Ward Church is full of individuals embodying audacious generosity. Incredible acts of kindness, service and sacrifice are lived out each week – seen and unseen. There are those who give of their time to lead children in their faith weekly and some who pray faithfully for every prayer request made known. Teams of volunteers and staff visit the ill and connect with the homebound. Others show up and show love to neighbors, to family, to those facing addiction or grief, divorce or financial strain. This love-in-action plants seeds with impact spanning generations to come. It is rooted in Jesus and His message of hope.
One story of this love-in-action comes from our Disaster Relief Team. The Disaster Relief Team responds to disasters around the country, working hand in hand with Samaritans Purse. Ward volunteers are deployed to cities where homes are ravaged and people are hurting. They provide practical help through tarping roofs, removing trees and debris and more.
This month, the team has focused their efforts in Louisiana after Hurricane Laura caused significant destruction. Rick Bernard, a key leader on the Disaster Relief Team shared this story from their recent deployment.
“One of my most heart-wrenching experiences of this deployment happened just after we had finished an assessment. It was a real “God-thing” in that, as we left, we began to head in the wrong direction. Before we could get turned around, a lady driving by in the opposite direction saw the “Samaritan’s Purse” wording on the side of our truck. She was frantically waving at us to stop and was literally sobbing to the point we could barely understand her asking us if we could help her. We turned around and followed her to her home, just a couple blocks away. She was one of those people who actually had me in tears. (Thank goodness for dark-colored sunglasses!) She had just moved into her home several months earlier, evacuated during the storm and had returned just a couple days earlier to find a large tree had crushed her carport and a bedroom at the end of her beautiful double-wide mobile home. Everything in her home was soaked and ruined – and now, they’re facing heavy rains from Tropical Storm Beta. Our Chaplain, Christi, was able to calm her and pray with her. This woman was so grateful and told us that it is obvious that God led her to us through our wrong turn!”
Stories like this happen frequently in the field, Rick explains.
If you are interested in being involved in upcoming Disaster Relief efforts, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.