Russil Stedmann did all he could to keep the rising waters of Okanagan Lake out of his home near Vernon, B.C. In the end, it wasn’t enough.
“The whole main floor was covered in six inches of water,” he said, despite running two water pumps constantly and spending days sandbagging around his home.
Heavy rain caused Okanagan Lake to flood in May, forcing more than 200 residents on or near the shore to evacuate their homes for many weeks as the water level peaked and then very slowly receded.
Russil was exhausted from sandbagging and moving as many possessions as possible out of his house and attached shop, leaving him with no strength or willpower for recovery work. That’s when God moved in his life through Samaritan’s Purse and financial supporters like you.
We brought one of our Disaster Relief Unit tractor trailers to Vernon and, working with church partners and local authorities, trained, equipped and deployed 29 volunteers to help residents. Over a two-week period, they did flood relief work for 42 homeowners.
In Russil’s case, a team of eight spent two days helping him move possessions out of the house and cutting away flood damaged drywall and insulation. Then they helped him move the tub, toilet and sink out of his bathroom and stripped the flooring down to the home’s cement pad.
“It was incredible,” he said. “They helped me so much I could relax and help my neighbors.”
A few days later, some of the volunteers returned to spray the damaged areas of Russil’s home with a sanitizer to prevent mold. With that completed, they presented Russil with a Bible signed by all the volunteers who worked on his property, then offered to pray with Russil, which he gladly accepted.
Before the flooding in Vernon, Russil had never heard of Samaritan’s Purse. Now, “you guys are just incredible people to help me and all my neighbors. A bunch of real nice people.”
As Samaritan’s Purse moves from flood relief in Vernon to wildfire relief in central British Columbia, you can be part of this Kingdom work through your prayers and donations. Please join us so that together, we can show hurting people “the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding” (Philippians 4:7, ESV).
Help Samaritan’s Purse strengthen the impact of local churches in communities recovering in the aftermath of disasters. As caring Christians are trained and empowered to walk alongside individuals and families to find solutions to complex needs, God opens doors to share the Gospel.