SHAWNEE, OKLAHOMA — Neil and Zana, married for 48 years, had always wanted to serve together. Once they retired, they discovered that volunteering with Samaritan’s Purse on disaster relief deployments was a perfect match for them.The couple recently served in Shawnee, Oklahoma, to help bring relief to heartbroken homeowners whose properties were badly damaged when a series of tornadoes battered the central part of the state in mid-April. It was their ninth deployment with Samaritan’s Purse in the last 15 months.
Zana and Neil Kellum – Volunteers:
I’m Neil. I’m Zana. And we’ve been married for almost 49 years in July. We are in Shawnee, Oklahoma. This is Neil’s and mine ninth deployment with Samaritan’s Purse in the last 15 months. We had always wanted to serve together. Once we retired, we had the opportunity to and Samaritan’s Purse was a perfect match for us. We do a lot of chainsaw work, a lot of dragging of limbs. We love it because we work as a team to make that happen. Try to leave it looking like a park when we leave.
Dennis Rutland – Volunteer:
Every team, they’re different, young, old. Some are experienced cutters. Some never had on a pair of work gloves. But they’re all out here for the same purpose, just like we are to serve Jesus. When couples come out, it never matters if you’re old, young, if you’ve been married a year, six months, 40 years. When you come out as couples, you’re there as a couple. You will be closer with each other when you leave and go back home.
Zana and Neil:
Everything they do is surrounded by prayer. Every start of the day, every end of the day, every time you roll up to a homeowner’s property, You gather around and you pray for safety, for the homeowner.
While the work is challenging, it’s also been something that’s helped us develop spiritually. I think it really is a calling to be able to do this kind of work.
It is like the Holy Spirit is behind us together as a couple, pushing us into this ministry. And we can’t help but do it.
We’re so thankful that we’re able to have this time together and to be able to work together in this way. And as long as we can, we’ll be active.
My spiritual growth in the last three months on these appointments has been just exponential. And I just thank the Lord for that.
Samaritan’s Purse is a nondenominational evangelical Christian organization providing spiritual and physical aid to hurting people around the world. Since 1970, Samaritan’s Purse has helped meet the needs of people who are victims of war, poverty, natural disasters, disease, and famine with the purpose of sharing God’s love through His Son, Jesus Christ. The organization serves the Church worldwide to promote the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.
The Samaritan’s Purse International Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) program is committed to meeting the critical needs of victims of war, poverty, famine, disease, and natural disaster. We stand ready to respond at a moment’s notice whenever and wherever disaster strikes. The DART specializes in providing water, food, shelter, and medical care while sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ.
- Global News Alliance, Retired Couple Helps Homeowners Devastated by Oklahoma Storms
- Samaritan’s Purse, Official Website