The Samaritan's Purse president encourages homeowners and volunteers at an area of New Jersey devastated by the superstorm
Samaritan’s Purse President Franklin Graham visited areas of New Jersey devastated by Superstorm Sandy on Saturday, praying with homeowners and thanking and encouraging volunteers who are helping people impacted by the hurricane.
“When there’s a disaster we respond in Jesus’ Name,” he said. “I’ve got to come myself. I’ve got to see it, I’ve got to smell it, feel it, talk to the homeowners, talk to the volunteers. Because I come to see things like this, it helps me to communicate that we need help. We need your prayers and support, we need you to be part of this. We need volunteers. We will be here for months to come, responding in Jesus’ name.”
Samaritan’s Purse volunteers began working Saturday, helping storm victims by tarping roofs, removing mud and ruined belongings from homes, clearing debris, and removing downed trees.
“It could take months for a homeowner to do it themselves, but our volunteers do it all in a day,” Graham said. “When we help these homeowners, we give them a little bit of light at the end of the tunnel.”
Graham was joined by his wife, Jane, along with Fox News host Greta Van Susteren and her husband, John.
Van Susteren, whose program, On The Record, is the top-rated show on cable news in its time slot, is a friend of the ministry. She traveled to South Sudan earlier this year to report on Samaritan’s Purse programs in the war-torn region. She also has distributed Operation Christmas Child shoe box gifts to children in the Dominican Republic and Haiti.
“The most important thing people can do is contribute to Samaritan’s Purse,” Van Susteren said. “I see firsthand where these dollars go. I can assure you every dollar is being used to help people.”
The group began the day at The Church of Grace and Peace in Tom’s River, one of our three bases in New Jersey. Graham met Pastor Walter Healy, and showed his guests the base, including the Disaster Relief Unit, shower trailers, and mobile kitchen unit.
“I think it’s awesome that Franklin Graham is coming to see the devastation firsthand, and meet the volunteers and visit work sites,” Pastor Healy said.
They then went into neighborhoods where Samaritan’s Purse is working. Graham met Jane Cheung, whose home was flooded by the storm. Jane had been doing a lot of the work herself and was worn out, physically and emotionally.
She began crying tears of joy when Samaritan’s Purse volunteers arrived, overwhelmed with emotions when she saw how many people came out to help. She kept hugging people and saying, “I don’t know what your name is, but thank you for being here.”
One of the volunteers was John Lee, youth minister at Emmanuel Bible Church in Howell, N.J. John recently helped with our Hurricane Isaac response in LaPlace, Louisiana, and never thought that he’d be volunteering with us again so soon in his backyard. Graham shook his hand and thanked him for serving.
Samaritan’s Purse staff and volunteers are working in Atlantic, Bergen, and Ocean Counties, areas that were hard hit by the superstorm. A fourth Disaster Relief Unit is in Nassau County, New York, where homes burned and heavy flooding occurred.
We set up at local churches that house volunteers and allow us to use their facilities.
“We do this all year round,” Pastor Healy said. “We have a facility on the barrier island where we reach out to needy people. My people are servant-minded in that regard. We have two “greats” in scripture, to love God and our neighbor and the great commission. One won’t work without the other. It seems like a no-brainer (to help and partner with Samaritan’s Purse).”