WAVERLY, TN – Samaritan’s Purse volunteers are in Waverly, Tennessee, after extreme flooding killed more than 20 people and damaged or destroyed hundreds of houses. They are helping with cleanup and sharing Christ’s love with hurting homeowners.
Nathan Curtis – Assistant Pastor, Open Bible Assembly:
Unexpected. It was like a tsunami, like a wave of water where things were flooded in just a matter of minutes.
Rose Coffren – Homeowner:
It was a horrible day. People screaming. We didn’t think we were going to make it out. I left videos and I told my family goodbye and I loved them.
Phil O’Guin – Homeowner:
I’ve been here 74 years. I don’t see how this could happen, but it did. It’s just going to take time and time and time to ever recover.
Shane Gannon – Homeowner:
I heard something hit the outside of the house and it sort of puzzled me, and I thought, “What is that?” And then it struck me—there’s something floating, hitting my house.
Jeff Klocko – Homeowner:
The water started rising very fast. I was actually scared, I thought I was going to die, I put my life jacket on. Things started busting loose– houses, debris, trees.
I had nothing except we walked out of here with our lives. And then we heard about other people losing their lives. Don’t never, ever, ever take anything in your life for granted.
Chandler Saylors – Samaritan’s Purse:
The death toll for this flood was very high, and it is a small and close-knit community, so the people here are devastated. So our volunteers, our staff, and the chaplains are trying to come in and be as sensitive as they can to the situation, loving on them and having a ministry of presence.
One of the leaders of Samaritan’s Purse pulled in my driveway and asked if he could talk to me and if I needed help. And they showed up in numbers. It was 93 degrees, 97, 98 percent humidity. Amazing. Right now, they’re gutting my house, and he told me, “Don’t worry about the cost.” He said there would be no cost. That was really cool, because I lost everything. I’m not sure what I got left.
Samaritan’s Purse Volunteer:
Brother, I pray that this Word will be a comfort to you, that it’ll be an encouragement to you. And this Word will give you everything that you need for your life afresh and anew in Christ Jesus. Everything. So brother, we want you to have that.
Our ministry here is to plant seeds and leave fingerprints of Jesus everywhere that we can. And by the end of the day, Jeff had decided to give his life to Christ for the very first time, and the team got to celebrate that decision with him.
I do want to start crying. Thank you. Samaritan’s Purse, when you all came into my life, it’s like there was light. It was an awesome feeling. It felt good, like arms were wrapped around me. I could feel the love. I don’t know if everybody can, but I could.
What is happening in Humphreys County is really being the hands and feet of Jesus Christ. There’s a big need around here. When it really comes down to it, are we going to lay down our schedules if it takes that, lay down our preferences and go out and say, “Hey, this is about the Gospel”, and doing whatever we can to get the message out that there is hope in Jesus? No matter what goes on in your life, you can always look to Him. You keep your eyes on Jesus and He’ll get you through whatever you’re going through.
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.
CONTACT: Kaitlyn Lahm, firstname.lastname@example.org
Sources: Global News Alliance, Sharing Christ’s Love With Tennessee Flood Victims