1998: Samaritan’s Purse provides comprehensive relief to storm-stricken communities in Honduras.
Hurricane Mitch was the worst storm of the 20th century in the western hemisphere, killing over 11,000 people in Honduras and Nicaragua in 1998. The late-October storm destroyed or damaged more than 80,000 houses in Honduras.
Samaritan’s Purse launched the largest construction project in our history and in the four years following the storm, we rebuilt more than 5,000 concrete-block houses in Honduras. The two-room houses cost an average of $6,000. Most included a BioSand Filter to supply residents with safe drinking water. In the year following the storm, a total of 3,363 houses were completed, and more than 5,300 individuals prayed to receive Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.
Through our World Medical Mission volunteers, we organized medical brigades that went village to village, caring for more than a thousand patients a month and fighting outbreaks of cholera and other diseases. The brigades included an evangelist, who not only led hundreds to faith in Christ, but also conducted weddings for many rural couples who had never been formally married.
As houses were completed and families were finally able to return home, Operation Christmas Child focused on sending shoebox gifts to the children, including more than half a million gift boxes in 2000 and 2001. Since Hurricane Mitch, we have distributed over 3.3 million gift boxes in Honduras.
Through our ongoing projects in Honduras, God opened doors for our Children’s Heart Project, and we brought more than 50 children born with heart defects to the U.S. and Canada for life-saving surgery.