North America Response - 080654 International Crisis Response

Canadians help devastated Louisiana hurricane victims

Louisiana residents are reeling from two devastating hurricanes in six weeks, but Samaritan’s Purse—and generous supporters like you—is doing its best to help the state recover.

Four Canadians with disaster relief experience joined the efforts, spending several weeks leading teams of American volunteers who cleaned up damaged properties and prepared houses for repair, all at no cost to homeowners.

“This is a calling on my life,” said Alberta resident Phil Jones, who spent three weeks in the hurricane-damaged Louisiana town of Jennings. “Anytime I go on these responses, I see God at work. He always shows up.”

Phil has been serving with Samaritan’s Purse Canada since Hurricane Katrina in 2004. His Canadian deployments include helping flood victims in southern Alberta in 2013 and wildfire victims in Fort McMurray in 2016.

In Jennings, Phil and another Canadian, Kathy Sullivan, led teams that worked on dozens of homes. They put emergency tarping on roofs, cut down and removed damaged trees, and cleaned out flooded basements.

“They were amazed that someone would come all the way from Canada to help them.”

“It’s been hard on the people of Jennings, because a second storm hit the area since my deployment,” said Kathy. She’s been leading missions teams for 16 years through her church. Between that and her work for a Calgary home builder, Kathy developed the skills to lead Samaritan’s Purse volunteer teams.

She led one team that responded to Jane’s* request for help, only to find out the damage to her house happened before Hurricane Laura arrived.

But as Kathy surveyed the dangerous mold, disintegrating floor, damaged roof, and interior ceilings, then heard the family’s dire situation (Jane’s husband died from COVID-19), Kathy was moved to help.

“I just felt she and her daughter needed help and I had a team that went above and beyond what was expected,” she explained. Kathy’s volunteers spent two days at the property, putting tarp on the roof, scrubbing mold off the house, and even repairing an air conditioner.

They saw positive results right away. Jane had significant trouble sleeping for many months, but after one day with the Samaritan’s Purse team, she reported getting a full night’s sleep.

Phil led teams that worked on about 20 hurricane-damaged properties.

“The residents were all grateful; some were brought to tears at the end of our work. And they were amazed that someone would come all the way from Canada to help them.”

In one instance, he led a team that trekked along a remote lane to help an 86-year-old woman who had downed trees on her property. In another case, he helped arrange a contractor to replace a senior’s roof that had been blown away by Hurricane Laura.

Henry* was deaf, so Phil and his team did their best to communicate through sign language. “His situation weighed heavy on me because there was no one to help him, so it was nice to be part of that repair process.”

We thank God for people like Phil and Kathy—and Canadians like you, whose prayers and donations make this vital Kingdom work possible.

In each deployment, our teams are able to pray with homeowners, give them a Bible signed by all the volunteers, and share their inspiration for helping: Jesus Christ. He tells anyone willing to listen that “When you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me” (Matthew 25:40, NLT).

Will you help more disaster victims through your donations and prayers?

North America Response - 080654 International Crisis Response

Help Samaritan's Purse respond quickly to victims of disasters across North America, providing not only physical assistance as people clean up and rebuild after wind, floods, fires, and other disasters, but also emotional and spiritual support in the aftermath of tragedy.