Homeowner Praises God for New Home Built After Hurricane Matthew

June 28, 2017 • United States

The first of 20 homes to be constructed by Samaritan’s Purse in hurricane-ravaged eastern North Carolina was recently completed and dedicated to the Lord.

“Thank you, Lord,” said 83-year-old James Horne as he lifted up the keys to his new home on June 23. “To God be the glory.”

Samaritan’s Purse staff and volunteers pray with the Horne family outside James’ new home.

Samaritan’s Purse staff and volunteers pray with the Horne family outside James’ new home.

His Pinetops, North Carolina, home was built by Samaritan’s Purse volunteers as part of our rebuild program in the wake of Hurricane Matthew. His old home flooded more than eight months ago after extended rainfall from the storm caused Tar River and its tributaries to overflow in Edgecombe County in eastern North Carolina.

That was the second time James’ former home of 40-plus years had flooded. During Hurricane Floyd in 1999, he sought shelter from the floodwaters in his attic and had to be rescued by boat.

This time, the water came into his house half as high, but the water and mold damage was just as devastating. On October 15, Samaritan’s Purse disaster relief volunteers began helping him salvage what items they could, but the volunteers had to discard the majority of his flood-destroyed belongings.

“I often wondered, ‘Where will I go? How would it be?’” James said.

Rock of Faith

That didn’t stop James, a deacon at Pines Chapel Missionary Baptist Church, from giving thanks to God after the storm.

James' new home is one of five homes that Samaritan’s Purse is building on the same street block.

James’ new home is one of five homes that Samaritan’s Purse is building on the same street block.

“God wants us to praise Him in the good and in the bad, and that’s what Deacon Horne did,” said Brent Graybeal, U.S. recovery and development manager for Samaritan’s Purse Disaster Relief. “His faith has been what has gotten him through. He’s had days that haven’t been easy.”

One of those days was when James realized that he wasn’t going to be able to stay at the house he called home for more than 40 years. James, a widower, says he drives by the vacant street of his former home a couple of times a week to relive memories of raising his three children there.

He will miss the big backyard, but his new yard is big enough to host the family picnic he has always wanted to have.

Erika Zajdel, a youth leader from First Evangelical Free Church of McKeesport, Pennsylvania, touches up the paint in James Horne’s new kitchen.

Erika Zajdel, a youth leader from First Evangelical Free Church of McKeesport, Pennsylvania, touches up the paint in James’ new kitchen.

He’s also looking forward to being able to walk to church, located a few blocks away from his new home. For the past eight months, James has lived nearby with his sister.

“I’ve enjoyed living with family, but there’s nothing like having your own home,” James said.

For James and the other 19 homeowners in Edgecombe County whose new houses are being built by Samaritan’s Purse in Pinetops and Tarboro, the rebuilds are the best way for them to own a home again. Most of the beneficiaries are retirees unable to afford rebuilding on their own.

“I’m blessed to have help to get to rebuild,” James said. “I can’t thank God enough for Samaritan’s Purse.”

Neighbors Again

Bettie Lindsay, another homeowner helped by Samaritan’s Purse, worried that she wouldn’t know anyone in her new neighborhood.

Bettie Lindsay thanks Samaritan's Purse volunteers.

Bettie Lindsay thanks Samaritan’s Purse volunteers.

She need not have fretted—the house that Samaritan’s Purse is building for her is a few doors down from James’ new home. He used to be her neighbor and will be again. And, Bettie’s granddaughter lives on that same street—directly across from where volunteers are building a home for Bettie.

Bettie’s greatest joy is looking out her granddaughter’s front windows to see our volunteers working on her house.

“I look over and say, ‘Praise God, that’s going to be my house one day,’” Bettie said. “I want to jump up and shout, ‘Thank God!’”

Volunteers are still needed to help build homes in Edgecombe County. Food and lodging is provided. Please pray for this continuing effort.

Samaritan's Purse rebuild projects bring families back home after a devastating disaster. More volunteers are still needed in eastern North Carolina.

Samaritan’s Purse rebuild projects bring families back home after a devastating disaster. More volunteers are still needed in eastern North Carolina.

SUPPORT
U.S. Disaster Relief Samaritan's Purse mobilizes and equips thousands of 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.

U.S. Disaster Relief 013622
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