Peace in the Storm
Rapid Response Team Brings Comfort to Rhode Island Flood Victims
April 22, 2010 - Record-breaking rains throughout March caused immense flooding in Rhode Island, leaving thousands of damaged homes. The Pawtuxet River crested at 20.79 feet on March 31, more than 11 feet above flood stage. Samaritan's Purse and the Billy Graham Rapid Response Team (RRT) are responding through ministry in the hardest-hit neighborhoods, helping homeowners devastated by the disaster. Read below to learn how God is working through the damage and chaos.
While ministering in the community of Warwick, Rhode Island, two RRT chaplains stopped by to encourage and pray with Samaritan's Purse volunteers and a homeowner, an elderly widow named Marie. Her home was severely damaged by the flooding of the Pawtuxet River, and she shared with the chaplains that she is still grieving the loss of her husband, who died a year ago from cancer.
She expressed her thankfulness for the work of Samaritan's Purse and the RRT and for the love they have shown her. When asked about her spiritual condition, she admitted that she did not have a personal relationship with Jesus. She said that she believes her husband is in Heaven but tearfully stated she was not sure that she would go to Heaven when she died. The chaplains shared the Gospel with Marie and she received Jesus as her Lord as Savior.
Peace for the Journey
RRT chaplains met a cancer patient two houses away from where Samaritan's Purse was mudding-out a home. He talked about his family and mentioned that he has two sons in Iraq serving in the military. After talking with him about the flood and his family, it was very apparent to the chaplains that this man was ready to receive Christ.
The chaplains shared the Steps to Peace with God booklet with him, and he was very anxious to ask the Lord to come into his heart and save him and be Lord of his life. The next day, as the chaplains returned to the same street to work and minister, the gentleman came over and told them he is so grateful to them for sharing Christ with him. He says now he is not afraid to die and he has complete peace. He is thankful that he has time to put things in order and to provide for care for his wife if the Lord takes him home. The chaplains consider it a privilege to bring the message of Christ and the cross to this precious man.
Breaking the Chains that Bind
The RRT chaplains stopped to see a woman whose house had been mudded out by Samaritan's Purse. She was very busy with phone calls and some inspectors, so the chaplains said they would return and visit her later in the day.
As the chaplains were leaving they met her niece, who was in her car in the driveway. The chaplains stopped to talk with her and she started to tell her story. She had been sleeping in her car at her aunt's house because the house was not inhabitable. Having struggled with drug and alcohol addictions, she had not been welcome in any homes of her other relatives. She explained to the chaplains she had been in rehab without a place to live and unable to work.
Later, the chaplains returned and were able to listen to her and tell her about the One who could heal her heart, forgive her sins, and free her from her addictions. Right there and then, she prayed to receive Christ as her Savior and Lord.
Learn more about the Rapid Response Team