This is a beautiful, though albeit unintentional, Glory Sighting of faith groups working separately to bring someone overwhelmed by a disaster, hope and help.
Don’t you love it when someone else “Sights” the same Glory that you do? That’s when you know God is up to something. Last week, The News Herald ran a great and deserving feature on “Samaritan’s Purse.” I was sort of bummed since they beat me to the punch. I was waiting for a story to bring them into the Light. Well, the day after that feature, I got one, from my own office administrator.
Margaret, who lost her husband years ago and has had about every major joint in her body replaced, needed a lot of help with her home. Still does. She told me about a collection of groups who unexpectedly recently came to her rescue. She’d put her name on every list imaginable, but up to that point, heard or seen but a few. These few have moved mountains ... literally.
Like many homes in Mexico Beach, Margaret’s was severely damaged along with her share of our ubiquitous fallen trees. With no insurance, she’s recovering by the arms and legs of charity. “Samaritan’s Purse” set up shop in Panama City at City Church, which has served as its host since just weeks after the hurricane. These are her words:
“While visiting my son in Puerto Rico, shortly after Hurricane Michael made my house unlivable, I contacted FEMA and SBA, trying to find a place to live not too far from my home. At the time, the closest was a motel in Dothan. The Lord had a better plan.
“God started pouring out blessings on me. He provided an apartment in Callaway by way of my good friend, Pearl. My son bought me a bed and a new cell phone. Pearl loaned a dresser, chest of drawers, nightstand and a TV. Not much later I received a washer and dryer for just the cost of delivery and set up. Oh how the Lord has blessed me. But He didn’t stop there. I was able to get a love seat, two matching chairs and ottoman and an end table for free from an organization I’ve unfortunately forgotten but were giving away furniture for free at Gulf Marine on Hwy 77 in Panama City. That was an amazing blessing.
“I haven’t had much luck getting my house fixed but the Lord has touched many hearts and has gotten a lot of work done in my yard. He started with sending the LDS Church. They worked for several hours removing downed trees and my carport in the front yard that were blocking the front of the house, along with debris from the backyard. Then a Samaritan’s Purse team of 11 arrived. They downed trees, picked up nails and debris, swept the driveway and raked the front yard. All 11 worked for 5 hours on my yard! I was surprised to learn that they were from Canada!
“Before they left, they prayed for me and presented me with a ‘Billy Graham Training Center Bible’ which I will treasure. A few days later another group from “Samaritan’s Purse” came and moved the downed and cut up trees to the road. Then a group from an Anglican Church in Melbourne came and dismantled what was left of my shed and moved it to the road. They cut up a couple of downed trees and moved them to the road. Then another group from “Samaritan’s Purse” came and touched it up.
“It has been blessing after blessing which has made all the destruction and loss a little easier to handle. I thank the Lord and all of His followers who stepped up to help me and the many others they have helped in this disaster.
“I was most surprised, that when they were set to leave, they thanked ME for allowing them to help.”
When you catch a Glory Sighting, let me bring it into the light by sharing it with this column via firstname.lastname@example.org, Facebook at ParkerPastor, or on the web at mypumc.org. The Rev. Jack Stanley serves as pastor of United Methodist Church of Parker.