Apalachicola, FL (October 28, 2018) The Salvation Army provides food, hydration, and snacks, as well as emotional and spiritual care in the aftermath of a disaster. The physical support of food and water the Army provides is necessary; the emotional and spiritual support is life-giving. Today, specially trained Salvation Army Emotional and Spiritual Care (ESC) specialists are working in communities impacted by Hurricane Michael. They are praying, sharing resources, and giving hope to people who are living in despair.
Whether working with a mobile feeding unit (canteen) in a stationary feeding location, visiting individual neighborhoods, or roaming through communities and rural areas, the ESC specialists often come to know the people they are serving and the experiences they wish to share.
Here are a few:
“While visiting with a lady in Mexico Beach who survived Hurricane Michael, she explained she was feeling very concerned about her son and his family. They live in Saipan, where Typhoon Yutu was headed. She was filled with emotions as we prayed for safety of her family and peace that her family was okay. Less than 24 hours later, she reported she heard from her son and they were all fine. An answered prayer.” Marie Cole, ESC Specialist and Captain Jason Imhoff, ESC Officer
“At one of our canteen locations, we visited with a couple who rode out the hurricane in Wewahitchka. They planned on evacuating, but the husband worked late the evening before and it was too late to evacuate. They had four animals and were reluctant to leave them. During the storm, which remained a Category 4 or 5 when it hit the area, they prayed for safety. As the conversation evolved, the couple shared two of their three sons were in prison. We were able to pray with them and let them know they are loved.” Renee and Jay, ESC Specialists
“After following a canteen crew who was dropping off meals, I met a lady named Janet who is known throughout the Wewahitchka community for always helping others. She and several others were organizing donated items to hand out to those affected by the storm. After listening to her story and her call to help others, especially seniors, I was able to pray for her, the volunteers assisting her and the community of “Wewa” as the locals call it.” – Cindy Fuller, Public Information Officer
Other stories of help include being able to provide a mop to a lady who wanted to clean her floors; providing a tarp and hug to someone who needed to stop a leak caused by a downed tree; and providing lunches to many of the workers in an area where there were no other options to eat and they needed a short break to rest and refresh.
Our prayers continue to be with the people in the Florida panhandle. The Salvation Army continues to serve communities affected by Hurricane Michael.
The best way to help survivors and relief agencies is through financial contributions. This allows disaster responders to immediately address the needs as they vary from family to family.