God's Leading in Louisville
Rapid Response Team Stories from the Field
August 20, 2009 - There are times when God clearly ordains the steps to bring a lost soul unto Him. The Billy Graham Rapid Response Team had an experience like that this week while ministering in Louisville, KY, following massive flooding earlier in the month.
A Samaritan’s Purse staff person had told the chaplains about Carrie*, a pregnant woman who was living in a flooded apartment, sleeping on a sofa that was saturated with polluted sewer water. She had lost all of the limited possessions she had in the world, and was expecting a child any day. Three times the chaplains went to her home trying to talk to her, but she was too afraid to come to the door.
As God would have it, a Samaritan’s Purse worker happened to be at an agency downtown and found her asking for a ride to a doctor’s appointment. The chaplains made contact by phone and Carrie agreed to let the chaplains take her to the appointment.
Carrie told the chaplains that she hadn’t had anything to eat all day, so the chaplains took her to lunch. During lunch, Carrie confided in the chaplains, saying, “This is the first time in a long time I’ve trusted anyone with how bad my life had been.”
She began her difficult story of how she had been a substance abuser herself, beaten by her husband who was now in jail. She was being evicted and the flood left her with nothing. Her bridges with family and friends had been burned and she had nowhere to go.
Carrie realized that it wasn’t by chance the chaplains found her and that God had sent them there, and she rededicated her life to the Lord.
The chaplains took Carrie to her doctor’s appointment and then found her a place in a women’s shelter. However, the next day Carrie called and asked the chaplains if they could take her shopping for toiletries. The shelter had promised to supply everything that Carrie needed, but in reality had not provided so much as a toothbrush.
The chaplains realized that the shelter was not a good place for her. The sanitary conditions were subpar and she would not be able to return to the shelter with her newborn baby. Thus, the chaplains made a cold walk-in-call to a women’s family center that they knew had no beds available. As expected, they were full. However, the case worker knew of a brand new facility that was only 15 minutes away and she reserved a room for her.
When the chaplains and the woman drove up they couldn’t believe their eyes. Carrie started crying as they walked to the door of the beautiful new brick building. She was told that she could stay at the fresh-smelling, clean center for up to two years after the baby is born. The fact that the lady at the front desk was a Christian was an added blessing.
As God would provide, two other Rapid Response Team chaplains live only minutes from where the new center is. They are willing to be with Carrie when the baby is born and mentor her in the love of the Lord. The chaplains gave her a Billy Graham Bible, her first ever, and the whole staff and Samaritan’s Purse team had signed it for her. She clutched it close to her chest and said she was going to read it daily. She has never read a Bible in her life.
It was now time for the chaplains to leave and head back home to North Carolina. It was hard for them and for Carrie, as they’d come to view her as family. They were feeling burdened to rush out because they had to pick up other incoming chaplains at the airport.
In yet another example of God’s perfect plan and timing, the chaplains received a call at the last second saying that the plane was late. They were able to spend one last blessed opportunity sitting with Carrie, who was open, willing and ready to make a change in her life due to what she had seen in the past week. She realized God was doing something exciting but had no idea just how He had been arranging it all just for her!
*Name has been changed to protect her privacy