The Samaritan’s Purse president tells homeowners affected by Hurricane Sandy that God has not forgotten them
Samaritan’s Purse President Franklin Graham visited our work site in Lynbrook, New York, on Tuesday, meeting homeowners impacted by Hurricane Sandy and volunteers who have come to help in the Name of Jesus.
“It breaks your heart to see people’s lives just destroyed,” he said. “We’re here to help them. We’re here in the name of The Lord Jesus Christ. Sometimes people look at this and think my whole world’s fallen apart, but God hasn’t forgotten them.”
The site in Nassau County is one of four that Samaritan’s Purse established to help people affected by the superstorm. We also have three bases in New Jersey, at Linwood Community Church in Linwood, North Jersey Vineyard Church in Teterboro, and The Church of Grace and Peace in Toms River.
So far, over 2,100 volunteers have helped nearly 200 homeowners by tarping wind-damaged roofs, removing unsalvageable belongings and cleaning out debris and muck from flooded homes, ripping up ruined flooring and stripping damaged sheetrock from walls, and spraying the exposed studs with a solution that kills mold.
“Thank you all for your help,” Graham told the volunteers in Lynbrook. “It means everything in the world to them.”
Samaritan’s Purse expects to be helping in the aftermath of the storm for weeks to come, and Graham said we will need more help.
“The need is huge and it’s going I take an army of volunteers,” he said, while emphasizing that the people who work with us are blessed as they help others. “If a volunteer comes, they won’t be disappointed.”
Our main priority is finding homeowners most in need of help in low-income areas who aren’t receiving any other assistance.
“So many of these people are uninsured,” Graham said. “If somebody doesn’t help them, I don’t know what they’ll do. It’s going to be getting colder. If we can get people back into their homes, that’s what we want to do.”
Our staff and volunteers work in conjunction with chaplains from the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. When jobs are completed, we pray with the homeowners and present them with a Bible signed by everyone who worked on their house.
“I want people to know God hasn’t forgotten them,” Graham said. “Jesus Christ calmed the storms, and I hope that out of this storm many people will understand and know the love of Jesus Christ.”
The visit to New York came a little over a week after Graham was at one of our sites in New Jersey with his wife, Jane, along with Fox News host Greta Van Susteren and her husband, John.
Update 2: The Forgotten Borough
“This is all Staten Island is to them – a starting line and a dump,” Chris Rich, a Staten Island firefighter tells us as he cleans up debris and mud from his gutted house. Throughout his neighborhood today, New York City marathon runners prance through decimated streets, leaping over piles of donations yet to be distributed, bringing severe congestion to a community just beginning to regain its senses after the catastrophe. To place it in even sharper relief, according to Rich, it was only that very morning that authorities had gotten around to removing three bodies floating in Bay Street Marina. One was tied to a pier to avoid it washing down shore. The person who reported the bodies was told that they would be left for the time being as efforts were to be exclusively “rescue” oriented, eschewing “recovery.” While the Staten Islanders were, and are, still counting their dead, they felt as if they were expected to indulge catastrophe tourism.
A story brought to you by citizen journalists.
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