Ep. 22: Tornadoes in Monroe, LA

Tune in to the third episode of our four-part series featuring work Samaritan’s Purse U.S. Disaster Relief is doing in Monroe, Louisiana. Over Easter weekend, three tornadoes damaged more than 400 homes, leaving the community in physical and emotional distress. Today, hear as Kristy Graham talks with Shannon Daley, a regional program manager for U.S. Disaster Relief, about how the ministry is helping the community overcome the deadly storm-system’s destruction.

Shortly after the tornadoes came through, Samaritan’s Purse was on the ground to help homeowners clean up fallen trees, clear out debris, and help restore Monroe, LA. By the beginning of this week, all work orders were complete—a testament to the many local volunteers who pitched in to help their neighbors. In this episode, Kristy highlights how God sustained those affected in Louisiana, and provided exactly what they needed to overcome in this disaster.

 

“What a great testimony. I encourage you all to stay faithful, to stay the course, and pray that God will sustain you by reminding you of his faithfulness—day in and day out.” – Kristy Graham

Shannon informs Kristy that after the tornadoes came through, the ministry partnered with the same local church it did after the major flooding in 2016. Immediately following the Easter tornados, the church helped report the levels of damage—sending church members into the community to conduct assessments. Three severe tornadoes ripped through the county: an EF3, EF2, and an EF1. Kristy dives deeper with Shannon into what it’s like to partner with the same church again for disaster relief. With the two-time church partner, the established relationship allowed open doors, easy access, and a quick response for disaster relief in the area.

Throughout the phone call, Kristy and Shannon discuss measures taken to ensure safety due to the pandemic. With COVID-19, Samaritan’s Purse relies on day volunteers only. Instead of greeting with hugs and handshakes, the teams welcome in volunteers with gloves and masks. However, Shannon says that the community is not letting fear of the virus stop them from showing the love of Jesus Christ by helping their neighbors. Samaritan’s Purse has seen full-circle stories where people helped by the ministry in the 2016 flood came out to help those devastated by this recent tornado.

“No matter how big or small the job, it’s about the people. It’s about showing them the love of Jesus Christ.” – Shannon Daley

In these four responses, God has provided exactly what our teams need each day including manpower. Tune in at 7:37 to hear a story where God provided volunteers in an unexpected way. Shannon gives listeners a look into what a typical day looks like for local volunteers. She talks about seeing God move in the hearts and minds of homeowners, volunteers, and staff.

As the episode wraps, Shannon asks for prayers for health and safety for the all affected by these tornadoes. Pray for softened hearts to hear the message of hope. Thank you for praying for continued restoration and healing for Monroe, Louisiana.

An Inside Look

To learn more about U.S. Disaster Relief’s response to those affected by the tornadoes, listen to episodes 20 and 21 of the mini-series that focus on Chattanooga, TN, and Seneca, SC.

Check out our website, www.samaritanspurse.org, to stay up to date with stories of Samaritan’s Purse working to help families devastated by the storm-system.

Are you interested in taking a look behind the scenes of the podcast? Follow us on Instagram at @onthegroundsp.

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