While not forgetting about victims in Texas from Hurricane Harvey, Samaritan's Purse is ready to help those in Florida recover from the devastation left by Hurricane Irma.
The ministry has teams on the ground assessing the needs in Florida. Luther Harrison, vice president for North American Ministries, spoke with OneNewsNow.
"We've been looking at the areas of Naples and Fort Myers and looking how we can go into those areas – whether it's tarp a roof, or cut some trees off of a house or out of the yard, or remove any wet, flooded personal possessions for the homeowners," Harrison shares. "You just want to go in and have a ministry presence with these homeowners and just show them that God loves them and his people came to just meet their needs during this time and this storm."
At the same time, Harrison explains they continue to minister to people in Texas who were affected by Harvey.
"We've had 2,422 families ask for help, but God has sent us over 3,270 volunteers to do the work with," he says. "And we also get to work with Billy Graham Evangelistic Association chaplains. They've had 112 chaplains in who have prayed with over 5,900 people.
West, focus on Harvey; East, on Irma
Major hurricanes in Texas and Florida have stretched the resources for most national relief organizations. Mike Ebert, executive director of public relations for the North American Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention, says they have asked their disaster relief partners in various states to divide their help along the Mississippi River.
"If everybody to the West can just really keep focused on the Harvey relief efforts and sending as much help as we can there – and then on the East, if everybody can focus for now on Irma relief, then we think that should divide out Southern Baptist resources pretty well," he says.
Ebert tells OneNewsNow he expects there will be some crossover as churches across the U.S. have already made commitments to the Houston area. Still, they want to make sure that victims of both Harvey and Irma get as much attention and help as possible.
Southern Baptist churches, associations, and state conventions have made big investments in disaster relief, he notes.
"In times like these Southern Baptists can step in, give the physical help and resources that are needed so that we can share the hope of Jesus. So we're grateful for that opportunity," he adds.
In addition, both Samaritan's Purse and the SBC have teams working to get relief to the island areas of the Caribbean that were affected by Irma.
Photo credit: Samaritan's Purse