Comforting Widows And Families

September 5, 2012 • United States

Samaritan's Purse volunteers minister to victims of Hurricane Isaac as they work on storm-damaged homes

Dorothy Grubbs and her sister Florence became anxious as torrents of rain from Hurricane Isaac pounded on the roof of their home in LaPlace, Louisiana. Dorothy weathered Hurricane Katrina back in 2005 without any problem, but two years ago her husband died and now the two sisters had to watch out for each other.

Concerns grew as the water on Hester Drive crept over the curb and rose to within an inch of their threshold.

“We did some big time praying that the water wouldn’t come in,” Dorothy said. “The Lord was with us.”

Florence agreed. “I prayed and I prayed,” she said. “I know God helped us.”

Although the floodwaters stayed out of the house, powerful winds tore singles off the roof and water began to drip inside.

Samaritan’s Purse responded to Hurricane Isaac by sending two Disaster Relief Units to Louisiana. We have established bases in LaPlace and Lacombe, where staff and volunteers have begun to help homeowners affected by the storm.

Dorothy and Florence were among the first people we helped. A crew came out to put plastic sheeting on the roof to protect it until final repairs could be made. With more rain in the forecast, the sisters were thankful to have their home secure.

“We can’t get up on the roof, and who knows when the insurance people will come out,” Dorothy said.

Florence finished the thought. “I thank God for people like you all who came out to help us.”

A few blocks away, another Samaritan’s Purse crew was ministering to a second window named Sandra. Her husband lost a long battle with cancer and had died just eight months ago.

The water in Sandra’s neighborhood rose about eight inches above the concrete foundation and flooded every room in her home. Her front lawn is now covered with piles of ruined sheetrock, wood, a water-soaked sofa, and other furniture that are ready to be hauled away.

The loss of her husband and the damage from the storm was overwhelming.

“When I talk about it all, it makes me cry,” she said, fighting back the tears. “I pray a lot and I know that when you go through something like this it makes your grow, but I’m just exhausted.”

At the end of the day, Sandra settled into a living room chair that had been moved into the garage and set near the open door, where she had a view of the neighborhood. It had been her husband’s favorite chair and had become a refuge from the chaos that she and her neighbors were trying to cope with.

A few minutes later, the Samaritan’s Purse work crew gathered around Sandra. They presented her with a Bible that they had all signed, then joined hands to pray with her.

“Lord, lift her up during this time of need and stress,” a volunteered prayed. “Lift up Mrs. Reed and her family. Put a hedge of protection around this place.”

Following the prayer, Sandra’s weary smile and a misty-eyed thank you brought the day’s work to a close.

One woman on the crew gave Sandra a hug and a kiss on the cheek. Another invited her to join them for dinner at the local church where they were staying. Everyone promised to come back tomorrow to finish the cleanup work and visit their new friend.