about helping people who don’t know Jesus Christ to know Him—help them have peace, to have tranquility, to know God, and to follow Him. That if they are not in a church, they should get involved with one. All this is helping in the Name of Christ. That is what always putting God before everything looks like.”

Samaritan’s Purse arrived in Southeast Texas only days after the floodwaters wreaked havoc on the region, and volunteer teams continue to provide relief to hurting families in Jesus’ Name. Please continue to pray for the thousands of families—like the Avilas—still recovering from the floods, and pray for the local church as our response nears a close.

Samaritan’s Purse is currently working in Florida, Iowa, Minnesota, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas. Volunteer opportunities are available.

U.S. Disaster Relief Samaritan's Purse mobilizes and equips thousands of disaster relief volunteers to provide emergency aid to U.S. victims of wildfires, floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, and other natural disasters. In the aftermath of major storms, we often stay behind to rebuild houses for people with nowhere else to turn for help.

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